MEA planning committee discusses new planning portal

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The development of a new DOE planning portal to replace the existing model has been discussed by MEA’s planning committee.

The planning portal allows the public to view and track the progress of planning applications online.

The DOE has renegotiated the planning portal contract up to March 31 2019, with the transition period beginning when planning powers are transferred to local councils on April 1 2015.

After March 31 2019, current supplier Hewlett Packard will cease to be under contract. While the current planning portal system will still be available, Chief Executive of MEA Council Ann Donaghy warned that it would be “dysfunctional.”

Supercouncil Chief Executives have agreed in principle to retain a shared service.

A Council report emphasized that “from day one of the new councils, urgent consideration needs to be given to a replacement system.” It added: “Four years is a very short period of time for the development of a replacement system and go out to tender.”

The planning committee heard that while the department was “looking at options” it had not yet given any indication of what the costs of the new system could be.

Chief Executive Ann Donaghy vowed to raise the issue at a monthly meeting of supercouncil Chief Executives.