Hampshire County Council, in collaboration with DEF Software, has gone live with a first of its type portal for developers.
The Developer Portal is a hub which sits on Hampshire CC’s website, and allows developers, along with their consultants, to submit a complete Section 278 or 38 submission for design checking. Via the portal, drawings and documents in relation to the Section 278/38 designs can be submitted and audit reports posted back to the developer/consultant.
Local authorities can be messaged directly about applications and will also have the ability to respond to all parties involved in the application. This means that the local authority, developer and developer’s consultant all have a complete and up to date view of their application’s progress.
The Developer Portal is accessed by the developer and their consultant through the local authority website. Whenever they use it to submit a document or send a message, all files submitted to the Highways Department at Hampshire are automatically uploaded to its existing MasterGov platform, also supplied by DEF, where it can be viewed by all officers involved with the approval.
Kathie Murray, Group Engineer at Hampshire County Council, said: “Our priority with this project was to minimise the unnecessary administration for the team and to improve our service for developers, and to do that we needed a system where the latest version of a document or action is tracked, and everybody has sight of it and we’re all seeing the same thing.
“We’re really pleased with the portal, which is easily accessible and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the process, and working with DEF has been a completely collaborative process. We look forward to seeing the benefits this portal will bring to Hampshire’s staff and customers.”
The Developer Portal, the implementation for which started in 2019, was developed in response to Hampshire County Council looking to improve its entire Section 278 and Section 38 process and to join up communications between Hampshire, developers and their consultants. Within it, the messaging system keeps all messages from all parties working on the application uploaded, along with documents, so that no emails are going directly through individuals. This means nothing is missed if someone is off sick, moves to a different team, or can no longer access emails for any party.
Graeme Cooke, Commercial Director at DEF Software said: “An important part of what we do here at DEF is to work closely with our customers and find solutions to any problems they have. It was a pleasure to work in collaboration with Hampshire to improve its service and create a solution that no doubt other councils will find useful.”
The Developer Portal is now available to other local authorities through DEF Software.
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