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Challenge

The Local Government Planning Enforcement project would make use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to assist local authorities to enforce the new planning rules. 

Solution

Using the web, users can see maps of local areas, zoom in and pan about and select the exact location of a building or development that needs to be addressed. Behind this system is a flexible database that captures details of developments that may be in contravention of the planning rules. It also keeps track of which agents (inspectors, engineers, surveyors etc) need to get involved and when. In it ensures that the right actions happen within the deadlines set out in the planning rules. There is also a very flexible system for generating the official letters of notification that need to be sent to the various parties. A large collection of standard legal paragraphs is maintained and can be combined into letter templates that are readily available to the local authorities.

The system combines this text-based information with GIS maps and photographs and technical drawings to compile comprehensive case notes on each planning incident. The system works over the internet to parties from all parts of the community can participate in the process. The system is currently being implemented in several local authorities across Ireland. A closely related project, the Architectural Informational System (AIS) also used similar technology. This system helps authorities to generate the standard legal documents required to notify and enforce the new regulations around the protection of buildings protected because of their special Hertiage or Architectural Interest. Again, this system maintains case histories with schedules of tasks to be accomplished and builds legal documents out of hundreds of standard paragraphs. As before the system is designed to be accessed from anywhere over the internet so a large and widely dispersed group of specialists can collaborate easily.