Planning Advice Note 70: electronic planning service delivery

Planning Advice Note (PAN) 70 explains how new technology can improve the delivery of the planning service.


75. Geographic Information ( GI) is any information that can be spatially referenced. It is commonly in the form of map-based data, although databases containing location-based information can also be incorporated. Planning authorities have historically held and utilised large amounts of spatial information and have subsequently developed extensive GI data stores. These regularly contain the following information:

  • OS data and aerial photography
  • Planning application boundaries
  • Enforcement complaints and notices
  • Listed Buildings
  • Scheduled Monuments
  • National Scenic Areas
  • Housing land supply
  • Vacant and derelict land
  • Flood risk areas
  • Areas of Great Landscape Value
  • Greenspace
  • Administrative boundaries
  • Land cover data
  • Pre-application discussion details
  • Development plan proposals map
  • Conservation Areas
  • Article 4 Directions
  • Tree Preservation Orders
  • Industrial land supply
  • Contaminated land
  • Safeguarding zones
  • Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation
  • Rights of Way
  • Electoral boundaries

76. Geographic Information Systems ( GIS) are used to store and manipulate geographic information. In its simplest form GIS can be used to improve presentation of map-based information and aid visualisation of data. However, the power of GIS lies with the advanced analytical capabilities which can be used for informing planning decisions and policy development. GIS enable spatial patterns and temporal trends to be identified and allow investigation of data interactions. Recent technological developments have made web-based GIS valuable mechanisms for local authorities to make their information available via intranet or internet sites. The Executive promotes the continued enhancement of GIS and the increased availability of geographic information online.



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