Transforming planning applications with digital

Tewkesbury Borough Council embraces digital transformation with its new planning applications tracker

The challenge

Serving one of the fastest growing districts outside of London, Tewkesbury Borough Council is a small council with big ambition.

Identifying digital options for efficiency

Passionate about providing a better service to its citizens, Tewkesbury Borough Council is focused on identifying digital options for efficiency — through an ongoing service review focused on improving customer experience and back-office processes.

Pressure on existing systems

70% of inbound planning team calls relate to updates or information on the planning process. The planning support team is made up of seven officers, two of whom work on projects beyond their normal roles. The planning application tracker is one of many identified customer-facing services that will help free up staff members to serve customers with more complex enquiries and allow planning officers to focus on deciding applications.

Aiming to speed up processing time for planning applications and produce proactive communication to reduce inbound calls, the team needed a solution that would automate the process, easing the pressure on their small team and enhancing customer experience. They turned to Liberty Create, our low-code platform.

“The low-code and intuitive nature of Liberty Create means we can create a customer focused system quickly and easily using the various tools in the build studio – adding more complex and custom functionality where it’s needed.

Clare Evans

Clare Evans

Associate Director – Transformation, Tewkesbury Borough Council

The solution

Continuous improvement

Looking to the future the team will focus on other digital solutions to support team efficiency such as using PowerBI for performance reporting, a call monitoring portal, reviewing the duty planner service and pre-application submissions, making better use of location-based data using GIS, automated systems for consultation responses, neighbour comments and revised plans, and making better use of technology for site visits.

The power of collaboration

Through Netcall Community, Tewkesbury Borough Council will share the planning application tracker with other councils on AppShare – helping other interested councils implement a similar digital solution in their areas.

“The flexibility means we can bring lots of our services onto Liberty Create, but allow them to be styles in a way that fits into our website and other self-service offerings.”

Clare Evans

Clare Evans

Associate Director – Transformation, Tewkesbury Borough Council

The result

  • More time freed up for officers
  • Automatic progress updates in real-time
  • Proactive customer communication
  • Sharing with other councils on AppShare
  • Less pressure on existing resources

Digital by preference

The business transformation team is helping drive a culture shift towards thinking ‘digital by preference’ for service delivery.  With over 20 projects identified, their user-centred and agile approach involves buy-in from services across the council. Specialists in these services ensure online services meet the needs of customers — and support officers and processes.

See finalist Tewkesbury Council’s presentation at the App of the Year Awards





Officer time


customer communication

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