Customer success

Transforming planning applications with digital

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

Customer communication
Tracking of planning applications
Officer time


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

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, Tewkesbury Borough Council

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 outside 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


Automated updates

Using low-code, powered by Liberty Create, the team created an easy-to-use tracker that displays application progress in real time. Linked with their in-house back office system, key planning dates are automatically incorporated into the application progress bar — highlighting the relevant process stage in real time. Customers can also easily search for applications using a unique reference number, parish or address, with results displayed as a list and on a map.

Proactive customer communication

Customers and interested parties can subscribe for updates and receive automated texts or emails when the planning application is updated. Links to the Public Access site signpost customers to plans and provide useful information about the planning process. Liberty Create also supports custom-branded emails sent via the planning application tracker. The result: proactive customer communication and an improved user experience.

Saving officer time

Answering calls requesting updates takes up a significant amount of officer time, resulting in delays in decision-making. The new system provides automated updates which help reduce unnecessary contact to the planning team, whilst keeping the customer better informed throughout the planning application process. This means officers can focus on more complex enquiries.

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.

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 styled in a way that fits into our website and other self-service offerings.


  • 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
Tewkesbury’s steps to transformation

Learn more about how they are bringing benefits for the customer, the business and the environment with low-code.

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