London Development Database Automation Project


The London Development Database Automation Project will streamline how planning application data travels from applicants, through London’s 35 local planning authorities (LPAs), to City Hall, and out to the public:

Our ambition is to create a ‘live hub’ of planning and development information, accessible to all Londoners by reforming the information we collect and the way we collect it. We will request the data we need for monitoring up front, on the initial planning application. This data will pass seamlessly into authorities’ improved back-office systems, where planners will verify it, and then automatically out of those systems to City Hall and onto a public website.

This automation should reduce borough workloads, allowing data to travel easily between systems rather than requiring officers to manually populate the London Development Database (LDD) by locating information that’s buried in supporting documents, as often occurs now. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Local Digital Fund is supporting the project. You can read more about next steps and timelines here.

New Application Questions

Currently, planning applications do contain the vast majority of data required by City Hall to monitor the planning process and coming development, as well as for public use. However, this information is held in supplementary documents and text fields that make it difficult to locate. Instead, the information required for monitoring purposes will now be collected on planning applications in machine-readable fields to allow for automation.

City Hall provided London’s 35 Local Planning Authorities an opportunity to comment on our Draft Planning Data Standard—the consultation closed on 14 February 2019. We reviewed every comment sent by London's planning authorities and provided a response to each.

Following this process, we have produced a list of all the new questions that are needed to feed our new Planning London Datahub when it goes live. Planning Portal have already done the work to seamlessly incorporate these questions into the standard application form, ready to launch. You can download the list of questions using the button below.

We have also produced additional information for London’s Local Planning Authorities, including the requirements for back-office systems to connect into our database, accessible here.


Please contact us with any questions:

Peter Kemp, Planning Change Manager

[email protected]

Molly Strauss, Principal Policy and Programme Officer, Growth and Infrastructure

[email protected]

Input from Developers and Agents

We welcome the input of developers and agents on the new questions for London’s planning application. We are particularly keen to understand what questions would be difficult or not possible to answer at the point of submitting a planning application, and would be easier to answer at the planning permission stage. Please also let us know pieces of information you are particularly keen for us to collect from the list, in order for you to have better insight into development in London. If you would like to provide feedback please complete this form and email it to Simon Long before Christmas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit this page for FAQs on the project.

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