This update has been cross-posted from our blog on the StreetFocus website.
StreetFocus is our project aiming to help communities benefit from new developments when they are proposed, and to help everyone find out more easily about proposals in their area.
Since last summer, we’ve been working hard to create the new StreetFocus website. We’re pleased to say that it’s now available, at www.streetfocus.uk.
The site is a ‘beta’ – ready to use, but may have some bugs!
With the site, we concentrated on two key aims, which arose from our research with decision-makers, organisations, officials, and local people:
- View planning applications – proposed new buildings and other changes – in your area and beyond.
- Matching ideas for community changes (crowdsourced from the public) with those planning applications that could fund them.
- Has a clear map of all planning applications nationally, updated daily.
- Enables you to filter by size of planning application, type, and status.
- Gives a clear summary for each application, and provides simple buttons to take you to the Council’s consultation page.
- Aims to pick out key documents automatically (currently limited to Design & Access Statement).
- Matches up large applications with potential S106 proposals, in the form of issues from a transport-based website, Cyclescape.
- [Available shortly] Enables you to monitor area(s) including setting filters. E.g. you might want to set a monitor for all of Cambridge with medium/large only, and a monitor for everything on your street for personal interest. (The user interface for this is done but it’s not yet sending out e-mails.)
- Is desktop and mobile -friendly!
Work to create the new site has been funded by Innovate UK, as well as a grant from South Cambridgeshire District Council. We’ve also been working with Leeds University, who are using the data in a new project looking at transport access to new developments.
Data for the site comes from our project partner, PlanIt – who have worked hard to make the data more reliable, to make it filterable, and to make the map display fast!
As the site is now available for people to try, we’re at the stage of seeking feedback. We’ll be contacting Local Authorities, community groups, and interest groups around the UK to get their thoughts on how the site will work for them, and what they’d like us to work on next.