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IT Consultation systems for LDFs

Former Member, modified 14 Years ago.

IT Consultation systems for LDFs

Hello - I have a general query about providers of systems to help Councils consult and produce LDF documents. Other than Limehouse, does anyone know of IT companies/software providers out there who have a system that allows councils to produce and consult on their LDF documents? Many thanks.
Andy Hill, modified 14 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

New Member Posts: 11 Join Date: 20/10/11 Recent Posts
There are other providers offering something similar - Inovem, JDi and A Recipe for Success are some I've come across. I'm currently looking at acquiring consultation software, so would appreciate some feedback from users of these.
Former Member, modified 14 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

Hi Andy many thanks for that - i contacted the Planning Portal who have a list of 'accredited LDF suppliers' and they list 4 on their website: https://www.planningportal.gov.uk/england/government/lpas/workwithus/lpa33ldfaccreditation A Recipe for Success Blue Fox Technology Ltd Limehouse Software iNovem and yes, it would also be useful to know if others are using the other three (apart from limehouse) and their experience. many thanks.
Rhian Williams, modified 10 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

New Member Posts: 6 Join Date: 19/10/11 Recent Posts

This is a very old thread to be re-visiting but I am keen to know what software people are using now. We have been using Limehouse/Objective since around 2006 and have been mainly happy with the results but given budget pressures I've been asked to look at alternatives. The publishing side is important to us as we avoid the costs of more in-depth corporate design work on every document - most of the software I've looked at seems to cover the consultation quite well but can anyone reccomend alternative providers more focussed on the publishing side? Has anyone compared prices lately and has anyone got experience of switching from one system to another?

Former Member, modified 14 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

Northamptonshire County Council have been using the iNovem system for some time now and we have used the system to consult on our MWDF. We have found the iNovem system saves a large number of man hours and speeds up the whole consultation process. iNovem themselves were a brilliant company to work with, they understand the planning system and the requirements we have, and were willing to offer advice and assistance throughout us setting up programme. They provide a forum where all the users can communicate and discuss any issues and potential improvement in the way the system works. I an looking forward to our upgrade which will save even more time, and which has only been delayed due to issues with our own internal computer systems.
Former Member, modified 14 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

Hello Thanet District Council have been using Inovem for about 4 years now. We have carried out some minor consultations and, more recently a major consultation on our Core Strategy. The system seems to be doing everything we expect so far, though we haven't used it yet through an EIP process which I imagine will be the real test. Inovem have been really helpful for all of our consultations and have always been at the end of a phone/email/client forum to help with our numerous queries whilst preparing and running consultations. We've also had a couple of upgrades since we bought the software and have found that some of the areas we have had problems with have been addressed in the newer versions. Inovem are also efficient in adapting/developing the system to keep up to date with any new guidance/legislation.
Former Member, modified 13 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

We went through a selection process a few years ago and settled on Jdi Solutions. Their offer is incredibly good value for money compared to most other providers of LDF software. You can't get a 'Print Ready' document like with Limehouse - but that is not something that we needed. JDi are a small company and have a very good customer service. Please bear in mind these things though when considering LDF software: 1. Parsol XML Schema / Portal Accreditation is not the be all and end all. This schema was created way before anyone really knew what LDF is all about imo and it is not essential for a software supplier to have in order to provide you with a good system. 2. Don't be fooled into thinking this will solve all your consultation headaches - it may make them worse (e.g. more people submitting comments). It is still just as much about how you physically manage consultations. 3. Be aware of annual renewal fees and whether they will be affordable in the next few years especially given the proposed cuts.
Former Member, modified 13 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

Hi Liz We went through a selection process on this last year and chose Swift LG to provide our on-line consultation system. We have not used the system in anger yet but we have had a few teething problems and some feedback from a recent consultation was that some users found it a bit difficult to use. We are working with Swift to iron out any bugs before our pre submission consultation later this year. They are a small company and have been very keen deliver a working system. I would echo the comments about such systems adding to your consultation headaches in some ways. For instance to make every response visible on-line you will have to scan all paper responses in which can add up to a lot of man hours. Also you may need a lot of IT support to get the system up and running. Good luck.
Former Member, modified 13 Years ago.

Re: IT Consultation systems for LDFs

Thank you all for your comments, they are really helpful......Liz.
Former Member, modified 10 Years ago.

IT Consultation systems for LDFs

On  a related  subject has anyone used the Uniform LDF  module  for their LDF/Local Plan consultation? Our authority is having a quick look at it - but has not yet found any authorities that are using it.

 

 

Adam Reddish, modified 10 Years ago.

IT Consultation systems for LDFs

New Member Posts: 10 Join Date: 20/10/11 Recent Posts

Found this thread useful and relevant so thanks to all contributors for their thoughts on potential substitutes for Limehouse/Objective.  I'd be very keen to know whether any LPA has gone that extra step and developed a module 'in-house' that can handle both consultation and publishing tasks?

We are planning for a post-Limehouse existence and with budgetary considerations as relevant as ever, wondered if a Planning Policy section had worked with ICT colleagues to create a bespoke program and avoid the need to go external and purchase more high profile 'off-the-shelf' software?

ldf