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PlanApps: Innovating with the Mayor of London

The Mayor of London made a commitment to make the most of interactive technology to further involve local communities in the planning decisions. Commonplace and the Greater London Authority (GLA) Planning and Regeneration team have been working on a solution to: 

  • Be more engaging.
  • Be more transparent.
  • Provide a clear path to the information Londoners need.
  • Get more Londoners involved andgive them a stronger voice on the city’s future.

GLA London PlanApps

By the community having a better understanding of the planning process, we can build trust and transparency and involve a wider cross-section of Londoners to build a better London for everyone. 

The opportunity to work together to redesign how major planning applications are consulted with the Mayor of London has been exciting and daunting in equal measure. Central to this innovative project was the belief that all Londoners should be able to easily find information about any potential major development and “have their say.” 75% of all Commonplace users come via tablet and phone, meaning platforms that improve access through these devices are critical for community engagement. 

PlanApps offers information on planning applications at a glance. It allows users, who may not be aware of the complexity of the planning process, to understand what is proposed in their area You can view: 


  • Where the site is on an interactive map.
  • A photograph of the proposed development.
  • Headline facts in a useful summary.
  • The timeline and next steps for the decision that is being made.
  • Clear directions on what to do to engage and comment on an application. 


Check out the Commonplace

Londoners can sign up for alerts to be informed of new applications or how an application is progressing. Any part of an application can be shared with family, friends or colleagues via WhatsApp, Facebook, X, Threads etc. which helps communities feel empowered. 

Undertaking an innovation project requires discipline, patience and a willingness to change. More importantly, it is the opportunity to put the needs of your users at the heart of your business process. The GLA team worked closely with Commonplace to make the user experience as rich, intuitive and seamless as possible: from ensuring the fullness of the site’s accessibility to condensing the Mayor’s planning processes and removing as much of the Planning jargon as possible. 

Behind the scenes, the developers and planners had the painstaking task of creating a multitude of protocols which could retrieve applications with complex planning naming conventions and present them on a navigational map alongside the other live major applications in an uncomplicated and user-friendly way. 

GLA London PlanApps

And the best bit! Anyone can sign up for news about any application on the Mayor of London PlanApps site. This means that they are kept informed on any / every change or development as it happens. 

This project is a landmark for several reasons, but most of all because of what it means for the industry. The GLA is the first planning authority to fully integrate different systems for their back office, to their customer interface. This means that there is no manual intervention in any process and they operate seamlessly.It also means the start of a new market for user experience in planning as either system can be swapped out as new and more innovative products come to the market, and the mapping of data and techniques means that we get to be the start of this exciting revolution.


By using interactive technology, the launch of PlanApps is the start of providing a platform where Londoners can better understand and engage in what is happening in their city. They’ll be informed, educated and better involved in decisions shaping the future of London.


Londoners can now have their say in an easier and simpler way. 

GLA London PlanApps

Special thanks to Peter Kemp, Joe Wilkinson, Simon Long and the whole team from us at Commonplace for making this a uniquely rewarding experience.

Find out more about PlanApps