News that new-build properties have hit an eight-year high is reassuring for everyone involved in the building industry, from those designing and planning homes to those authorising and building them. House Building: December 2015 reports show more than 143,500 new-build homes were started up to December, a 91% increase on June 2009. Completions have also hit a seven-year high, which is not only encouraging for homebuyers but is a fine reflection of building industry growth as a whole. Moreover, the latest Housing Pipeline report from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) indicates that planning permission for 59,875 homes was granted in England during the third quarter of last year. This is up from 53,409 permissions during the equivalent period the previous year.
Building control is one of many aspects of the industry buoyed by these promising figures. Increased efficiency from new technology such as iApply, the UK’s first combined online planning and building control submissions service, helps to keep track of these rapid developments. Created by Idox, iApply has been designed to bring greater flexibility, transparency and interactivity to the planning and building control submissions process.
It enables submissions for both planning and building control applications to be managed through a cloud-based mobile-friendly single source. Data can be shared between applications and this new platform also affords the ability to authorise others to add drawings and make payments. iApply provides automatic notifications of changes in status which brings fluidity to the process, and results in increased time-saving on the part of both applicants and local authorities.
North Yorkshire Building Control Partnership (NYBCP), the first Local Authority Building Control Partnership in the UK, was one of the local authorities involved in the iApply pilot project and has since become one of iApply’s early adopters. The partnership provides a flexible and modern building control service on behalf of Hambleton, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby councils.
Les Chapman, Head of Building Control at NYBCP, explains why he favours iApply’s new approach. “We have been working with Idox since 2012 and the company has already helped us streamline our online service. The introduction of iApply seemed like an obvious next step and we were keen to be involved in the initial pilot, as it gave us the opportunity to ensure that it would work effectively for our customers. One of the things that has made iApply such an attractive proposition is how simple and intuitive the product is to use. The fact that our applicants can use iApply to collaborate with others involved in the project – from the architect to the client – is also a major benefit, as is the ability to pay online. In addition, iApply will help us become more efficient and our aim is to be able to turn building notices around within one day.”
For further information on iApply, please visit www.iapply.co.uk or watch the introductory video highlighting just some of the major advantages of investing in the service https://iapply.co.uk/lgdp/#why