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Update on the file size conundrum

by on May 16, 2012

You’ll recall I promised that we’d follow up on the issue of file size limits.

You’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that we have now sent out a link to an online survey requesting feedback from the LPA planning and technical community.

We’ll close the survey in a week and we’ll share the feedback asap.

13 Comments
  1. Some great work has been achieved in developing the planning portal since its early days when my former Practice was involved in initial beta work. Major stumbling block is file size and this really needs to be addressed. In this day and age there is no reason why this should be such a stumbling block.

  2. 10mb would be great for those big D&A statements and image based drawings.

  3. Grant Lock permalink

    It is simply not sustainable for LPAs to say they can’t accept attachments over 5mb when most email systems will accept 10mb.

    Also, I’m fed up with LPA’s saying they will not accept drawings over A3 size electronically as they don’t have the facilities to print them out. The Planning Portal is supposed to help sustainability by reducing the need for paper submissions.

    LPA’s need to get with the programme and upgrade their email systems and buy proper printers that are fit for purpose.

  4. Andrew Illingworth permalink

    The 5mb choke is a big time waster, fiddling around optimising and reducing file size creating duplicate copies, optimised set for LPA and Office set. (ok I know that isn’t a big issue). Most importantly though is the need for the LPA to then print out the drawing. Keep it entirely digital, the LPA can sign and annotate drawings and documents with notes on line with Acrobat, and circulate drawings as needed. Printing it out is just the step we should be avoiding.

  5. PortalDirector permalink

    To date almost 300 LPA staff from nearly 200 LAs have responded to the questionaire.
    Results coming soon.

  6. John Perry permalink

    Let’s get the nomenclature correct.

    5mb = 5 milli bits
    10MB = 10 mega bytes

    We should be taking about millions (Mega) Bytes (B).

  7. Chris Goodman permalink

    I have my doubts about the need for The Planning Portal, it seemingly being a rather superfluous layer of beaurocracy that, although introduced in all good faith, would have no detrimental effect if disbanded.

    • PortalDirector permalink

      Hi, whilst I am very happy to publish your view I hope you’ll not mind me responding.
      The first thing I’d like to challenge is that we add bureaucracy. The Portal merely facilitates submissions, we do not play any part in the decision process and use of the Portal is voluntary.
      If the Portal did not exist then 400 Lpas would have the hassle and cost of implementing local online services and applicants would have the not inconsiderable grief of learning and working with as many differing systems.
      For any business submitting to multiple authorities this would add cost and slow the submission process.

      • Planning Portal has my full support, (apart from file size) Chris Goodman doesn’t know what he is talking about!

      • Michael Hayes permalink

        I recently came across a Local Authority which still doesn’t accept applications from the Planning Portal. I don’t know how many others there are. Perhaps you can enlighten us?

        Anyway, it turned out to be a whole lot simpler than using the Planning Portal. Just fill in the form offline and then email it to the council with the drawings attached. No plodding tediously from one webpage to another displaying just one question from the form at a time. No convoluted system of uploading drawings.

        Also the last time I made an Appeal online (I don’t know if it’s been “improved” since then) I was just presented with a continuously scrolling version of the form. From a user’s perspective this is far more intuitive and indeed quicker than the Planning Portal approach.

        This is not anti the Portal, rather a plea to take your current improvements much further and faster.

  8. Hugh Lockhart-Ball permalink

    5MB encourages editing: i.e. to submit a 5 page document when otherwise a 50 page document would have been sent saying the same thing ten times over.

  9. David Wilkinson permalink

    Our LPA regularly used to “lose” applications and information sent in the post, particularly if it was contentious or they were understaffed, claiming they did not receive them. The Planning Portal has stopped all that nonsense. I also don’t have to spend hours printing off duplicate paper prints any more, although it appears that LPA’s still have to print drawings for consultations. What I don’t understand is why some authorities take perfectly good pdfs, print them badly then re-scan them before putting them on the website. Now that really is annoying!

Please leave a comment below but be aware of a few house rules: keep it polite, please don’t criticise any named individual or organisation (either private or public). However, you can say what you like about the Planning Portal as I’ll be happy to respond directly. Please note, all comments will be moderated before being published.

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