Review to leverage planning and housing location data

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The Geospatial Commission has launched a new independent review to identify the challenges and opportunities for leveraging planning and housing location data

Whether you are an individual searching for your new home, a developer preparing a planning application or a government official updating a local plan, planning and housing location data plays a crucial role in addressing the national challenge of providing housing that meets different needs.

We know that location data alone cannot tackle this, but data innovation across housing and planning could have the potential to help build more houses where people want them.

The Geospatial Commission has published an independent ‘Planning and Housing Landscape Review’ to take stock of how relevant housing location data is currently being accessed and used, and whether more can be done to unlock greater insights and economic value for the UK.

The report identifies where the challenges and opportunities are for better leveraging geospatial data and also outlines what current and forthcoming geospatial initiatives participants of the review were aware of.

The cross-sector (government, private and third sector) challenges highlighted in the review are related to findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability of data and data standards.

The review also highlights the challenges associated with upskilling, recruiting and retaining staff with the necessary Geographic Information Systems (GIS) experience, as well as programming and data science skills, especially among local authorities.

Overcoming the data issues evidenced in the review will require action by a wide range of organisations.

‘Making data more easily available’

Thalia Baldwin, Geospatial Commission director, said: “Location data is critically important to those operating within the planning and housing sectors.

“We have published this review of the housing location data landscape to help make it easier to understand what is happening in this complex area.

“The Geospatial Commission will be working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Homes England, HM Land Registry and across the housing and planning sector to consider our collective priorities for location data improvement.”

Andrew Trigg, director of digital, data and technology at HM Land Registry, added: “Maintaining and releasing land and property data is an important part of HM Land Registry’s work, and we see first-hand the role this data plays in every aspect of our work, from supporting conveyancing to enabling new and emerging applications.

“This report recognises the value and potential of making data more easily available at both the local and national level, and HMLR supports efforts to make data more findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

“We’re excited to continue our work to grow and enhance freely available data to further strengthen its impact on the wider economy.”

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