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How to join

The steps to your council becoming a member of Open Digital Planning

Decide if it's right for your council

Joining the project means accessing funding and committing resources to moving the software forward. In return, your council gets resilient, modern digital solutions, cost savings and reductions in errors and invalid applications.

1. Register your interest

If your council's considering joining the Open Digital Planning programme, then please register your interest to be kept up-to-date with the latest developments.

2. Sign up to the commitments

The next step will be to review the Open Digital Planning commitments.

These commitments are intended to capture your council's readiness for digital transformation. You are likely to already be doing many of these things in your council, but others may require updates to your processes.

Please see the full list of commitments.

3. Choose your level of involvement

When you join Open Digital Planning, your council team members take on a series of responsibilities. These relate to setting up the services in your council, supporting the day-to-day processing of applications using the services, and working with other councils to further develop the services.

Collaborative product development takes place through a structured set of project activities such as prioritisation, research, and testing sessions that take place on a two-week 'sprint' cycle.

Different team members contribute to different conversations and fulfil different functions within the project team. Based on their area of expertise, some people are heavily involved in the development of specific services and others provide specific planner or technical expert inputs, for example.

Partner councils choose a level of involvement in collaborative project activities, which may change over time. Funding is available to backfill council staff's time when contributing to this work.

Joining the Open Digital Planning community means being part of an online chat group (via Slack), and invited to sessions that are not public, including quarterly in-person events


As dedicated collaborators, your council staff take part in all aspects of the project and are part of product prioritisation and strategy decisions. Responsibilities are shared among several people in your project team, and are likely to amount to 2-4 staff (Full Time Equivalents) overall.


As contributors, your council staff take part in specific working group activities that relate to different parts of the services under development. Responsibilities are shared among people in your project team, and are likely to amount to 1-2 staff (Full Time Equivalents) overall.


As users, your council / council team members take part in user groups and research, testing and feedback activities that feed into product backlogs. Responsibilities are shared among a small number of people in your council, and are likely to amount to a maximum of 1 Full Time Equivalent staff member overall.

4. Apply for funding

The UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is making funding available in rounds, The next round is late 2022 - early 2023. Read more about funding.

Register your interest

Become a key part of Open Digital Planning by co-owning the services and contributing towards their development.

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