Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis confirmed on 19 January 2015 that business support company Terraquest, part of Mears Group, is the preferred bidder to take over the running of the Planning Portal. Mr Lewis said the move would increase investment in the Portal service and ensure it continues to deliver a high quality service for years to come.
A better planning system
The Planning Portal is an online, one-stop shop for processing planning applications, with more than 85% of applications in England and Wales now going through that system. The government announced last year that it was open to investment from a commercial partner who could continue to develop the service. After a competitive tendering process, TerraQuest has been chosen as the preferred bidder. As part of their bid, TerraQuest will now look to form a new company with the government which will take on the management and delivery of the Planning Portal from early this year. The current Portal will remain while the new service is developed.
Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: "More than 85% of planning applications are being submitted through the Planning Portal - it was essential that we found a way to secure its long-term future. So I’m pleased that TerraQuest has been appointed as the preferred bidder to take over the running of the Planning Portal to build the business further and ensure it continues to play a vital role in the planning system for years to come."
Geoff Keal, Managing Director of TerraQuest, said: "We are thrilled to have been identified as DCLG’s preferred Joint Venture partner in relation to the Planning Portal, and are very excited about taking the Portal to the next level."