MHCLG Local Digital Fund project

A user-centred Back-office Planning System (BoPS) for local authorities

Back-office Planning System (BoPS) is an open, collaborative local authority project funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MCHLG) Local Digital Fund, and led by Southwark Council & Partners.

BoPS is currently undergoing private beta testing using Lawful Development Certificate applications received via RIPA. If you are an applicant or agent who would like to make an application using RIPA, you can
register your interest in participating in testing this new service. 

You can also find out more about both projects on the Gov.UK website.  

For an idea of where we currently are with the BoPS project, please watch our latest show and tell presentation below:

You can also watch a full end to end demo of the application process on RIPA through to the issue of a decision notice on BoPS below:  

Our aim

The project aim is to create a user-centred back-office town planning system that uses accurate, up-to-date records and data to increase efficiency across the planning application process and satisfy the needs of end users (Planning Officers).

This aim is broken down into three objectives:

  1. Develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for assessing lawful development certificates, householder applications, and minor planning applications
  2. Develop Application Programming Interfaces (API) which allow alignment with existing systems and emerging systems including the Reducing Invalid Planning Applications (RIPA) application system
  3. Promote widespread interest and adoption of BoPS by other local planning authorities through continuous engagement and promotion of the product

Project timeline
  • January - March 2019: discovery phase delivered
  • October - December 2019: alpha phase delivered
  • March - August 2020: beta phase 1 delivered (Permitted Development)
  • January to April 2021: beta phase 2 delivered (Lawful Development Certificate MVP)
  • April 2021 - now: private beta Lawful Development Certificate MVP

Project partners

Delivery partner



A user-centred Back-office Planning System (BoPS) for local authorities

BoPS is a collaborative local authority project, funded by the MHCLG Local Digital Fund and led by Southwark Council & Partners.

  1. About the project
  2. Project background
  3. Our approach
  4. User research
  5. Discovery phase
  6. Alpha phase
  7. Beta phase
  8. Weeknotes and sprint notes

If you are part of a local authority team or an interested party and would like to find out more about contributing, collaborating and/or our approach, please get in touch:

Project contact

Tom Buttrick, Southwark Council

Project partners

Social media