Unique planning software developed for Harrogate Borough Council is to become a new source of revenue after a decision was made to licence it to other authorities through a single supplier.
Approval was given last month to appoint the unnamed developers of the Local Plan Database System as the single suppliers of the software which helps calculate the borough’s five year land supply and monitors details of planning sites.
No other database is currently available on the market and the software is claimed by the council to be an improvement in managing this kind of information.
A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) said: “HBC has taken the decision to maximise the commercial opportunities that this system brings by seeking to licence it to other local authorities.
“The software developer who created the system is the only the organisation which has the intrinsic knowledge of the product required to act on the council’s behalf in terms of selling the product, tailoring of the product to suit other planning authorities’ needs, and managing and supporting these contracts.
“Due to these exceptional circumstances, we believe it is in the best interests of the council to enter into a single supplier agreement with the developer of the Local Plan Database System.”
The decision to approve a supplier was made after another local council expressed interest in purchasing a license, according to council documents the alternative options would have resulted in potential revenue being lost.
Council documents read: “... The Local Plan team neither have the current capacity or skill set to enable the activity to be undertaken efficiently and as such it would mean the Council’s ability to maximise the potential income growth would be slowed unnecessarily or lost entirely.”