CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council have launched a new feature on their website, which allows users to search an interactive map for planning applications in the revised Local Development Plan (LDP).

Llanelli Online took a look at the feature and here are our observations.

Firstly there is no obvious, prominent position for the facility. You have to go through a number of steps to get there. We are familiar with the website but for anyone unfamiliar with the site it would be difficult to find.

When you do get to the map you click on it and get some planning application numbers, which when clicked take you back to where you started.

To comment you have to register and the form is quite long winded. This could be solved by a simple ‘captcha’.

Our experience of trying to use the facility was frustrating to say the least.

We contacted Carmarthenshire county council and asked:

How much time went in to putting this facility together?

How much did it cost?

Would you concede that it is not easy to extract the information or that it might be difficult for elderly people?

Will you be taking note of any comments and adjusting the interactive facility?

We also sent this screencast of our experience of using the facility.

Head of planning Llinos Quelch said: “This is a new approach allowing anyone interested to view the sites submitted via an interactive map, and has been developed based on feedback from consultees to open it to a wider audience than traditional methods. We are working to enhance how users can navigate to the maps and improvements to address any issues raised, and are happy to receive feedback. Should anyone have any queries or requires assistance, our staff will be pleased to help. We have, in order to provide greater opportunity to participate, also provided an extended consultation period in excess of the six weeks required.”

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