In a new community architecture initiative to be launched by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles later today, Open Source Architecture will allow speedy, guaranteed planning consents for planning applications which are deposited online in SketchUp, with drawings in a form that can be modified by consultees. The scheme as it stands at the close of the consultation period will proceed automatically to consent.
This is a natural heir to Open Source Planning, an idea popular in the Tory party before they got into power, whereby planning policy would be continuously updatable by interested citizens. Civil servants pointed out practical objections to this as a basis for government policy soon after the Coalition was elected, and we hadn't heard much more about it until now. But you can't keep a good idea down, and the new initiative has been hailed by commentators as an entirely logical consequence of the precepts of localism and neighbourhood planning.