The Planning Portal
The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) owns the planning portal - the main website used by all local authorities to deal with planning applications and appeals: www.planningportal.gov.uk
We advised CLG on this project, assisting the planning inspectorate in appointing a service provider to develop, support and maintain the website. We worked with them on the tender process, drafted and negotiated the final contract with IBM, the successful tenderer, and when CLG retendered the contract, we again advised throughout the procurement process
We continue to support the Planning Portal project, advising on commercial matters relating to a range of issues, such as the sale of maps of third parties through the website, audit rights, trademarks and branding, and the e-consultation hub which enables all planning applications and appeals to be sent electronically to consultants.
Tamar Science Park
We have been actively involved throughout the lifecycle of this prestigious and strategically important innovation facility. We advised on the governance structures for Tamar Science Park Ltd and, on a review of the constitution, drafted the funding and collaboration agreements with University of Plymouth and Plymouth City Council and were involved with the variation of the grant funding agreement with the South West RDA.
We worked with Tamar Science Park and its other advisors on all matters connected with the building programme, including planning agreements, as well as freehold and leasehold agreements. We continue to provide support through cost-effective solutions for the commercial operation. We prepared a bespoke standard form of tenancy agreement and advise on routine lease management issues, employment issues and commercial disputes including debt collection.
Southwest One Contract
We have been advising Somerset County Council on a suite of complex amendments to its existing innovative shared services arrangements with a service provider which is majority-owned by IBM UK Limited. This project also involves Taunton Deane Borough Council and Avon and Somerset Police Authority.
Our work has so far centred on reviewing and proposing drafting to implement the agreed commercial position across a highly sophisticated set of inter-related contract documents, advising on the practical and legal impact of the proposed changes, and preparing briefing reports on key issues for the benefit of the Council’s internal stakeholders.
The work entailed by this stage of the contract review was successfully delivered against an extremely aggressive timetable and enabled the Council to move forward with greater certainty and with an enhanced ability to realise genuine efficiencies.