The webpages are part of the council’s drive to make its decision-making process more transparent and to improve services for customers.
“This new search facility will make it far easier for residents to find out about planning applications in their neighbourhood,” said Cllr Brian Wilcox, the council’s cabinet member for environment, housing and planning.
“All of the applications we receive will now be put on the website within 24 hours of them being registered together with the full working file containing plans and drawings together with comments from interested parties.
“The site will also allow people to use a number of search options for planning applications, for example by parish, ward or town as well as find specific types of schemes such as supermarkets or conservatories,” he added.
Visitors to the site will also see on-going documentation relating to applications such as maps, letters from interested parties and planning officer reports on the scheme and reasons for decisions being made.
Another feature is that people who wish to have a say on a planning application can submit their own comments online, saving them having to write and post a letter or an e-mail.
“A new mapping system will also be introduced shortly which not only plots the site of the planning application being viewed but also lets people see the planning history of other sites nearby. This feature may also prove useful to people seeking to buy or sell homes in the area,” said Cllr Wilcox.
“We want our residents to be kept as well informed as possible about planning applications as they can often have a major impact on their lives and this new search facility will allow them to see how a plan progresses from submission through to determination.
“It will also be much easier for people to have their own say on planning applications they feel strongly about whether they log on in their own homes or at one of the council’s customer service centres,” he added.
To use the service go to www.herefordshire.gov.uk/searchplanningapplications. A step-by-step guide to using the search can be found on the opening page.
Visitors to the site will be able to search for planning applications and decisions made by the council since 1 April 1999.
For planning applications received since 25 November 2005, site visitors will be able to view all of the application details including form, plans, supporting information and decision.
To view the full details for an earlier application, please submit a specific request to one of the council’s customer service centres, which can be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/customerservices