Dorset Council’s planning portal will be unavailable later this month as a project to transform the system continues.

Over the last year the council has been working to pull together the six former district, borough and county councils planning functions together.

Transferring the data onto the new system will be phased. The first phase is the former North Dorset area. This will happen from September 24 to 28. Next will be the former West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland, then former East Dorset and Purbeck and finally the former Dorset County Council area.

During the time of transfer there will be no access to the information online and no ability to add comments. Any consultation deadlines that will fall during this time will automatically be extended by four days.

When all the information has been transferred in early 2021, Dorset Council says the benefits will include more efficient processing of applications, and consistent information available to customers.

Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council portfolio for planning, said: “This is a huge achievement for the council. By bringing all planning services into one team and one system, we can make sure that there is a consistency of approach across Dorset.

“But please bear with us, this is a huge task and we will continue to improve our services.”