Website alerts residents to local building plans

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One day you pass that quaint row of shops in your neighbourhood only to discover it’s being demolished to make way for a parking lot. If only you’d known about the tear-down plans well enough in advance you could have lodged a protest. That’s where PlanningAlerts.com comes in. The UK startup functions as a targeted search engine, digitally scouring local government agencies’ online records for news of construction projects destined to affect the lives of local residents. Residents can sign up, enter a postal code and receive alerts by email. Result: if there’s a public meeting scheduled to discuss zoning changes in a nearby subdivision, users receive word of the meeting’s time and place. So far, the non-profit venture has sent out 21,686 alerts for 156 local authorities.

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