PlanningAlerts.com is perhaps more in the “Web 2.0” category of sites these days. Built by Richard Pope and Mikel Maron, it “screen scrapes” (uses intelligent agents to go and collect information that otherwise wouldn’t be made available to other websites) from local authority planning websites and emails you details of applications to people based on postcode. The aim of this is to enable shared scrutiny of what is being built (and knocked down) in people’s communities. Now, to be fair a lot of local authorities have got their act together recently and are able to provided syndicated RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds of this kind of information. However, planning is still a complex business and services like PlanningAlerts.com are useful for continuing to open up the sprawling morass of local government activities.