Planning Advice - Planning Aid Services
What is Planning Aid?
Planning Aid is a voluntary service offering free, independent and professional advice on town planning matters to community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant. It aims to give people the confidence to help themselves and to become involved in planning issues.
If you are a member of the RTPI and would like to volunteer for Planning Aid click here for further information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Members of the public often have lots of questions about Planning Aid. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
How can Planning Aid help?
Planning Aid can help you to:
Is Planning Aid independent?
Yes. Planning Aid is not part of the Local Planning Authority. It is a separate service that complements the advice given by Local Planning Authorities.
How does Planning Aid work?
Each region of the UK is covered by a regional Planning Aid service. Planning Aid services in England (except Greater London) are run by the local Branches of the RTPI. In Greater London, Scotland and Wales they are run by independent charities. For further information see the planning aid contact list.
Planning Aid services have networks of volunteers who can work locally with clients. Every volunteer is an experienced, professional town planner.
If you qualify for Planning Aid you will be given advice over the telephone or you will be allocated a volunteer.
Who qualifies for Planning Aid?
Planning Aid is aimed at community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant. Planning Aid does not means test but it does apply a set of criteria to help determine whether someone qualifies for Planning Aid help.
What happens if I don't qualify for Planning Aid?
If your local Planning Aid service decides that you do not qualify for Planning Aid you will be sent a leaflet with details of planning consultants in your area.
Contacting your local Planning Aid service
Every part of the UK is covered by Planning Aid. Although the organisation of each service is different all services employ at least a part time paid member of staff to take enquiries and allocate cases to volunteers.
You can write to, telephone or e-mail your local Planning Aid service. For further information see the planning aid contact list.
What will happen with my enquiry?
If your enquiry is straightforward it may be possible to give you an answer straight away. If it is more complicated it will be passed to a volunteer who will contact you separately. The volunteer will advise you over the telephone, in writing or by a meeting, depending on the circumstances.
Will it cost anything?
Planning Aid is a free service, although donations are always welcome. You may also be asked to pay for maps, reports and other documents that are needed to help you with your case.
Where can I find further advice?
If Planning Aid cannot help because your enquiry falls outside the scope of Planning Aid you may be referred to another organisation. For further information see other useful organisations.
Examples of Planning Aid cases
Each year Planning Aid deals with several thousand cases. Based on examples of real cases a handy portfolio has been produced to show the range of help that Planning Aid can provide. For information on examples of cases see Planning Aid Portfolio. Contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Enquiry from Planning Aid pages for a copy.
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