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.

Local Government Association's Planning Aid concordat 2004

The Planning Aid service was started by the Town and Country Planning Association in 1973.  Although completely independent from local planning authorities (LPAs), the aim of this voluntary service is to complement the work that LPAs are doing.  Since it was launched, the service has worked hard to involve communities in the planning process.
Over the years, the planning process has become increasingly complex and has grown considerably in size.  More and more planning applications are submitted each year to local planning authorities.  Local communities face the challenge of navigating their way through the planning system, and many need independent advice and support to do this.

It has now been recognised that the Planning Aid service needs to evolve and grow in order to widen involvement in the planning process and to give an equal voice to everyone who is involved in planning. It is not just an advice service but provides training and educational activities.

The Local Government Association (LGA), the Planning Officers Society (POS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) have published a 'concordat' - an agreement - that demonstrates their joint commitment to developing and extending the Planning Aid service, and which invites local authorities to share that commitment through practical action.

If you are a community group or an individual who is interested in finding out more about Planning Aid, visit the RTPI website for more information or if you require assistance then contact the planning Advice helpline 0870 240 7552 or email

Last reviewed: 10 - 12 - 2010

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