Getting help with planning
A wide range of advice is available to help you get involved in the planning system.
Getting advice from your Local Planning Authority
Your Local Planning Authority (LPA)is responsible for dealing with applications for planning permission in your area.
LPAs employ professional planners to advise them in preparing Development Plans for an area and making decisions on individual planning applications. These officers are an important source of local knowledge and advice and should be your first point of contact.
For enquiries relating to the LPA's Development Plan, officers can usually give advice on the following:
- development plan strategy
- how the plan will be prepared
- what stage they have reached in preparing the plan
- how you can make comments
The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website's planning pages where you can find out more.
Getting development control advice
Officers can usually offer advice on development control matters such as:
- the information required to submit a planning application
- understanding what is being proposed and how this affects you
- how the authority will deal with the application
- how you can make comments
Letters and publicity sent out by theLPA usually contain the name of a specific officer to contact in the first instance.
You should always remember that planning officers are employees of theLPA and this may limit the type or amount of help they can provide.
The Planning Portal website provides advice on planning matters in England and Wales. You can use the Planning Portal to:
- find out about planning in your area
- learn about planning permission and how it is granted
- apply for planning permission online
- make an online appeal against a decision
The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has a directory of over 1,000 planning consultancies offering the services of a Chartered Town Planner. These provide a range of paid-for planning related services such as:
- submission of planning applications
- appeals against refusal of permission
- representation on Development Plan at Local Plan Inquiries or Examinations in Public
- site appraisals and feasibility studies
- preparation of Development Briefs Master Plans
- research and report writing
Planning consultancies can offer a wide range of specialist skills, impartial advice and provide simple, effective explanations to planning situations. They can also act as a bridge between interested parties, helping to clarify concerns.
A searchable directory of planning consultants is available on the Royal Town Planning Institute website along with a guide on using consultants.
Planning Aid services
Planning Aid is a registered charity which provides free, independent and professional advice and support on planning issues to people and communities who cannot afford to hire a planning consultant.
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