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PR 32 - RTPI welcomes Government Planning Aid funding

02 June 2008

The Royal Town Planning Institute has welcomed the Government's £11.8 million, three year commitment to support the work of Planning Aid.

The new funding for 2008-2011, which was announced today by Communities and Local Government Secretary, Hazel Blears, will give a huge boost to the work of Planning Aid in empowering local people to influence the planning system and shape their neighbourhoods and communities. The money will be used to fund additional staff and activities so that greater assistance can be given to small charities, voluntary and community groups, tenants' organisations with limited funds and social enterprises, as well as eligible individuals. This means that more people will be able to benefit from the free, independent and impartial advice and support currently offered by Planning Aid. Clients are helped to comment on issues such as regeneration and housing proposals and how to make representations on planning applications and to appear themselves at inquiries. Planning Aid also conducts a number of community planning events.

RTPI Director of Policy, Rynd Smith, said: \"We are delighted the Government has committed itself to support the ongoing development of this vital service. Last year Planning Aid offered expert advice to 31,000 individuals and more than 1,100 organisations and today's funding announcement means it will be able to provide advice and support to even more people who would normally be excluded from the planning system.\"

Dave Chetwyn, Head of Planning Aid England, said: \"Planning Aid is extremely effective at empowering local communities and helping them have a real influence over the development of their areas. The excellent news on funding will allow us to expand our work and give even greater numbers of people a say.

\"The funding we get from government means we can help more people, empowering them to influence planning decisions. Planning Aid is completely independent and impartial and aims to help people to understand the planning system so they can put their views forward.\"

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479 dale.atkinson@rtpi.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

Details of today's announcement can be found here

  • Planning Aid complements the work of local authorities but is wholly independent of them. London and each English region has its own Planning Aid service, sponsored by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and coordinated by Planning Aid England and Planning Aid for London. Each year support is provided nationally to over 1,100 organisations and support has been provided to 31,000 individuals.
  • Planning Aid assistance is provided in two main ways. Casework – by providing help and advice to groups and individuals on a wide range of specific planning issues. Community Planning – by giving training, support and information to help local community groups play an active part in planning their own areas. Further information is available at: www.planningaid.rtpi.org.uk
  • The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space.  Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.


For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk 14 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865. Charity registered in Scotland: SC 03784