Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hello. I am Paul Barnard, a Chartered Town Planner and Member of the RTPI and CIH. My current position is Assistant Director for Strategic Planning & Infrastructure at Plymouth City Council.
What encouraged you to get involved in Planning Aid England?
I first got involved in Planning Aid in London in the late 1980s, helping out on development management caseload matters. It helped widen my knowledge and experience of planning from the perspective of local people, who I soon realised did not have the same access to quality planning advice as others involved in the planning system.
What kinds of activities have you been involved in so far?
I have been involved in development management, policy planning, neighbourhood planning and training issues, sometimes supporting events, sometimes making presentations and facilitating discussions. It's always good fun whatever you do!
How has your volunteering helped your professional development?
Volunteering reminds you about how important good planning is to local people
Volunteering reminds you about how important good planning is to local people and communities who may need help in navigating sometimes complex planning processes and issues. It's very rewarding when the advice and guidance you have given helps local people. There is not a single event I have been involved in when I have not learnt something myself.
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone thinking about volunteering?
You probably got into planning because it interested you, you wanted to change the future and because you wanted to make a difference for the local people. Volunteering enables you to help others and make that difference.
If you're interested in volunteering for Planning Aid England...
Please see our How to apply page.