This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best possible experience. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this. You can find out more about how we use cookies here. If you would like to know more about cookies, or how you can delete them, click here.


How can Planning Aid England help?

Planning Aid England can help you to:

  • Understand how the planning system works
  • Comment on planning proposals
  • Get involved in the preparation of Development Plans
  • Draw up your own community plan or strategy
  • Apply for planning permission or appeal against the refusal of permission

What can Planning Aid England not do?

Advice and help can only be given on planning matters. Planning Aid England cannot provide help with the following subjects:

  • Building regulation approvals
  • Drawing plans
  • Valuation work
  • Structural surveys and site investigation work

If your enquiry falls outside the scope of the Planning Aid England service you may be referred to another organisation.

Who funds Planning Aid England?

Planning Aid England's general planning advice service is funded by the RTPI. Planning Aid England is also part of a consortium led by Locality, which is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government to support neighbourhood planning groups.

Is Planning Aid England independent?

Yes. Planning Aid England is completely separate from central or local government. It provides completely independent and impartial planning advice.

How does Planning Aid England work?

Planning Aid England is run by the RTPI, which is a registered charity.

Who volunteers for Planning Aid England?

There are about 1,000 Planning Aid England volunteers in England, about half of whom are chartered members of the RTPI. Most volunteers are in full time employment and work in local government, private practice or in academia.

Every volunteer who gives advice is an experienced, professional town planner. Volunteers are indemnified (insured) for the advice they give. Volunteers working in local government cannot give advice in their authority's area and volunteers in private practice cannot give advice where there is a conflict with their work.

Who qualifies for Planning Aid England support?

Our Advice Service offers a limited amount of free, general planning advice. (As a guide, "limited" means up to 15 mins advice by phone or email). Further support is aimed at disadvantaged groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant.

What happens if I don't qualify for further support?

Our Planning Advisors will refer you to the online Directory of Planning Consultants, or refer you to other relevant professionals or advice services. 

How can I contact Planning Aid England?

If you need planning advice, email us at or phone 0330 123 9244. For other enquiries, can call Planning Aid England on 0203 206 1880 or email

Is the service completely free?

Yes. Planning Aid England is a completely free service (although donations are always welcome to keep the service going). You may be asked to pay for maps, reports and other documents that are needed to help you with your case.