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Supporting communities

How is Planning Aid England supporting communities engaged in neighbourhood planning?

PAE provides advice and volunteer support for neighbourhood planning groups in those areas ranked within the 30% most deprived in England as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation.  This work is led by Regional PAE Volunteer Task Groups.

Resources and support  

PAE has over 40 years of experience in working with communities to help them shape their local areas and have a meaningful say in the planning system. However, the

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neighbourhood planning powers offered under the Localism Act mean that communities have much more influence than they had previously as they write the policies rather than commenting on those that have been written by others.

From 2011-2015 PAE worked directly with over 270 neighbourhood planning groups to help them develop their neighbourhood plans as these case studies demonstrate.  

Since 2015, Locality has led the consortium responsible for delivering the government's neighbourhood planning support programme.  Neighbourhood planning groups can apply for grant funding to access professional planning advice via the MyCommunity website, which also contains a wealth of neighbourhood planning toolkits and resources.      

As part of this consortium PAE also produced a range of web-based tools and guidance templates as well as the bi-monthly neighbourhood planning newsletter UpFront. 

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These resources can be accessed via the Forum for Neighbourhood Planning.

Currently, PAE support for neighbourhood planning focuses on working with neighbourhood planning groups located in areas ranked within the 30% most deprived in England as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation.  This work is led by Regional PAE Volunteer Task Groups and focuses particularly on community engagement activities.

If you have a general query on neighbourhood planning you can email our national advice line at