Planning Resources on the Web
Getting involved in the planning process
The language and processes of planning can often seem remote, confusing, or, even worse, entirely impenetrable. This frequently serves to hamper community involvement in planning issues. The guide to useful links for planning resources on the web has been provided to signpost existing online resources that are proving useful in encouraging and assisting public involvement in land use planning. It is designed to be of practical use to help local archaeological, heritage, amenity and community groups, as well as interested individuals, understand how they can have a say about the way in which planning shapes or affects their local historic environment. Resources include information on the planning system, getting involved in planning issues, making an assessment of your neighbourhood, campaigning and raising that essential finance.
The Community Planning website contains much advice and information for community involvement in planning. Anyone considering getting involved in planning issues should read about the benefits of getting involved and how to get started. These pages contain a whole host of information relating to methodology and strategy as well as planning and checklists.
The Royal Town Planning Institute provides best practice Guidelines on effective community involvement and consultation which are of interest to all stakeholders.
The LSP Guide, published by Urban Forum and the Community Development Foundation, discusses the role of local strategic partnerships and is helpful for the involvement of voluntary and community groups.
ESRC Seminar Series Mapping the public policy landscape: individual pathways in participation (PDF, 675KB) discusses the pathways people take through participation and involvement, using case studies from north east London and Canada.
CABE has published Community-led spaces: a guide for local authorities and community groups Transfer of public space ownership and management from local authorities to community groups is on the rise. Local people want a greater say in how their local parks and public spaces are managed and, as budgets tighten, local authorities want to maximise the help that communities can offer. CABE’s guide tackles the issues involved in transferring ownership and management of public space from local authorities to community groups.
The SAVE action guide to running your own campaign to save an historic building includes advice on forming an action group, use of the media, getting a building spotlisted and establishing a trust.
Civic Voice is a good place to discover your nearest civic society, runs campaigns and is a good source of guidance and information about planning and local issues.
The Victorian Society finds this series of questions and tactics effective when mounting a local campaign.
CPRE and the Environmental Law Foundation have published a new guide entitled, Plan B: How to challenge bad developments in court. The publication is a short guide to how and when you can challenge planning decisions in the courts.
The value of the historic environment
The English Heritage document Conservation principles, policies and guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment (PDF 316.65KB) is a value-based approach to the management of the historic environment, taking account of the diverse ways in which people value the historic environment as part of their cultural and natural heritage.
London Historic Environment Forum’s Capital Values: the contribution of the historic environment to London published by English Heritage, shows how the historic environment contributes to the London economy, community and environment and indicates how partnerships can maximise the potential of the local historic environment.
The work of Common Ground is about encouraging people to value their everyday surroundings and to stand up for them. It gives several resources explaining Parish Maps, which are rather different from ‘usual’ maps shaped by surveying, measuring, fact gathering, analysis and policy-making. Parish Maps aim to highlight the very things which make a place significant to people who know it well rather than the purely physical characteristics. The medium can help people to chart what they value locally, to make their voice heard amongst professionals and developers and to begin to take action and some control in the decisions being made about their place.
Assessment of place
Urban Design Alliance To get the right answers, ask the right questions – arm yourself with a placecheck: a user’s guide. Readers may find this document useful to help assess the qualities of a place, ‘showing what improvements are needed, and focusing people on working together to achieve them’.
If you cannot afford a professional adviser, the Planning Aid website gives advice on listed buildings, conservation areas and other heritage matters. Also to be found on the website is a range of community planning events which deliver training and education on design and conservation issues, including place-checks, involvement in conservation area appraisals and training for volunteers on heritage regeneration.
The Planning Portal website offers a one-stop-shop for planning and building services for the general public including planning permission, building regulations and appeals as well as contact details and links to local authorities.
It is possible to search for the schedules of specific local authority planning documents from the Local Development Framework database search page.
Urban Planning’s Handy Guide to Planning is a good introduction to the planning system.
More detailed information on the planning system can be found in Planning Aid’s Planning Information Pack – a series of individual leaflets with in-depth information.
Practical information from the Campaign to Protect Rural England for those who want to influence the development of their local region, stop or improve a bad development or read the latest planning news.
Finance, funding and fundraising
The CBA has produced a list of funding opportunities.
The Finance Hub is a source of useful information:
- Introducing Funding and Finance - choose either the pocket sized guide or a more comprehensive pack of information accessed from
- A directory of existing funding sources including national and regional offices of funding bodies, government and agencies and links to websites
- A guide to fund-raising
the Heritage Alliance’s funding directory is a user-friendly online database of UK funding sources for heritage and the historic environment.
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