Press release: Boost of Planning Aid for London to help people influence planning

Town planning support charity Planning Aid for London (PAL) is set to expand its services through a new project in partnership with the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). The three-year project, funded by Trust for London, will enable a programme of activities to help underrepresented people and communities influence planning across London.

London’s landscape is rapidly changing as new housing, offices, workplaces and transport lines are erected across the city. Naturally, people want to have a say in how their neighbourhoods change. But many communities in London face multiple barriers to engaging in the planning system and feel disempowered to meaningfully influence decisions in their local area.

PAL is expanding its services to offer much needed free advice and training to join various other groups and networks in meeting this demand, which will help realise a more democratic and inclusive future for London. The exciting three-year programme will be delivered by a volunteering network of qualified planners and legal specialists together with the TCPA. PAL will launch a new website with an online hub bringing together existing and new resources for people on planning, work in partnership with community groups to offer detailed casework support and seek to closely collaborate with other organisations across London to deliver planning aid services for everyone.

Planning Aid for London Trustee Jon Barker said:

This is an exciting new chapter for PAL and comes at a pivotal time for planning in London. The planning system plays a significant role in reducing inequalities and increasing economic and social inclusion, but only when communities are fully involved in the process. With support from the TCPA, we look forward to working with other planning organisations, communities and individuals from across London to provide support to those most in need

 Chief Executive of the TCPA, Fiona Howie, added:

The TCPA has a long history with PAL and we are delighted to be working with them as part of this project to help disadvantaged communities in London participate in planning. This project will help address some of the urgent gaps highlighted in our recent research on planning for inclusive communities in London and provide essential support and resources for those communities and individuals who are too often excluded from the decisions that affect them.”

PAL is seeking new Trustees and volunteers to help support its boost. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Koen Rutten at [email protected] To use PAL’s planning advice service and make an enquiry, get advice here.

Notes to editors:

About Planning Aid for London

Planning Aid for London (PAL) is an independent charity that offers planning advice to those who would otherwise not be able to afford professional help. PAL’s advice and support on town planning matters is free, independent and professional. PAL has been providing training and support to communities and individuals across London for over forty years. The advice provided clearly reflects the current planning system in London but is not part of local or central government nor developer influenced. PAL works with individuals and communities all over London to help them with make change in their neighbourhoods and areas.  Follow PAL on Twitter @Planaidlondon to keep up to date with PAL’s activities and keep an eye out for the new resources which are soon to be made available on PAL’s website

About the Town and Country Planning Association

The Town and Country Planning Association is a charity that challenges, inspires and helps people create and transform communities so that everyone lives in a socially just, healthy, resilient and natural environment. The Planning Aid movement is engrained in the TCPA’s history, as part of our work to support people to make planning work in their areas. In 2019, the TCPA published the report London – Planning for a Just City, which called for a refocus of the planning system to place social justice at its core and highlighted the need for more free professional support and advice services for communities.

About Trust for London

Trust for London is an independent charitable foundation that aims to tackle poverty and inequality in London by funding voluntary and charity groups, funding independent research and providing knowledge and expertise to policymakers.

Contact details:

For further details about the project, please contact: Koen Rutten, Project Manager, at [email protected] or on +44 20 8132 5477.

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