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Free planning advice and guidance

Planning Aid Direct

We maintain the Planning Aid Direct web resource which is free to use and provides:

  • answers to questions people often ask about planning
  • clear, simple explanations of how the planning system works
  • signposting on where to go next

Information is provided on all aspects of the planning system including national policy, plan making, the planning application process, enforcement and appeals.

Over 2000 visits are made to the website every month.

Advice Service

If, having looked at Planning Aid Direct, you still need help, our email Advice Service offers a limited amount of free, general planning advice ('limited' means up to 15 minutes' advice by email).

Our professionally qualified Planning Advisors are happy to answer enquiries on any planning-related issues in England. They respond to approx. 200 queries a month on a range of topics including how to comment on planning applications, the neighbourhood plan process, planning appeals and enforcement.

Our advice is professional and independent and is a key method to help people to engage in the planning process.

We aim to respond to enquries within 5 working days.

Please be aware that:

  • We don't provide pre-application advice about a specific site or planning application - you'll need to contact your local planning authority for this.
  • We don't provide free advice to other professionals (e.g. architects, surveyors) who may find it helpful to use the RTPI Directory of Planning Consultants to find a professional planner in their area.

How do I contact the Advice Service?