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January 30, 2013

Planners on tap

Ask any property developer what the biggest constraint is on their business, and it’s a fair bet the planning system will figure near the top of any list. As more and more communities become involved as ‘local developers’ in relation to the regeneration of local land and buildings, having a working knowledge and  understanding of the planning system is an important part of the skillset. Planning Aid Scotland has just launched a national scheme offering communities fully qualified planners as mentors.


Planners on tap

The Planning Mentoring Scheme aims to link Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS) with community organisations and third sector groups to provide planning advice and guidance to unlock the potential of community led development projects across Scotland. 

This scheme was piloted with rural voluntary groups which led to the publication of the practical guide for community-led development.

If you are involved in a community or voluntary group or have a vision for one, whether it be a community council, a development trust, allotment association, village hall association, amenity society etc and you have a community asset project in mind, and be owned by the community, our planning mentoring scheme may be able to give you planning advice to enable you to get your project off the ground and develop a relationship with your group for the duration of the project.

A few examples could be a new village hall, a new community centre, a new play park or a skate park, a community turbine, a new allotment, a community recycling centre, which will benefit the community

To discuss this further please contact Mark on 0131 220 9730 or e-mail

Planning Aid for Scotland’s advice will be independent, confidential and impartial. The advisors, all of which are volunteers, are all fully qualified, experienced town planners and are all members of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).


Remember, we can also help your group comment on planning applications or answer any other planning related questions you may have.



The Planning Mentoring Scheme has 4 key aims:

demonstrate how community groups can participate in shaping their environment and achieve positive outcomes by working closely with PAS over a longer period of time.

provide an opportunity for planning professionals to increase awareness and understanding of how to best engage with community groups.

help community groups to enhance and deepen their understanding of how to work positively with the planning system and deliver their objectives.

link planning mentors with community groups to build capacities and share knowledge across Scotland.