Our resources

Have a look at our First Aid for Planning guides

Planning matters to people who want to change their area. Our First Aid for Planning guides explain how planning works. So that you know how your community can best use planning to change their neighbourhoods.

Our leaflets and guides explain planning in plain English. You can also watch one of our videos. Both highlight when and where people can get involved. 

For each guide, leaflet, and video, we have specified when the resource was last updated. Check the dates, as information can get out-of-date when regulations have changed.

We also make tailored guides for community groups on a specific planning issue or topic. If you have an idea for a guide or other resource, please get in touch with us.

Leaflets and guides

Leaflet: Why care about planning?

Last updated: April 2021. This leaflet explains why people should get involved in planning. Please feel free to share this leaflet. 

Download Why care about planning (PDF)

Download Why care about planning (Word)

Leaflet: Who is Planning Aid for London?

Last updated: April 2021. This leaflet explains who Planning Aid for London is and how we might be able to help. Please feel free to share this leaflet. 

Download Who is PAL (PDF)

Download Who is PAL (Word)

Guide 1: What is planning

Last updated: April 2021. This guide explains what planning is about. It offers an introduction for anyone interested in how your neighbourhood changes. Although planning is complicated, your best chance to influence decisions is by getting involved.

Download What is planning (PDF)

Download What is planning (Word)

Guide 2: Finding the planning information you need 

Last updated: April 2021. This guide helps you find information about planning in your area. If you inform yourself about planning in your area, you can get involved on time to make your voice heard.

Download Finding planning information (PDF)

Download Finding planning information (Word)

Guide 3: Participating in the Examination in Public 

Last updated: January 2021. This guide introduces the Examination in Public (EiP) process. It explains what the examination of a Local Plan is and how you can make your representations to the Inspectors. It includes useful tips on how best to prepare a written statement and participate in the public hearing.

A first version of this guide has been developed for the Southwark Planning Network for the Examination in Public of the New Southwark Plan (January 2021). 

Download Participating in the EiP (PDF)

Download Participating in the EiP (Word)

Guide 4: The Mayor and the call-in process

Last updated: February 2022. This guide explains when the Mayor of London can use their powers to decide on a planning application, and what the established process for this is. 

This has been developed in partnership with Just Space.

Download The Mayor and the call-in process (PDF)

Download The Mayor and the call-in process (Word)


An introduction to the planning system

This video gives a helpful introduction to the planning system. Although created for councillors, it helpfully explains how planning works. 

The video was produced by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). Read more about the TCPA here.   

Objecting to a planning application

Watch our introductory video on how you can raise your objections on a planning application. We cover the different stages of a planning application, materials considerations, and your rights when you want to comment on planned development.

This video was produced together with the Friends of Burgess Park. The examples used are based on the New Southwark Plan.

What are permitted development rights? An introduction

Permitted development rights are a complicated aspect of the planning system. Some forms of development are automatically permitted. This means you have less influence over them. One of our volunteers gives a short introduction on what permitted development is.

This video was produced as part of a workshop together with the Gaywood Estate Tenants and Residents Association.