community led development

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PAS has recently completed the 18 month pilot of its Planning Mentoring Scheme, working with people to help them develop assets for their local community. Following the completion of the pilot scheme, PAS has published a guide to the Scottish planning system for those people and community groups looking to lead their own developments.

Discover more about the Planning Mentoring Scheme and ‘Planning for Community Developments’ practical guide.

Planning Mentoring Scheme
The Planning Mentoring Scheme aims to link 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

PAS’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

A practical guide to the Scottish planning system for community-led development

Planning for Community Developments

PAS launched its Planning Mentoring Scheme in April 2010 to provide detailed and on-going support to community groups on planning matters. A wide range of groups all across Scotland received support with their projects, including establishing allotments, community halls, renewable energy schemes, sports and play park facilities and other community assets.

Following the successful completion of the pilot scheme, and based on planning issues encountered by the community groups, PAS has produced a comprehensive guide to the Scottish planning system for people undertaking community-led developments.

“People who have a vision for their community and who want to develop community assets will find the practical support and guidance on how to make things happen.” (Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive)

Planning for Community Developments provides people with an introduction to the planning issues they are likely to face, including advice on development management and community engagement, as well as advice on specific topics such as renewable energy and allotments.

“The guide helps people to navigate their way through the planning process – and demonstrates that the planning system can be a positive enabler for communities looking to improve their lot.”

The guide offers valuable guidance to community groups – including development trusts, social enterprises, hall associations, and community councils.

Download your copy of Planning for Community Developments here.

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