Introduction to Planning

LocationMarylebone, Central London
FacultyArchitecture and the Built Environment

The course provides a basic introduction to planning for non-planners, including what planning is, why we need it, the legal and policy framework for planning, and how it works in practice.  

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for:

  • built environment professionals working in property, housing, regeneration, urban design, architecture, environment and sustainability
  • planning support and administration staff
  • local authority customer services officers
  • elected councillors
  • members of voluntary sector organisations engaged in the planning process

The course fee includes all course materials and refreshments and a sandwich lunch.

Course content

This course will focus on improving the knowledge and skills required to understand spatial planning and development management. 

We will cover the following topics:

  • permitted development
  • the planning application process
  • development plans and material considerations
  • localism and neighbourhood planning
  • planning for housing
  • planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy
  • planning conditions
  • planning appeals

Teaching and learning methods

The course is interactive and requires active participants rather than passive observers. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of spatial planning and development management, but more importantly it will help you improve your skills and techniques in applying this to your real life work situations.

We will use a wide variety of learning methods and techniques including:

  • presentations
  • group work
  • practical exercises
  • case studies
  • sharing experiences with colleagues
  • debate and discussion
  • self-directed reading and research

By the end of this course you will understand:

  • the legal and wider strategic context for planning
  • the development control and development management processes
  • the factors to be taken into account in determining a planning application
  • the importance of planning policy in making decisions on individual planning applications

You will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of planning and what planners do
  • describe the basics of planning law, and how the planning system works
  • explain what ‘development’ is and assess whether a proposal is ‘permitted development’
  • advise on whether planning permission is required and how to apply
  • describe all the stages in processing a planning application
  • explain how planners engage with the local community, statutory agencies and other stakeholders
  • show how Development Plans and planning policies are used to assess planning applications
  • understand how planning conditions, planning obligations and other infrastructure levies are used to secure high-quality development and community benefits
  • be more confident in dealing with enquiries or questions about planning applications and planning issues generally
  • identify further areas for training, including self-guided learning and personal development