Town Planning… The Basics

Red tape. Jargon. Welcome to the world of Town Planning! And although there’s plenty of advice out there, it can be hard to find something that cuts through the confusion and tells you what you actually need to know.

At Planning House, we’re determined to make everything simpler for you. That means giving you the information you need, in easy-to-understand terms, without the unnecessary waffle.

Getting back to basics

To help you get to grips with the very basics of town planning, we’ve put together 8 eBooklets that break it all down into easy-to-read topics, covering everything from the application process and appeals, to hidden costs. And definitely no jargon!

The booklets are available to read below, free of charge. Just click on the relevant booklet and start reading…


Where else could we begin our back to basics series? This booklet shows you why we need town planning in the first place, the role of town planners and where the Royal Town Planning Institute fits (RTPI) in. If you’re completely new to the subject, this light-touch overview is the place to start.


Here you’ll find the basics of pre-application engagement, the info you need about planning fees and everything you want to know about different application types. Find out how to apply for planning permission, who makes the decision, the ins and outs of the process, validation requirements and material planning considerations. If your proposal is a relatively simple one, this eBooklet should be enough to see you through the planning process.


Whether you have your heart set on extending your current home, or you’re looking into converting or changing the use of a building (a lovely home barn conversion for example), the first thing you need to do is figure out the scope of permitted development rights. It may be that you don’t even need planning permission for the work you have in mind. However, as with all things related to town planning, it can be a complex topic. This booklet helps you understand the type of work that typically requires planning permission and which processes you’ll likely have to go through.


If you’re up to the challenge of creating your own grand design and ready to embark on a self-build journey, this eBooklet is the ideal starting point. Here we cover the application process as well as the hidden costs of planning and the steps you need to take in choosing a town planner. And we bust a few planning myths along the way.


There’s nothing more frustrating that having an application denied. If that’s the situation you’ve found yourself in — or you’re worried a rejection is coming, this booklet covers everything you need to know. Here we look at everything from your right of appeal (not just against the refusal of a planning application but also against non-determination of an application and conditions attached to an approval), appeal types and processes, what you need to submit, who makes the decision, the likely costs and what to do in the event of a disagreement with a decision.


In this booklet, uncover everything you need to know about breaches of planning control, including enforcement time limits, non-compliance, the range of methods used to tackle a breach and different types of enforcement notice. If you’ve been served an enforcement notice, this booklet also covers your recommended next steps.

7. CIL & s106

Budgeting for planning can be hard enough without hidden costs creeping up on you. Here we look at some of the costs you might not be aware of — if, for example, you’re liable to pay CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) or you’re proposing a development which may trigger the need for additional works or financial contribution (via s106 agreement), it’s better to know in advance what the financial implications might be.


When it comes to planning permission, planning law requires that applications be considered in accordance with local development plans. Knowing what plans are in place and how they are developed will help you progress your planning proposal. Find out how it all works in this eBooklet.

While we’ve done our best to share the most relevant information relating to town planning, we know that we haven’t covered everything —yet! We’re going to be adding more topics to the series but in the meantime, if you need any more support or advice on anything we haven’t already covered, we’re happy to help. Get in touch today.

Download the ebook which best suits your needs right here.

The basics of Town Planning
A series of Free eBooklets covering the basics of Town Planning