About PAS

The Planning Advisory Service (PAS) is part of the Local Government Association. We provide high quality help, advice, support and training on planning and service delivery to councils. We help local government officers and councillors stay effective and up to date. We have a ‘sector led' improvement approach, where local authorities help each other to continuously improve.

We are part funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government. This grant pays for our support work to councils where there is a risk of intervention in plan making, or designation because of performance on planning applications, or where authorities are implementing new ways of working linked to fee flexibility. We will also be holding some free events on government planning reforms in late 2016/early 2017.

Everybody else can choose our services on a commercial basis. This can be on a ‘pay as you go' basis, or via a subscription, which gives you better value. Our offer to local authorities is set out below, along with details of our subscription service.

You'll need to sign up before the end of July 2016.

For more information about our support see the tabs on plan making, development management, and leadership. But a summary is below:

1. On-site support

We can come to you and help you work through challenges on plan making or development management. If appropriate, we can involve a peer from another council in this, or a supplier from our framework. We can do councillor/committee training sessions for you as an annual update or as part of an ongoing package of training. Or we can do a full peer review of the planning service – ideal if you are new in post or about to embark on some organisational change.  

2. Events

We run events and training sessions throughout the year, in London, Birmingham and Leeds (or elsewhere subject to demand). We are focusing on what is needed to be a modern planner with events (dates tbc) on programme planning your plan, working in a political environment, viability,  DM improvement, housing policies, and make plans for places. There will be a small fee (or you can use your subscription) for attending these events  Our forthcoming events on implementing government reforms will be free to all officers and councillors.

Specifically for leading councillors, we will be running four Leadership Essentials, residential sessions at Warwick Conference Centre in Coventry.

3. Toolkits, guidance, best practice templates

We make lots of stuff so that you don't have to.

We want you to take it, use it and pass it on as you see fit. Unless we say so, it's all free; produced by experts and ready to use. For example, see the DM Challenge Toolkit or the technical advice note on objectively assessed need. You can find all this useful stuff under each of main topics featured on the site. Our forthcoming best practice templates will only be available to subscribers.

4. A platform for support and discussion

Our discussion forums are on the KnowledgeHub, the Local Government Associations networking site.

Our discussion forums are very popular. If you have a planning issue, chances are that someone on there will be able to help. 

Get in touch - If you are interested in support, contact us at pas@local.gov.uk to find out if work would be free, or for a quote.

5. Stay in touch

If you do nothing else, you must sign up to our monthly newsletter

Our monthly newsletter is still the best way to stay informed about what PAS are doing across the board.

With over 10,000 subscribers, this is where you will hear about latest events, support offers and other news. We also include forum discussions and new blog posts from the PAS team.


The Local Government Association also offers some support to councils. For a discussion about how the wider LGA might be able to help your council please contact the relevant Principal Advisor.