Planning Skills Training for Councillors

10 Feb 2021

Do your councillors need planning or committee training?

Place Services is offering two courses delivered by leading experts.

A) Planning Essentials for Councillors 
B) Essentials for Planning Committee Members

Two courses aimed particularly at councils with elections in May, or new planning committee members this year, but available to all!

Place Services delivers over 30 training courses every year for planners, councillors and other built environment professionals. 

Our training delivery team for councillor training combines both experienced planners, trainers and councillors. Plus input from the host planning department enables us to customise the training to local needs.

Delivered at your  council, or for two or three adjacent councils at the same time, providing excellent value for money per councillor trained. 

Our main geographic focus is East and South East, where we have trained councillors for over a decade, but the courses can be delivered anywhere in England with three weeks' notice.

Core course is either half-day or 4pm - 8pm including a focus on group work learning as well as condensed learning. Longer full-day option also available - adding more detail on Planning Policy, and/or extra options e.g. viability/infrastructure delivery, biodiversity or conservation planning.

Trainers previously delivered councillor training across England for the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) and direct for local authorities. 

For more information please email planningskills@essex,

Or telephone Lewis Herbert, Director - Planning Skills 07748536153


Planning Essentials for Councillors

For new councillors and a refresh for existing councillors so they understand planning –

Course includes
- planning principles and the council’s Local Plan/policy
- key 2018 NPPF changes and other recent national changes
- decision making process on applications – committee/delegations
- how members can make the most of their roles
- danger zones and planning code of conduct.

Essentials for Planning Committee Members 

For planning committee councillors, and alternates
Most commonly delivered summer/September, after membership is decided at Council AGMs

Course includes
- advanced understanding of key policy and material considerations
- detailed focus on decision making process – committee/delegations
- team building with new members, including learning from practice in other councils
- self assessment by committee members on the committee’s strengths and weaknesses
- how visitors at committee meeting really perceive meeting decision making by the council
- identifying any follow up needed by members and officers.

If your council is interested in commissioning Councillor Planning Training please complete this 5 minute online survey so we can respond to you promptly based on your specific needs and provide you with a Training Proposal and costed options.

During the epidemic, all courses have been delivered successfully online. We expect to continue online learning delivery in the future.
including to meet other training needs for both Councillors and planners. 

We also provide Planning Skills training courses for planners, and Building Conservation courses

Contact us at