Planning Support

Welcome to our new planning support for communities initiative.

We have secured an award from the People’s Postcode Trust for a year, to recruit and train a group of planning mentors to engage with individuals and communities across Scotland.

This project is providing planning support through peer mentors. We will be working with people who have been through a specific planning experience and supporting them to help others who find themselves in a similar situation. For more details, the history of how this project came about and people’s personal accounts of why peer support in planning works, see our latest blog.

Passionate about planning and local democracy?
Become a Planning Democracy volunteer mentor!

Scotland has a notoriously contested and allegedly ‘plan led’ planning system with the Government agencies putting all emphasis on early engagement. However, communities often have to endure complex applications, frequently finding themselves in desperate situations trying to respond within tight timescales and make sense of all the documents, procedures, policies etc.

If you have ever been through the planning process yourself (and survived unscathed enough to tell the tale) and now wouldn’t mind sharing the experience and anything you have learned with someone in a similar situation who needs a bit of support, please read on.

We are looking for people to become mentors, so that together we can create a community who support and learn from each other.


This is a great opportunity for somebody interested in developing their skills in planning, networking and active citizenship. You will be part of an initial group of mentors, who will receive training and support to engage with communities, over the the next year and beyond.

The applicant should have some experience of planning issues, interest in working with people, empathy and good listening skills and willingness to learn and become part of our network.

Expected tasks:

  • Attend the training in central Scotland (travel expenses to be reimbursed)
  • Work with existing local networks, to identify potential groups or individuals who could benefit from planning mentoring
  • Help people finding the right advice when they have any specific inquiries
  • Publicise the project (with our support) locally, via social media, websites, press

What support will Planning Mentors receive?

  • Training – the initial Planning Mentoring training will take place over two days – 1st June & 20th July in central Edinburgh, Friends Meeting House, 10am – 4pm with a lunch and travel expenses covered.

It will consist of:

  • Legislation knowledge – providing a comprehensive overview of rights and opportunities in areas of planning, community empowerment, land reform and local governance. This will be especially important /timely as the new Scottish Planning Bill is expected to be published this Spring.
  • Mentoring skills – developing communication skills, understanding and responding to people’s needs and the role and expectations of the mentor including boundaries on the relationship, and any paperwork requirements. We will also cover the aims of the programme and how it complements other elements of the organisation
  • The participants will receive training packs to take home
  • Becoming part of our mentor group to share ideas, strategies and tips, with occasional conference calls to discuss any questions or issues.
  • Access to an open-source legacy of the project, providing resources and guidance
  • Regular updates from the Planning Democracy with the latest news

What commitment is expected?

This role requires a commitment of couple of hours per month from June to early Dec 2019, timeline below:

  • May – Our conference ‘People Powered Planning’ in Glasgow (optional but very useful event not just for this project but for the latest updates, workshops and for general planning networking)
  • 1st June, 20th July: Training in Edinburgh – see details above
  • Aug, Sep: Working with local community and raising awareness
  • Oct, Nov: Engaging with communities and individuals needing help, documenting case studies
  • Dec: Evaluation and next steps

To apply for the role of a planning mentor (also if you think you could benefit from help of a planning mentor) or have any questions, please email us on: or call Daya on 07778 002 667