We have tools, materials and direct support that cover the whole of the DM process, along with some of the over-arching issues around leadership and management.

Our support is provided free to councils that meet certain criteria and provided at cost to all other councils. Contact Martin Hutchings 07917 202 319 ( for an initial discussion. Martin will help you decide which of our support offers would give you the most value/benefit.

How does PAS support improvement?

We'll help you improve performance by focusing on and addressing the issues that will have the greatest effect. A good place to start is the PAS DM challenge toolkit. It's a self-serve toolkit that outlines the practice of good councils and poses come questions to challenge current practice and ways of working.

Direct Support

We also offer you 3 kinds of facilitated direct support;

1. Peer mentoring - identifying issues & prioritising action

Whether you have a good handle on the issues that need addressing or would like some support to step back and reflect, one of our wide network of experienced peers can help you take a fresh look at things, and prioritise a set of improvement actions. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes looking at what you do is all it takes to help clarify things, and other times a few frank and open discussions with someone that's been through it all before can help. 

2. DM Improvement Challenge; achieving improvement quickly

Up to 4 days of peer/consultant on-site support focused on taking action to improve your service and reduce waste straight away. We work with your staff to design, test and implement new ways of working, and identify and address the main barriers holding you back. Improving and changing things can be difficult when you're busy, so we've designed this support specifically to help you make quick and effective improvements without diverting resources away from the day job for any prolonged period of time.  

The DM Challenge works because the consultant is able to build up a relationship with a team. The mentor/coach approach is helpful as was dealing with an expert who has been in my shoes!" Rachel Almond, Planning Service Manager, West Suffolk

It is a good process that involves everyone involved in the planning application process.  Staff were given the opportunity to express their views and have their ideas listened to.  I would recommend a PAS Development Management Challenge to everyone". Debbie Robinson, Team Leader Sefton

3. Helping committees make good, timely decisions

In addition to the above, we can offer a facilitated session for committee members to help them meet the challenges of making timely, robust planning decisions which can be defended to the public and at appeal.

Interested? Like more information?

Please contact Martin Hutchings 07917 202 319 (


Self-serve support

Development Management Challenge Toolkit

A good place to start is the Development Management Challenge Toolkit. The toolkit outlines the practice of good councils, the key issues they face and poses some questions to challenge current practice and ways of thinking. The toolkit allows councils to challenge themselves and allows people to re-think things for themselves - the best way for moving towards better ways of working.  


Case studies are useful but it can be difficult to find time to sit and read them. So we've taken a different approach and packaged up a collection of short, sharp and simple examples of how 5 well-performing councils are delivering their DM service. It's in clear sections so you can go quickly to the part that interests you the most and read the rest later. It's designed to complement our DM Challenge toolkit so that the two tools can be used side by side.  

  • pre-app self-assessment questionnaire
  • the 10 commitments for effective pre-app
  • a suite of pre-app support tools
  • project management for major planning applications
  • information on agreements to the extensions of time
  • conditions - 10 best practice examples, deemed consent provisions
  • energy - general advice on  Shale Gas and oil exploration, Shale Gas PPA, and planning for renewable energy and SUDS

S106, CIL

Presentations and materials from recent S106 seminars and 'making CIL work' events, plus other helpful materials to ensure that your approach to S106 is effective.

Committees and Probity

  • we have support materials surrounding committee clerks, following our work with the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO).
  • making defensible planning decisions - a session to help you review, reflect and
    learn from past decisions
  • probity in planning - guidance for councillors and officers reflecting the requirements of the Localism Act