Project management - Local Plan support

PAS is offering a support package in project management to help local planning authorities progress their Local Plans to submission/adoption as efficiently and expediently as possible. 

PAS is offering a support package in project management to help local planning authorities progress their Local Plans to submission/adoption as efficiently and expediently as possible. Experience from delivering the previous support to over 40 authorities has shown that it is an invaluable tool in ensuring that the right skills and resources are available at the right time and in providing a common understanding for the team in the tasks required and how they fit into the bigger picture. 

Authorities have used the work undertaken in order to justify the retention or recruitment of additional posts; to meet critical deadlines and as support to point them to best practice and different approaches that have been taken.

Preparing a Local Plan is a complex project involving a number of stages and associated tasks, involving many participants over an extended timescale.  It is important to ensure both effective dialogue and engagement with key parties:  members, communities, neighbouring authorities, stakeholders at all stages of plan preparation and ensure that both the legal tests set out in the 2004 Act, Localism Act 2011 and the soundness tests in the NPPF are met.

Putting into place effective management arrangements ensures that clear objectives and expectations are established, responsibilities are clear and transparent, risks are identified and minimised and time spent and costs are reduced. 

Who is the module for?  What is its purpose and what are the benefits?

The support is tailored, practical and hands-on and is designed to build capacity within the Council to roll out effective project plans:
The support package includes up to 4 on-site workshops for 3-6 senior officers (0.5 or 1 day each) as follows:

  • Session 1 with service heads and councillors includes an independent stock take and risk assessment of the Council's current programme and project plan including the resources and management arrangements in place to achieve it;
  • Session 2:  an overview session with staff covering the LDS, Local Plan Regulations and the impact of the Localism Act 2011 together with the tools of project management which can be used to help the project. This is illustrated by best practice examples
  • Session 3:  task and programme planning a step by step approach to accurately scheduling the Local Plan using an excel workbook including project and resource planning. This includes defining the key tasks for each of the main work packages, developing a resource plan to achieve the tasks and producing a schedule to meet LDS milestones;
  • Session 4:  a follow up workshop to help resolve pinch points on capacity, and practical assistance in areas such as ways of resolving identified skills gaps and recommendations on procedures to implement the project plan.   This includes exploring possible organisational structures and reporting procedures within the Council and in partnership with others, identifying key roles and best practice approaches to risk management and project assurance.

The module enables the Council to build capacity through the programme and use the support as:

  • a piece of key service planning that should improve cost effectiveness of the service;
  • an opportunity to gather perspectives on the subject from the team and the PAS suppliers;
  • a chance to consider in detail the aspects of project managing the local plan that can present as problems and resolve them; and
  • a training and development opportunity for individual staff members.

The outputs are a jointly produced detailed programme to meet the next milestone in the LDS taking account of current regulations, requirements and case law and a project plan.

Your commitments

Once the support has been agreed, PAS will instruct the consultants who will liaise with the authority to arrange the initial session.  The Council would need to undertake the administration for sessions including room booking, actively engage in the workshop sessions, be frank about the circumstances of the authority to enable realistic action planning and undertake ‘homework' as required.  The support will enable the development of a detailed project plan for the next stage in the plan making process including a review of the overall local development scheme.  It will develop an understanding of the risks and how to minimise them.


If you are interested in taking up this support please contact us at

Download the self-serve tool here:

Local plan project management tool (Excel, 6MB)

5.63 MB - XLSX

Please note: This tool contains a number of formulae. You must take great care not to overwrite these when inputting data. Please read the guidance notes on the spreadsheet before first use, which explains all.