Help Shape NALC's Housing and Planning Guides

As part of a drive to support parish and town councils on housing and planning matters, NALC is working with the Campaign to Protect Rural England and English Rural to update existing guides on planning and developing a new guide on housing design.

In 2011, NALC worked with CPRE to publish Planning ExplainedHow to Respond to Planning Applications, and How to Shape Where You Live: A Guide to Neighbourhood Planning. These guides provide easy-to-use planning advice to member Councils, networks and the general public. All three are well-used and are consistently the most downloaded publications, with over a quarter of a million downloads across NALC's and county association websites.

However, since their publication, national policy and legislation have shifted considerably, and it is recognised that areas within each document need to be updated and refreshed. NALC is in the early stages of preparing to update all three guides to better reflect the current legislative and cultural climate. Your feedback is welcomed on the existing guides, so please complete the short survey. If you have any queries or additional comments, please contact the CPRE planning team at or NALC at

NALC has been invited to join the advisory panel for a new good design guide on affordable rural homes, developed by the housing association English Rural and is due to be published in early Spring 2024. One of the principal challenges facing rural housing delivery is local opposition, often rooted in stigma about what homes will look like and their impact on the heritage of the existing settlements. Poor design of some rural developments has mainstreamed this view and can lead to delay or even completely derail proposals for new affordable homes. This project will bring together an advisory panel and utilise the valuable input of artist and architectural expert Matthew Rice to explore, illustrate and showcase good design, how this can be achieved and provide a resource that local communities can hold up as something to be welcomed as an enhancement of their existing built and natural environment.