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What is a Chartered Town Planner?

RTPI Chartered Town Planner Logo
RTPI Chartered Town Planner Logo

What exactly is a Chartered Town Planner and when might you need one?

A Chartered Town Planner is a highly qualified professional with expertise in matters relating to planning law, policy and procedure. Chartered Town Planners, often known as Chartered Planning Consultants, provide invaluable advice in navigating the intricate legal and procedural landscape of planning applications and appeals.

And be careful not to confuse Chartered Planners with so-called 'Planners' who might have no formal qualifications.

 What qualifications does a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Chartered Town Planner have?

  • A Master’s Degree in Town Planning: This advanced qualification provides in-depth knowledge of planning principles, law, and issues relating to sustainable development.

  • Years of Professional Experience: As well as completing an RTPI accredited degree, at least five years of professional experience as a planning practitioner is required. This ensures a depth of understanding of the complexities of the planning system.

  • Chartered Membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute: Founded in 1913 and holding Royal Charter since 1970, the RTPI describes chartered status as the “gold standard of planning practice”. It is a mark of professional competence and ethical practice. RTPI members must adhere to strict standards and undergo continual professional development (CPD) throughout their career

When Might I Need a Chartered Town Planner? 

There are several scenarios where the expertise of a Chartered Town Planner (or so-called Chartered Planning Consultant) can be crucial:

  1. Maximising Success of Planning Applications: With the increasing shortage of skilled local planning authority officers coupled with rising costs associated with making applications, not to mention long delays in gaining planning consent, it’s important to have the best chance of your planning application succeeding on the first attempt. Chartered Town Planners provide the expertise to craft robust applications, ensuring the best chance of gaining approval.

  2. Navigating Pre-Application Advice: Pre-application advice can be problematic as it is non-binding and often involves a lengthy process which can take several months. By using a Chartered Town Planner this stage can be by-passed. At Salmon Planning Company our Chartered Planning Specialists have all worked as Local Authority Planning Officers at a senior level and can advise you on the likelihood of gaining planning permission for your project. You can move straight to the full planning application stage without incurring unnecessary delays. Chartered Town Planners, having often been former planning officers themselves, understand the intricacies of planning policy and legislation and can view an application through the eyes of a planning officer.

  3. Navigating the Appeals Process and Judicial Reviews: An experienced Chartered Town Planner will be able to advise you on the best course of action if you fail to obtain planning permission. The appeals process is complex with expert advice necessary to obtain the best chance of a favorable outcome at appeal.  Should an appeal be unsuccessful, Salmon Planning Company will advise on the merits of taking a case to the High Court for a Judicial Review. 

  4. Complex Projects Requiring Multidisciplinary Expertise:  Chartered Planning Consultants offer more than just planning advice. At Salmon Planning Company we believe having a team of Chartered Town Planners working in tandem with a team of highly skilled architects and CAD specialists means we can provide a fully integrated planning-led service. This ensures that all aspects of a project, from design to sustainability, are handled proficiently and speedily.

  5. Specialist Knowledge of Planning Policy and Law: Understanding the intricacies of planning policy and law is crucial to navigating applications, appeals, and compliance issues. Chartered Town Planners bring this specialist knowledge, ensuring projects meet all necessary regulations. Salmon Planning Company is adept at handling complicated appeals and judicial reviews.

  6. Representing individual and community groups:  A Chartered Planning Consultant can give you the best chance of succeeding in opposing developments.

Why Choose Salmon Planning?

At Salmon Planning, our team comprises Chartered Town Planners, who all have experience at a senior level in local government, Chartered Architects (ARB), Chartered Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and Computer-aided Design (CAD) specialists. We also collaborate with ecologists, engineers and other technical specialists where appropriate. This multidisciplinary expertise ensures we can handle every aspect of your project, from initial planning strategy through to Judicial Review. Our Chartered Town Planners bring with them a deep understanding of the planning process, the ability to maximise development potential at the same time as a focus on protecting the environment and preserving the character of the local area. 

We have offices in Wells (Somerset) and Exeter (Devon) and have extensive experience of working throughout Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire, but we will travel further afield if required.

Whether you’re embarking on a new development project or seeking to optimise your chances of obtaining a successful outcome for a planning application or appeal or seek to oppose a planning scheme, the expertise of a Chartered Town Planner can prove invaluable. 


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