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East Midlands Planning Aid Service (EMPAS)

Regional Plan Review online consultation


East Midlands Planning Aid Service (EMPAS), part of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), was seeking to positively engage communities in the planning process for their local area. EMPAS operates within Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

As part of their extensive consultation process, EMPAS wanted to engage hard-to-reach groups in the planning strategy for the region, to feed into the East Midlands Regional Assembly’s Regional Plan Review. Consense designed and built an online consultation allowing users to read summaries of existing policies, find out ‘what’s changing?’ and comment in an interactive forum with their views and ideas. In addition, an events section enabled users to book places on consultation events in their county, and users were able to submit questions to EMPAS; plus a section dedicated to young people featured a competition and an ‘Ask the Expert’ facility.

EMPAS were able to log into the admin area of the website to view the demographic breakdown of users, respond to questions and post online responses to comments. Content could also be amended from the admin area.


We were looking for an interactive way to engage with people who don’t normally get involved in a process which may be considered a little bureaucratic. We think the website does this very well and we look forward to reading the comments and suggestions that will help the Regional Assembly bring the Regional Plan up-to-date.


Penny Strutton

Regional Manager, East Midlands Planning Aid Service

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