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Resident Planning Forum: If you don’t act, you will be acted upon

If you don’t act, you will be acted upon.

If you don’t understand planning and the development that is going on in the area, you can’t do anything about it. You can’t actively shape the positive outcomes of growth. You can’t tackle the less positive concerns that arise. When the cranes go up it is too late. 

Over the last five years our project has done large public meetings attended by hundreds of residents and power holders, numerous workshops on planning and more recently with Planning Aid London, we have monthly resident planning forums.   

We believe residents are their own best resource – together the community can come together and figure it out. By regularly meeting, learning together, prioritising and taking collective action. It needs to happen because the consequences of not getting involved are stark: 


The cost of poor consultation:



of the public trust developers [1]


of the public trust local authorities in relation to planning for large-scale developments [2]


of built environment professionals agree community consultation could be improved [3]

Barking and Dagenham has the lowest rates of resident engagement in the planning process in London of all 32 London Boroughs. That is unacceptable and we are doing our bit to turn things around with strong support from Planning Aid London and also Just Space, the Bartlett School of Planning and Community Led Housing London. Crucially we also have the support of Be First and other parts of the council and BRL. We know solutions need everyone moving in the same direction. 

The resident planning forum has simple aims: learning together via talks and presentations, prioritising issues (environment, affordable housing, safety) and taking action via work groups such as the Ripple Nature Reserve steering group and British Red Cross resilience forum, to name a few.  

Together we can flip planning and development from being a distant external presence in our lives to an enriching community-led activity. Join us!   

The resident planning forum meetings online on the first Tuesday of each month – it is open to everyone. To join please email 

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