Who is it for?

One of the Place Standard’s strengths is that it enables different groups to come together and to cooperate in order to make a balanced assessment of a place. It provides an opportunity for citizens to have more influence in local decision-making and, in doing so, improves democratic engagement. In practice, anyone can use the tool as part of a place-based approach to:

  • assess strengths and weaknesses of a place;
  • influence change and prioritise investment in the development process;
  • inform the process of designing new places;
  • support dialogue amongst diverse public/ professionals groups; and
  • empower communities to act - in particular those which are less inclined to get (and stay) involved, but yet are most in need.

The table below has examples of how different groups can benefit from using the tool:

For It provides Benefits
Local residents

A template for assessing your own neighbourhood and expressing your views.

Developing a starting point for changing things for the better by working out the strengths and weaknesses of your place

Community groups

A framework for expressing views, sharing and developing local knowledge and reaching consensus.

Building a stronger, better informed and influential voice for local people.

Local Authorities (community or shared services)

A shared language and a common agenda, for bringing services together to address the needs of a particular place.

Sharpening the focus on place-based outcomes for communities by aligning inter-agency discussions or corporate working.

Public Sector Procurement Agencies

Help to appraise options for siting public services, for integrating new facilities into local areas or locating new housing.

Demonstrating best-value results from investment and clear adherence to preventative spend agenda

Community Planning Partnerships

A means of identifying community needs through workshops that is comparable over time and between places with similar characteristics.

Prioritize investment through structuring community views as an evidence base. Repeated assessment can make peoples experience of any benefit from investment more apparent.

Planning Authorities

A means of identifying community needs at early Development Plan stages

A method of pre-briefing for design charrettes.

A way of informing site briefs, action plans and local policies.

Support for assessing and discussing proposals during pre-application phases

Improving the quality of development and ensuring that planned growth is more likely to be of the right type and in the right location by matching policy with local needs.

Helping decision-making about the relative strengths of site allocations as local plans are formed.


… a consistent framework for the assessment of proposals that can work across planning authorities

… a way to identify community views of their places capacity (for example health facilities or transport)

… testing site capacity and effectiveness before investment by gathering valuable local knowledge


A comprehensive place-based template for presenting Design and Access Statements in support of Planning Applications.

Demonstrating the value added by both community engagement and by effective urban design in a form recognized by planning authorities.