Is there room for improvement in your planning reports to Committee?

TRA was recently commissioned to deliver a one-day Officer workshop at Snowdonia NPA on report writing. This interactive course, entitled ‘Writing Effective Reports: making the best use of your case and your time’, offers clear guidance on how reports can be improved and provides an opportunity for debate about good practice, drawing on the presenter's long experience of both local government planning and the work of the Planning Inspectorate.

The main objectives of the session are to: 

  • provide a refresher on “material considerations” and an opportunity to discuss any grey areas (whether for officers, elected members or the wider public)
  • suggest guidance on what Councillors need from officers (and maybe what they don’t)
  • give advice on what to include in reports and what can safely be left out (and why)
  • show how a good report (whether for Committee or delegated) can greatly simplify the handling of straightforward appeals
  • give an insight into what Inspectors are looking for, and the way they currently approach  “written reps” cases, and
  • take a brief look at some simple appeal decisions.

In advance of the training session, the authority provided a selection of reports for the Presenter to review and he was then able to provide feedback to Officers on the day.

The workshop was prepared and delivered by TRA Presenter and former Planning Inspector, David Kaiserman, and attendee feedback was very encouraging:

  • Very well presented and useful.  Gave assurance that we are going in the right direction with our reports. Aled Lloyd
  • Course was very informative and well presented.  Presenter very knowledgeable, clear and concise. Sara Thomas
  • I found it extremely useful, it has certainly made me consider the need to re-assess how I write my reports in the future.  Jane Jones
  • A very useful workshop, especially identifying main issues and analysis and links to policies.  Elliw Owen
  • Covered additional issues/topics that were not expected.  Very interesting and informative. I will certainly be able to use what I have learnt in the future.  Iona Roberts.

If you think your authority might benefit from an in-house training session on improving report writing, then please contact Angela Holmes for a no-obligation quotation.  The prices we quote are ‘all-inclusive’ and therefore include all of our fees, presenters expenses and pre-course/course material, so there are no hidden extras and clients are aware of what they can expect to pay from the outset.