TRA has been designing and delivering urban design training for planning officers and Committee Members in local authorities since 1996, and was recently commissioned by Maidstone BC to provide an in-house workshop on Character and Appearance as a Material Consideration.
The workshop helped officers appreciate how significant the issue of character and appearance is as a material consideration, not only within Conservation Areas, but more widely, in both urban and rural surroundings. The issue of the effect of a proposal on the character and appearance of an area is one of the most commonly identified in Inspectors’ decisions, but one whose significance is often underrated outside Conservation Areas.
Emphasis throughout the training was on the practicalities and included the following elements:
- the statutory framework
- defining the existing character and appearance of an area
- the examination of a proposal to determine whether or not the character and appearance of an area is affected
- when to look to refuse an application on these grounds
- dealing with councillor overturns on this subject
- fighting appeals where character and appearance is an issue.
This workshop was delivered by TRA Presenter, Timothy Crawshaw and feedback from the participants was excellent:
- Interesting, thought-provoking and well delivered. Thank you for your time. Joss Millen
- Very engaging, interesting, relevant and clear. The Presenter was very interesting and had a wealth of experience and knowledge. Joanna Russell
- Was interactive and the session was broken up well. Highlighted the emphasis that can be put on the appearance of buildings as part of a planning decision. Emily Clark
- Best workshop yet. Very informative and useful. The Presenter was very clear and fun. Summer Freeman-Smith
- Engaging and informative. The use of a case study was very useful in demonstrating the relevant issues. An enjoyable and informative training course. Georgina Quinn.