ENews Issue - 28 November 2014

ENews - November 2014

TRA ENews is the monthly newsletter of Trevor Roberts Associates. It provides information about TRA generally, its staff and Associates, current and forthcoming events, new training courses and consultancy services etc.

View our contact Information or subscription information.

In this issue:

  • Stubton Neighbourhood Plan submitted to TRA for examination
  • Brilliant start for our new Planning Jobs Board
  • Last few places on Advertisement Control module!
  • Hammersmith and Fulham submits CIL Schedule for exam
  • Bespoke training for Mole Valley Councillors to aid decision making
  • Aberdeenshire Officers learn about design for sustainable development




Stubton Neighbourhood Plan submitted to TRA for examination

Earlier this month TRA received the Stubton Neighbourhood Plan for examination. The Plan, prepared by Stubton Parish Council, was submitted by South Kesteven District Council and has been allocated to TRA Associate Colin Blundel for examination. We are also awaiting the submission of a second Neighbourhood Plan by South Kesteven in the next couple of weeks.

The Neighbourhood Plan Examination service from TRA offers a competitive pricing structure and the excellent administrative backup and customer service for which TRA is well known. If you would like to know more about the service please visit the Neighbourhood Plan Examination page of our website. If you are interested in receiving a quotation or have any additional questions you can contact Penny O'Shea on 01204 385678 or penny@tra-ltd.co.uk without obligation.

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Brilliant start for our new Planning Jobs Board

Just over a month ago, we launched our new Planning Jobs Board as part of the TRA website. It is entirely free for authorities to advertise their vacancies and free to search for those looking for a new opportunity. We decided to set up the Jobs Board as an additional service for our public sector clients and as a way of encouraging more people to visit our website.

The response has been great, with well over 60 vacancies listed on the Jobs Board in its first five weeks. Vacancies have covered roles in development management, enforcement, planning policy, conservation and design, and planning support.

New vacancies are being added all the time but here's a taster of current vacancies (with closing dates in December):

  • Development Control Manager - Gloucester CC
  • Planning Policy Section Head - Watford BC
  • Planning Officer - Worcester CC
  • Principal Planning Officer - Maidstone BC
  • Planning Officer - Maidstone BC
  • Conservation Officer - Hart DC
  • Transformation Officer - Worcester CC
  • Team Leader (Planning Registration) - South Oxfordshire DC
  • Planning Support Officer (Validation) - Maidstone BC
  • Enforcement & Appeals Team Leader - Havering LB
  • Land Charges Officer - Rugby BC.

So if you are looking for a new challenge, visit TRA's Planning Jobs Board regularly - it could change your life!

If, on the other hand, you would like to advertise a vacancy on our Jobs Board you can download our 1-page pdf which provides more information. Alternatively, you can simply send your text and the authority's logo (if you would like this to be included) to penny@tra-ltd.co.uk. The Jobs Board is fully managed by TRA's staff in Bolton to ensure that the whole process of advertising is as quick and hassle-free as possible.

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Last few places on Advertisement Control module!

The next two modules are due to begin early in the New Year as part of TRA's Certificated Programme in Planning Enforcement. One of the modules is now fully booked, however there are a small number of places still remaining on the other module should you wish to reserve a place:

Planning Enforcement and Advertisement Control - 14-15 January and 25-26 February 2015.

Advertisement control is a particularly complex area for enforcement. Staff involved need to have a thorough grasp of the statutory, regulatory, policy and practical issues involved and the procedural steps required to ensure that appropriate enforcement action can be taken and substantiated. Some of the areas covered in the module include: legislation relating to advertising; definition of what is an advertisement; enforcement powers and when it is expedient to use them; prosecutions relating to advertisements; and consideration of proactive approaches to advertisement control. Further details (and a booking form) for the module can be found on the TRA website.

The programme, originally developed by Trevor Roberts Associates in conjunction with the University of Cambridge, provides a unique opportunity for anyone involved in planning enforcement to undertake certificated training and work towards a formal qualification. For those interested in obtaining the qualification on offer, the programme leads to the award of the Certificate in Planning Enforcement (through the successful completion of four modules out of the five available). However, we are also very pleased to have people attend individual modules on topics of particular relevance to them on a "one-off" basis. Details of the programme as a whole, and further information on the other modules available and the dates they are next due to run, can also be found on our website.

For each module, students are required to attend two two-day Tutorial Sessions at Madingley Hall in Cambridge, and complete project work based on their own work situation. Because of this, a certain level of commitment is required but ultimately the student will gain a systematic framework for their job, and invaluable knowledge and skills which can make real improvements to their day-to-day work, their own professional development, and also be of great benefit to their authority. Feedback from previous students has been very positive and some of their comments can be viewed here.

Attendance on each module is strictly limited to 12, so if you are interested in attending but unable to make a firm booking straight away, a provisional booking is strongly recommended at this stage. These can be made by contacting Shelagh Pooley on 01204 385678 or shelagh@tra-ltd.co.uk, or via our online provisional booking facility. Shelagh will also be pleased to answer any questions you may have about this particular module or the programme as a whole.

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Hammersmith and Fulham submits CIL Schedule for exam

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham submitted its Draft CIL Charging Schedule to TRA on the 18th November. The schedule will be examined by experienced examiner Terrence Kemmann-Lane.

Submitting your CIL Schedule automatically to the Planning Inspectorate is not the only option available. TRA established its CIL Examination service to offer an alternative route for authorities looking to appoint a CIL Examiner. As an independent organisation that has provided support for the planning service for many years, TRA is ideally placed to offer a prompt, professional and competitively-priced CIL Examination service.

If you are working towards the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy in your authority, why not let us provide you with a quotation? Further details can be found on the CIL Examination page of our website and you can also contact Penny O'Shea on 01204 385678 or penny@tra-ltd.co.uk to discuss your requirements on a no-commitment basis.

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Bespoke training for Mole Valley Councillors to aid decision making

Mole Valley District Council recently approached TRA to develop a short bespoke evening workshop for their Councillors entitled "The key elements of determining planning applications and planning enforcement".

The aim of the session was to develop participants' understanding of the development management and enforcement elements of the planning process, in order to strengthen their decision making and improve the support and response they can provide to citizens.

The session, which was developed and delivered by Senior TRA Presenter, Vivien Green, covered the following:

  • what is development?
  • the concept of Permitted Development (PD) and how it works
  • the basis on which planning applications are refused/approved and in particular what are "material considerations" and the weight the decision maker should give to them
  • the use and reasons for conditions and valid reasons for refusing an application
  • what is a breach of planning control and the time limits for dealing with it
  • the importance of assessing "expediency" and "harm"
  • unique aspects of enforcement appeals.

The session appeared to be a hit with the Councillors as the feedback was very encouraging:

  • A very good use of my time! Peter Stanyard
  • Excellent training, I wish I'd had this two years ago! Well planned and presented information. Mary Cooper
  • Logical, clear, concise presentation full of examples to aid understanding. Plenty of opportunity for questions. The presenter was lively and managed to make a 'dry' subject accessible (and sometimes amusing too!) By far the best planning training I've been to. Thank you for such a thorough grounding. Paula Hancock.

This workshop is now available to all of our in-house clients, so if you are interested in receiving more information on this session, or you have some particular requirements of your own, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes.

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Aberdeenshire Officers learn about design for sustainable development

Aberdeenshire Council recently commissioned TRA to deliver an in-house training workshop on 'Sustainable Development by Design'. This popular workshop looks at how local authorities, local communities and developers can best introduce new technologies and approaches to aid sustainable development, whilst at the same time maintaining the design integrity and viability of the development in question. The workshop explores different technologies and design approaches to sustainability in the context of their environmental benefit and impact.

The session was delivered by TRA presenter, Timothy Crawshaw, and was aimed at planners and urban designers who are involved in decision making and policy writing.

The workshop covered:

  • responses to climate, local character and learning from the past
  • low carbon technologies - their use and implications
  • micro generation options and economies of scale
  • design to reduce energy consumption
  • balancing heritage with future needs
  • a 'whole place' approach to sustainable design
  • SUDS and habitats
  • viability testing and balancing the issues
  • future-proofing developments.

Feedback from some of the participants was excellent:

  • Excellent presentation. Good examples and the group work was very useful. Examples were explained easily and addressed all issues for an eco-house. The retro-fitting of housing was really useful to see before and after pictures and see what can be achieved. Ann Gran
  • Masterplanning was helpful, especially for issues such as flooding and connectivity. Pro-active way of learning through group exercises. Outlined the importance of SUDs etc. Jane Weir
  • Good, interesting presentation. I liked the use of real life examples. Victoria Moore
  • The variety of information on strategic and local level was interesting and allowed me to consider the whole picture of sustainability. Fiona Oldroyd
  • The training was good. It got me thinking about connectivity, renewables and biodiversity. The masterplan exercise in the afternoon was enjoyable. Got you thinking about a whole site and how it connects, making for sustainable development. Ruth Cuthbert.

If you are interested in learning more about running this workshop in-house and you would like to receive a no-obligation quotation, please contact Angela Holmes. The prices we quote are 'all-in' and therefore include all of our fees, presenter's expenses and pre-course/course material; this means there are no hidden extras so you know from the outset what you can expect to pay at the invoicing stage.

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Contact Information

Trevor Roberts Associates

1 Atlas House, St. Georges Square,

Bolton, BL1 2HB,

United Kingdom

Tel: (01204) 385678

Fax: (01204) 386376

Email: mail@tra-ltd.co.uk

Website: http://www.tra-ltd.co.uk/

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