ENews Issue - 27 August 2015

ENews - August 2015

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:

  • Latest vacancies on TRA Planning Jobs Board
  • Certificated Programme in Enforcement: 15 more graduates
  • October workshops in Manchester
  • Reduced price training for Town & Parish Councillors
  • A Forum on Enforcement 2015 - have you booked your place yet?
  • Enforcement Update in Scotland - what will this year's workshop be covering?
  • TRA & Carlisle CC support Parish Council with Neighbourhood Plan




Latest vacancies on TRA Planning Jobs Board

Here are some of the current vacancies on our Planning Jobs Board (with closing dates in late August and September):

  • Spatial Planning Manager - Wiltshire Council
  • Development Management Principal Planner - Wokingham BC
  • Principal Major Development Officer (DM) - Welwyn Hatfield BC
  • Principal Planning Officer - Blackburn with Darwen BC
  • Principal Planning Officer (Spatial Policy) - Maidstone BC
  • Senior Planning Officer (Applications Team) - Chichester DC
  • Temporary Senior Planning Officer - Cheshire West and Chester
  • Planning Officer/Senior Planning Officer (DM) - Uttlesford DC
  • Planning Officer (Spatial Policy) - Maidstone BC
  • Planning Officers (Policy & Delivery) x 2 - Suffolk Coastal & Waveney DC
  • Planning Officer - Career Grade (DM) - Welwyn Hatfield BC
  • Planning Policy Officer - South Northamptonshire Council
  • Planning Policy Officer - Guildford BC
  • Planning Policy Officer (24 Month Contract) - Runnymede BC
  • Economic Development Officer (Planning) - Welwyn Hatfield BC
  • Enforcement Officer - Blackburn with Darwen BC

Advertising on our Jobs Board is entirely free to local authorities handling their own recruitment (unfortunately we can't offer it to recruitment agencies). We are keen to include planning roles of all types including those in planning support and planning enforcement.

If you would like to advertise a vacancy you can download our 1-page pdf which provides more information. Alternatively, you can simply send your text and the authority's logo to jobsboard@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.

It is also free to search for those looking for a new opportunity. So if you are in the market for a new challenge, visit TRA's Planning Jobs Board regularly - it could change your life!

And please - if you do apply for one of these vacancies we'd be really grateful if you could mention that you saw it on the TRA Planning Jobs Board.

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Certificated Programme in Enforcement: 15 more graduates

Over the last 12 months, a further 15 students have been awarded their certificate after successfully completing TRA's Certificated Course in Planning Enforcement. They are:

  • Steven Halls, Norfolk County Council
  • Tim Peachey, States of Guernsey
  • Heather Thornton, West Lindsey District Council
  • Jenny Blower, Adur & Worthing Council
  • Tracey Consterdine, Adur & Worthing Council
  • Zoe Crockett, Amber Valley Borough Council
  • Kirstie May, West Sussex County Council
  • Rosemarie Dannatt, Arun District Council
  • Simon Challis, Lincolnshire County Council
  • Joe Richardson, Wiltshire Council
  • Jonathan Short, South Kesteven District Council
  • Suzanne Armstrong, Essex County Council
  • Leanne Willis, East Lindsey District Council
  • William Walsh, Bedford Borough Council
  • Ann Kirkby, Selby District Council.

Undertaking the certificated course is a significant commitment but the benefits, for both the individual and their organisation, can be considerable. We would like to offer all these students (now graduates!) our congratulations on their hard work and achievements.

They join the long list of students who have been awarded the Certificate since the programme began in 1996 - there are now 160 graduates.

Full details of the certificated course can be found on our website. For any questions regarding the programme please contact Shelagh Pooley by email or phone on 01204 385678.

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October workshops in Manchester

The remainder of the 2015 workshop programme for England and Wales includes a couple of events coming up at the Manchester Meeting Place on 20 October 2015. Places are still available on these workshops although prompt booking is recommended:

Permitted Development (only 4 places left)

This workshop is suitable for all staff (including support staff, technicians, enforcement and planning officers), who have to deal with enquiries about Permitted Development. This ever-relevant and popular workshop looks at how PD works, provides some crucial definitions and help in interpreting and applying the most frequently used classes of permitted development. Its aim is to help participants develop the knowledge and confidence essential in dealing with this complex aspect of the planning process. The workshop will provide a useful opportunity to look in detail at Householder PD, minor development and other sorts of enquiries; how PD enquiries are handled; how the Prior Notification procedure works and how applications should be processed. The workshop will also look at the recent changes to the structure of the GPDO in cluding some important new definitions, and crucially, it will provide an opportunity for delegates to ask any questions about PD.

Being an Effective Witness at Inquiries

This workshop is aimed at both planning and other technical officers who may be called as an expert witness at a Planning Inquiry but have relatively little or no previous experience. It is intended to promote a good understanding of the preparation required; what should be included in a witness statement; and how to give evidence in chief and under cross-examination. The workshop will provide participants with a solid grounding to improve their confidence, and thereby effectiveness, when giving evidence. It will identify the legal and procedural requirements and provide practical advice on the approach to providing both the written and oral evidence needed to support reasons for refusal, conditions to be attached to a permission, or justification for enforcement action.

Further details and booking forms are available on the TRA website via the above links. Provisional bookings can be made via our online provisional booking facility. As always, discounts of between 10 and 15% are available when booking 2 or more places at the same time over any number of events in the 2015 programme.

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Reduced price training for Town & Parish Councillors

Being the UK's leading provider of practitioner-presented training for Councillors involved in planning, TRA are able to provide in-house training specifically aimed at Town & Parish Councillors, which we are currently offering at a specially reduced price.

Many of our District Council clients have been keen to organise this kind of training for their Town/Parish Councils with most of them running several repeat sessions. Some feedback from these sessions can be viewed on our website.

The most popular option is our Briefing on Planning for Town and Parish Councils. Aimed at Councillors and Clerks, it is designed to enable participants to make a more effective contribution to the Development Management process. It is a general Planning overview and the main aims of the session are:

  • to familiarise participants with the overall framework of the planning system and where development management fits into this
  • to explain the basic components of the development management process and where Parish/Town Councils fit in
  • to explain some key concepts of the development management decision-making process, to enable Parish/Town Councils to relate to these effectively
  • generally to clarify the potential for, and the limitation of, Parish/Town Council input.

The workshop has been designed to run over a half-day with flexible timings in a morning, afternoon or evening and is delivered by one of our experienced Councillor presenters.

Some examples of recent participant feedback are as follows:

  • Informative, interesting and useful for the future. Hazel Hill, Sandhurst Town Council
  • Good content, delivered in an interesting and entertaining way. Well done, I would recommend TRA to others. Paul Bettison, Bracknell Forest Council
  • Excellent, very informative. Sue Warren, Sandhurst Town Council
  • Having been on planning training before it shows how things have changed and the necessity for keeping abreast of these changes. Paul Byrne, Saddleworth PC
  • Very informative, interesting and very well presented. Thank you! Steve Hewitt, Saddleworth PC

If you are interested in finding out more about this training (at a reduced price!) then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes directly for a detailed quotation. The prices we quote are inclusive of all of our fees, presenter's expenses and pre-course/course documentation. This means that there are no 'hidden extras' and our clients are aware from the outset what they can expect to pay at the invoicing stage.

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A Forum on Enforcement 2015 - have you booked your place yet?

As mentioned in last month's ENews, the details for this year's Forum on Enforcement taking place on 1 October 2015 in Manchester have now been published. The event is booking up well, but there is still time to book your place if you haven't already done so.

Just to remind you, the topics being covered by our panel of speakers include:

  • a Legal Update on recent case law
  • identification of the correct planning unit
  • substantial completion and the consequences of the 'fallback' position
  • what can constitute a material commencement and the tricky issue of conditions precedent
  • Stop Wasting your Time! - deploying limited enforcement resources "on target" to ensure the best possible service is provided.

Further details for the Forum can be found on the TRA website. Bookings can be made using the booking form also available to download from the website. If you are unable to make a firm booking straight away, provisional bookings are recommended and can be made by telephoning 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility.

Discounts of between 10 and 15% are available when booking 2 or more places at the same time (over any number of events in the programme). A special block booking form giving further details is available on the website.

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Enforcement Update in Scotland - what will this year's workshop be covering?

The 2015 training programme in Scotland begins its Autumn schedule shortly with three workshops taking place at the Novotel Hotel in Glasgow on 17 September. Two of these workshops, The Use and Abuse of Planning Conditions & Section 75 Obligations and The Language of Urban Design, are brand new for 2015 and are now almost fully booked (just 1 place left on The Language of Urban Design). However there are a few places remaining on the third event:

Current Issues in Planning Enforcement: essential CPD update is unique in that each year it takes a new look at different aspects of the legislative and policy frameworks as well as focusing on day-to-day enforcement practices and issues. As it is different each year, delegates will benefit from attending more than once, as several people have already done.

The main focus this year will be on investigating alleged breaches of planning control and determining in those problematic cases whether there has been development (and if so, how to describe it). Also whether a condition has been breached and if so, the enforcement consequences. There will be discussion and group work on cameo cases covering the issues raised including: curtilage; defining the planning unit; whether intensification can amount to development; different types of conditions and immunity; the "second-bite" provisions and how far they have been stretched; dealing with concealment; and abandonment.

For several years the Scottish Government has been collecting Performance Statistics on "enforcement activities" and the workshop will take a brief look at the recently released 2014/15 figures. There will be an opportunity to discuss how the Government and others might interpret what they say about individual authorities and:

  • whether there is consistency in how Planning Authorities define "a case taken up" and "breach resolved"
  • why some authorities serve very few notices.

Finally, the day will consider (once a breach has been identified) the timing of the decision on whether or not it is expedient to take enforcement action and the scenarios that flow from it.

Further details including a downloadable leaflet/booking form can be found on the TRA website. If you are unable to make a firm booking straight away, provisional bookings are recommended and can be made by telephone on 01204 385678 or via the online provisional bookings page on the website.

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TRA & Carlisle CC support Parish Council with Neighbourhood Plan

Carlisle City Council recently commissioned TRA to assist them in supporting one of their Parish Councils (Dalston) with a half-day workshop on neighbourhood plan preparation.

The bespoke session was designed specifically to assist in the preparation of the Dalston Neighbourhood Plan following the residents' survey and the initial consultation responses. Its principal focus was policy formulation, looking at the particular circumstances within the plan area. Using case examples from emerging practice, the workshop examined the issues involved in the preparation of the plan, issues and options, and the drafting of policies. It also included an explanation of the processes and procedures around the environmental assessment of the Plan.

The workshop was developed and delivered by TRA presenter, Andrew Ashcroft, who has experience of Neighbourhood Planning both from within a local authority and as an Independent Examiner.

By all accounts it was a very worthwhile session. Andrew said: "This was a very interesting session to run. It was particularly rewarding to help the parish council move into the policy formulation stage and to understand the Plan area more fully". Zoe Sutton, the council's Rural Development Officer, who organised the session, said: "Absolutely met my requirements. Focused on the main way forward and helped the planning group to focus on policies. Great - thank you!" Feedback from other particpants was also very positive:

  • Met my expectations. Food for thought and will prompt me to move forward without too many issues. A most enjoyable experience. Chris Drouet, Dalston Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group
  • Did not know what to expect but I found it very interesting and enlightening. Ann Byers, Dalston Parish Council
  • The presenter's extensive experience and his ability to refer to this at the appropriate times was hugely beneficial. Garry Legg, Carlisle CC.

Workshops on Neighbourhood Planning can be tailored to local circumstances to ensure that training meets with your specific requirements. If you would like more information, such as an outline programme, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes.

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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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