ENews Issue - 30 November 2015

ENews - November 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.

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In this issue:

  • Places up for grabs on TRA's Certificated Programme on Enforcement
  • 2016 workshop programmes coming soon...
  • More than 500 jobs advertised on TRA's free Planning Jobs Board
  • Securing Good Design in Newark and Sherwood
  • TRA invited back to Loch Lomond for in-house training on Negotiation skills
  • Examiner recommends Turners Hill Neighbourhood Plan for referendum
  • Andrew Ashcroft completes walking challenge for Children in Need




Places up for grabs on TRA's Certificated Programme on Enforcement

TRA's Certificated Training Programme on Planning Enforcement has always proved to be extremely popular and as some of you will know, we often have very long waiting lists for those hoping to get places on individual modules in the programme.

The next two modules are due to start in January 2016, however due to some of the students who were hoping to attend now finding they are unable to secure the necessary funding, we find ourselves in the unusual position of having a small number of places still available on each of the modules:

Planning Enforcement Procedures and Practical Use of the "toolkit" - 19-20 January & 7-8 March 2016 (1 place remaining)

Planning Enforcement and Advertisement Control - 21-22 January & 9-10 March 2016 (2 places remaining)

Details for these modules and what they cover can be found on our website via the above links.

This modular training programme was originally developed by Trevor Roberts Associates in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. It provides a unique opportunity for those 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 can be found on our website.

For each module, students are required to attend two two-day Tutorial Sessions at Madingley Hall, 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 seen here.

In order to encourage active participation by all students and to enable the Tutor to provide tailored learning, attendance on each module is strictly limited to 12. If you would like to reserve a place on either of these modules, a booking form can be downloaded via the above links to each module. However, we would suggest you make a provisional booking initially by telephone to avoid disappointment bycontacting Shelagh Pooley on the above number (or: shelagh@tra-ltd.co.uk). Shelagh would also be happy to answer any questions you may have about the programme.

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2016 workshop programmes coming soon...

Earlier this week our final two inter-authority workshops for 2015 took place in Manchester, bringing another successful annual programme to a close. We are now busily working to finalise our selection of inter-authority training sessions for 2016 and the details will be available shortly.

These will be posted on our website and circulated to our mailing contacts as soon as they are ready. If you would like to sign up to receive details you can subscribe to our mailing list here.

For England & Wales we are aiming to include:

  • two new workshops on enforcement
  • a workshop on Green Belt policy and its interpretation
  • The Language of Urban Design (which proved very popular when it ran for the first time in Scotland earlier this year)
  • a workshop for those new to handling planning applications on the essential skills needed

  • and, possibly, a session looking at issues around pre-application discussions.

Our block booking system will remain in place for 2016 in England & Wales and Scotland, offering discounts of up to 15% for bookings of 2 or more places made at the same time - an excellent opportunity to sort out all your training needs for the year in one go and stretch the training budget that little bit further!

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More than 500 jobs advertised on TRA's free Planning Jobs Board

The TRA Planning Jobs Board saw it's 500th job advert earlier this month as it continues to grow in popularity.

Advertising on our Jobs Board is entirely free to local authorities handling their own recruitment (unfortunately we can't offer it to recruitment agencies). 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. We're currently listing a good number of vacancies with closing dates in December:

  • Principal Spatial Policy and Delivery Officer - Lichfield DC
  • Principal Planning Policy Officer - Eden DC
  • Principal Planning Officer - Chichester DC
  • Principal Planner - South Cambridgeshire DC
  • Senior Planning Officer - Chichester DC
  • Senior Planning Officers (x2) - South Cambridgeshire DC
  • Planning Officer/Senior Planning Officer - Charnwood BC
  • Planning Obligations Monitoring and Implementation Officer - Chichester DC
  • Planning Officers - Chichester DC
  • Planning Policy Officer - Chichester DC
  • Policy Officer (Design & Conservation) - Waverley BC
  • Planning Officer (Policy) - Eden DC
  • Planning Officers (DM) - Eden DC
  • Assistant Planning Officer (DC) - Malvern Hills
  • Personal Assistant/Office Manager - St Albans City & DCC
  • Senior Planning Enforcement Officer - City of Stoke on Trent (closing 2 Dec)
  • Temporary Planning Enforcement Officer - City of Stoke on Trent (closing 2 Dec)
  • Planning Enforcement Officer - Chichester DC
  • Planning Enforcement Officer (x2) - Waverley BC

  • Planning Technician (DM) - Eden DC
  • Tree Preservation Order Assistants (x2) - St Albans City & DC
  • Building Control Officer - Wellingborough BC

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 (most application forms ask this question).

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Securing Good Design in Newark and Sherwood

Having heard good reviews from previous participants, and wanting to upskill their staff on design, Newark and Sherwood District Council recently commissioned TRA to deliver an in-house session on 'Securing Good Design within the NPPF'.

The workshop was aimed at development management, planning policy and design officers and helped them understand what they should be looking to achieve in terms of design and, crucially, how best to achieve it. By drawing out the main design elements and principles, the workshop provided participants with the key tools and understanding they need to bring high level guidance to life in their own locality. Not only will those skills assist them in their negotiations with applicants, agents and developers but they will also help when explaining design issues to councillors and members of the public and when defending decisions at appeal and proposed policies at Local Plan Examinations.

Using real life examples and case studies, the workshop took a hands-on and interactive approach to explore issues including:

  • design codes
  • integrating green infrastructure
  • responding to local character
  • creating a sense of place, and
  • securing and negotiating quality outcomes.

The workshop was delivered by TRA Presenter, Timothy Crawshaw, and participant feedback was excellent:

  • Very good and really useful. Helped to build confidence. Julia Lockwood
  • Excellent, interactive and thought provoking. Oliver Scott
  • Really enjoyed the training and found it very interesting and relevant to working in a planning department. Adrian Adams
  • Enjoyed looking at examples of good/poor design and working up a design code. Martin Russell
  • Only recently started determining planning applications so the training gave me an insight into "the bigger picture" with lots of "hands on training". The presenter was very approachable and clearly explained the content of the day. Brilliant, useful day! Karen Adams

Angela Holmes would be more than happy to provide you with a no-obligation quotation if you would like to receive a detailed proposal for this workshop.

Please note that our prices are 'all-inclusive' and so include all of our fees, presenter's expenses and pre-course/course material, so there are no hidden extras and our clients can see from the outset what they will pay at the invoicing stage.

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TRA invited back to Loch Lomond for in-house training on Negotiation skills

Following a successful Report Writing in-course in November last year, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs NPA recently invited TRA back to their Headquarters to deliver a workshop on Negotiation Skills for Planners.

Negotiation concepts and skills are a major and widespread component of management training; but this almost always relates to sales situations (i.e. buying and selling of goods/services) or to employer/employee bargaining situations (over salaries, conditions of employment etc.) This workshop, however, was uniquely aimed at planning and development staff who have to negotiate with various outside organisations, agencies and individuals as part of their work.

Specific objectives of the workshop were:

  • to establish clear basic concepts of negotiation in planning and development situations
  • to develop some operational and personal techniques in negotiation and explore how to apply these in working situations
  • to recognise negotiation techniques which may be used by other parties, and how these may be "countered" if necessary
  • to lay the foundations for continued learning about negotiation in working situations.

The workshop was developed and delivered by TRA Presenter, Chris Weetman, and course feedback was very encouraging:

  • I couldn't have asked for a more detailed and 'planning' specific course to help me understand the issues of negotiation. Craig Jardine
  • Good use of relevant examples to back up the points being made. Karen McChesney
  • Well delivered and excellent content, making it easy to understand and think about putting this into practice in a professional capacity. Martin Brown

If you are interested in receiving more details on this workshop or any of the range of personal/management development workshops that are available on an in-house basis, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes for a no obligation quotation.

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Examiner recommends Turners Hill Neighbourhood Plan for referendum

The examination of the Turners Hill Neighbourhood Plan, submitted to TRA by Mid Sussex DC, was completed in late October. The Examiner Brian Dodd concluded that, subject to some modifications, the Plan meets the "basic conditions" and other legal tests required. He therefore recommended that the Plan, prepared by Turners Hill Parish Council, should proceed to a Referendum once modified. Mid Sussex will now consider the Examiner's report and a decision on whether the Plan will proceed to this next stage is expected shortly.

The Neighbourhood Plan Examination service provided by 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 Examinations 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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Andrew Ashcroft completes walking challenge for Children in Need

Last Friday, TRA Associate Andrew Ashcroft completed a three peaks challenge to raise money for Children in Need. At 8am he set out, alongside 14 of his colleagues from Planning and associated services at Herefordshire Council, to scale Hergest Ridge (426m), Llanthony Peak (552m) and British Camp (338m).

The challenge was to do it in a single day and with limited daylight hours. There were concerns that Storm Abigail would further add to the challenge but the group was blessed with dry (although very windy) weather with excellent visibility.



Five members of the group (including Andrew) achieved all three peaks and with other fund-raising efforts during the week the group managed to raise just under £500. Well done to all!

Andrew is pictured right (waving) with colleagues on top of Llanthony Peak.

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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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