ENews Issue - 29 June 2016

ENews - June 2016

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:

  • Last few places on brand new Effective Appeals workshop in Scotland
  • Latest vacancies on TRA Jobs Board
  • Bromley and Waverley Councillors get an insight into the Appeals process
  • September workshops in London booking up fast!
  • A Forum on Enforcement 2016 - time to book your place!
  • Getting to grips with Planning Enforcement in Doncaster and Cheshire




Last few places on brand new Effective Appeals workshop in Scotland

Brand new in our 2016 Scotland programme is Effective Planning Appeals, taking place on 29 September in Glasgow. The workshop looks set to be a sell-out, with just 4 places remaining. If you'd like to attend we'd suggest you reserve your place asap.

This new event is a master class from a serving reporter on up-to-date best practice in presenting and resisting planning appeals made to the Scottish Ministers. It will be appropriate for both public and private sector professionals. The workshop has been developed by retired Solicitor Frances McChlery and will feature:

  • a review of the 2013 appeals regulations
  • experience of the management of other procedures such as report cases and Electricity Act casework
  • guidance on responding to procedure notices, further written submissions, hearings and public inquiry sessions
  • an update on electronic working and document management
  • the expenses circular and some recent examples, and
  • an overview and update on Local Review Bodies and the distinctions between LRB's and Ministers' appeal procedures.

Further details and a booking form are available on the TRA website. If you are unable to send a firm booking straight away, provisional bookings to reserve your place(s) are strongly recommended for this popular event and can be made by telephoning 01204 385678 or via our online provisional booking 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 2016 Scotland programme. Further details of the scheme and information on other events available are on the website.

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Latest vacancies on TRA Jobs Board

Here's our pick of the current vacancies on our Planning Jobs Board (with closing dates in July):

  • Service Manager (Development Management) - Bedford BC
  • Deputy Planning Team Manager - St Albans City & District
  • Conservation and Design Team Leader - Kensington & Chelsea Royal Borough
  • Principal Planning Officer - Forest Heath & St Edmundsbury Councils
  • Principal Planning Officer - Forest of Dean DC (closing 4 July)
  • Senior Planning Officer - Forest Heath & St Edmundsbury Councils
  • Senior Planning Officer - Cheshire West and Chester
  • Senior Planning Officer (x2) - St Albans City & District
  • Senior Planner - Bedford BC (closing 4 July)
  • Planning/Senior Planning Officer (maternity cover) - Lichfield DC
  • Senior Transport Planner - Guildford BC (closing 1 July)
  • Planning Officer (maternity cover) - St Albans City & District
  • Deputy Planning Investigations Team Leader - St Albans City & District
  • Planning Investigations Officer - St Albans City & District
  • Enforcement Officer - Bolsover DC (closing 1 July)
  • S106 Monitoring Officer - South Oxfordshire DC
  • CIL Monitoring & Compliance Officer - Wakefield Council (closing 1 July)

Advertising on TRA's Jobs Board is entirely free to local authorities handling their own recruitment. 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.

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.

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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Bromley and Waverley Councillors get an insight into the Appeals process

TRA was recently commissioned to deliver two in-house training sessions focusing on Appeals for Councillors.

The first was delivered at the London Borough of Bromley and was presented by TRA Presenter, David Kaiserman. It provided Members with an overview of the significance of appeals in the planning system. The attendees were mostly experienced Councillors so, rather than an overview of the basics, the session looked at the way in which appeals are decided; and in particular it considered what has happened since the arrival of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It also highlighted the principles behind the costs regime. It was intended to provide an opportunity for debate on these issues, and generally threw some light on a number of grey areas.

The second session was delivered by TRA Presenter, Lee Prebble, on behalf of Waverley Borough Council. This session was more of a general overview of the basics, helping Councillors to understand the planning appeal process and how it works; to appreciate the differences in requirements for the various appeal methods and consider how they may be involved and contribute. It gave Members the opportunity to discuss various elements including what constitutes good and bad evidence and the avoidance of costs.

Participant feedback from both of the sessions was excellent:

  • Clear guidance on the processes, procedures and pitfalls facing local councillors when involved in planning appeals
  • Met my expectations and more so. In depth and clearly explained
  • Excellent - we requested this tailored training and we got so much more
  • I particularly liked the interactive exercise
  • Excellent presentation with a lot of comment from personal experience
  • I wish this training course had been available years ago. I have concerns relating to the influence that statutory consultees have on our ability to make a decision based on our local knowledge of our ward.

TRA can provide training for Councillors on various aspects of planning, some of which are mentioned on our website. Both of the above training sessions were delivered during the evening in the form of a three hour workshop. All of our short Councillor training sessions can be delivered at a time to suit, in either a morning, afternoon or evening.

If you feel that a focused session on Appeals, or another specific topic, would be of interest to your Councillors, please feel free to contact Angela Holmes who will provide you with a no obligation quotation. Please note that the prices we quote are 'all-inclusive' and therefore include all of our fees, presenter expenses and pre-course/course documentation - so no hidden extras.

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September workshops in London booking up fast!

Following the Summer break, the 2016 Training Workshop Programme will resume with three workshops taking place on 22 September at The Wesley in London. One of the workshops on Effective Validation is already fully booked but there are still places available on the other two, but don't hang around!

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.

Comments from some of the participants who have attended this workshop previously include:

  • "Very interesting and good content explained well" Erica Buchanan, Wellingborough Council
  • "Very helpful tips from preparing proofs/statement of case - to what to do on the day. Interesting tactics/approaches to be taken" J Ryan, Test Valley Borough Council
  • "It was a very thorough workshop, taking us through every stage of the Inquiry process and giving us a lot of tips and confidence in our role" Georgina Doyle, Charnwood Borough Council

The Enforcement Toolkit and how to use it (NEW FOR 2016) - only 4 places left

This brand new workshop is ideally suited to those who already have some experience of planning enforcement work, and will be particularly useful for enforcement officers, planning officers or lawyers who have any part to play in the taking of formal enforcement action. Elements covered will include the collection of evidence, the application of the 4 and 10-year rules, the timing of the assessment of expediency and what an assessment entails, including what are relevant material considerations. From this assessment "scenarios" should emerge which will indicate the appropriate action(s) and the range of tools that can be used. The workshop will focus in particular on the use, drafting, serving and defending of enforcement notices. Real life examples and case studies will be used throughout. For previous participants of our popular Basics of Planning Enforcement this new workshop provides an ideal next step in their professional development.

Further details and booking forms are available on the TRA website via the above links to the appropriate workshop. If you are unable to send a firm booking straight away, provisional bookings are recommended to reserve your place(s) and can be made by telephoning 01204 385678 or via our online provisional booking 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 2016 programme. Further details of the scheme and information on other events available (including the Forum on Enforcement) are available on the website.

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A Forum on Enforcement 2016 - time to book your place!

Details have now been finalised for the latest Forum on Enforcement due to take place at the Manchester Meeting Place on Thursday 13 October 2016.

This event is firmly established as the update for people involved in or interested in planning enforcement. It is a unique opportunity to learn from our highly experienced panel of contributors and exchange useful experience with colleagues from other authorities and organisations.

TRA has always recognised enforcement as a vital and very complex aspect of the planning process. Over the years we have been at the forefront of providing a range of training and education opportunities including our annual Forum for enforcement officers, legal and planning staff, and anyone from the private sector with a specific interest in planning enforcement.

As enforcement can become particularly litigious it is important we all keep up to date with recent case law and so the day will begin with a Legal Update by solicitor IZINDI VISAGIE, founder of Ivy Legal.

Three parallel sessions will then be run once before and once after lunch giving everyone the chance to attend the two which are of most interest to them:

  • DAVID BAILEY, Traveller and Diversity Manager with Fenland District Council will explain how to put a Direct Action Plan into practice when previous enforcement action has failed to remedy a breach of control
  • LUKE VEILLET, Planning Officer (Enforcement) at South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Councils has been the lead officer responsible for implementing new procedures for proactively monitoring 'major' development sites and will look at how this is operating
  • DON SORBY, Principal Planning Investigations Officer with Doncaster MBC has been involved in a significant number of cases where planning injunctions have been urgently required and will outline the process that must be followed to ensure success.

The final plenary session will be given by CHRIS FRANCE, Head of Planning at North York Moors National Park Authority. Chris will explain how his authority has successfully implemented a mechanism for recovering the costs of taking enforcement action from owners or occupiers. In light of current budget cuts, this should be of considerable interest to all planning authorities!

The Forum will be Chaired by MARK DALL, Enforcement Officer with Fife Council and former Chair of the Scottish Planning Enforcement Forum.

Further details for the Forum and a booking form can be found on the TRA website. If you are unable to send a firm booking straight away, provisional bookings are recommended to reserve your place(s), and can be made by telephoning 01204 385678 or via our online provsional bookings page.

As always discounts of between 10 and 15% are available when making bookings of two or more places at the same time, over any number of events in the 2016 programme. Details of other events available and a discounted block booking form can be found on our website.

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Getting to grips with Planning Enforcement in Doncaster and Cheshire

Planning enforcement is the most complex and litigious part of the planning process; therefore effective enforcement is essential to maintain the integrity of the whole planning process.

TRA's workshop 'The Basics of Planning Enforcement' introduces staff, some of who may not necessarily be involved in enforcement work, to how the system works and this was recently the case in both Doncaster MBC and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Each session was delivered on an in-house basis for staff with varying degrees of enforcement knowledge and both directly and indirectly involved with enforcement matters.

This popular and interactive workshop deals with:

  • defining the breach of planning control
  • the need for thorough investigation and evidence of the alleged breach

    some immunity issues
  • assessing expediency and the importance of demonstrating harm
  • the scenarios that follow from the expediency tests
  • the pros and cons of using some key enforcement tools
  • the basics of enforcement appeals and the consequences of non-compliance with a notice.

Referring to relevant case law and welcoming questions and concerns throughout, the sessions proved to be very popular with the attendees:

  • A well delivered presentation which held all of our attentions on what could have been a dry topic! Pitched at the right level for our group. Very informative, the presenter was very knowledgeable on the subject at hand and was very engaging. I feel much more prepared should we have to take a larger role in enforcement complaints. The presenter effectively demystified the legislation and regulations relating to enforcement. Lyndsay Shiner, Cheshire West and Chester
  • A really good introduction into enforcement. The presenter was very well informed and provided detailed answers to all the questions raised. We could not have asked for a better course presenter! Clare Appleyard, Cheshire West and Chester
  • Excellent presentation, very well delivered. Very useful as a planning policy officer to brush up on this aspect of planning. Very enjoyable. Thank you. Chris Reynolds, Doncaster
  • Exceeded my expectations in respect of a better grounding of planning legislation and methods to be utilized for enforcement routes. Really enjoyed the style and approach of the presentation. Claire Bignell, Doncaster.

These particular workshops were delivered by Vivien Green, TRA Senior Associate and one of our most experienced presenters. If you think that your authority would benefit from an in-house session on Enforcement, please contact Angela Holmes directly with your requirements. Please note that we are happy to develop bespoke sessions where appropriate or tailor existing sessions to ensure that training fully meets with your exact requirements.

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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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