ENews Issue - 29 June 2006

ENews - June 2006

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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The latest module on the TRA/Cambridge University Certificated Course in Management Concepts and Skills in Planning begins in October. The module focuses on Personal and Organisational Effectiveness in the planning and development field and there are just three places remaining. The module is running 25-26 October and 20-21 November at Madingley Hall, Cambridge.

It is possible to undertake modules on one-off basis if you are not aiming for the qualification on offer. Many staff, including especially qualified town planners, have found individual modules of great value and relevance to their work.

Previous feedback on this particular module has been very positive:

I have found this module to be the most valuable of the course; it has provided me w ith a greater understanding of the concepts and practice of organisational effectiveness and why processes and procedures are in place. I now look at projects/tasks in a different manner. Jenny Nell, Mid Beds DC

I found most of the background reading stimulating and was applying some of the concepts in order to organise my work more effectively before the First Tutorial Session. I have learnt to be more systematic in how I organise myself and to prioritise my work so that I can deal with it more effectively. Nick Morley, Gedling BC

I have learnt the difference between delegation and allocation of work which is something that I have never thought of before and it has been invaluable. I have recognised that I need to organise myself and my time more to be more effective and have learnt new practical techniques to achieve this. Sandra Ford, East Staffs BC

For further information or to reserve a place, please contact Shelagh Pooley.


TRA is well-known for its training workshops for Councillors involved in planning. Over the years, several of our clients have extended the provision of this kind of training to their Town and Parish Councils and this has proved especially worthwhile.

Particularly popular is our half-day Briefing on Development Control. This covers the basics of DC and how Town and Parish Councillors fit into, and can engage with, the process plus a crucial look at material considerations and their significance.

A number of repeats of this session were delivered recently for East Lindsey District Council and feedback was very positive:

A most stimulating afternoon. Well planned and presented, bearing in mind our background knowledge is often limited. Certainly gives a deeper understanding of the complex nature of planning.Cllr John Taylor, Tetford Parish Council

Very instructive, enjoyed it very much, not boring at all. Cllr Mrs Thomas, Mablethorpe Town Council

I found the workshop very helpful and it has given me an insight into the problems and pitfalls about planning. Cllr Thompson, Withern Parish Council

The use of a test case was excellent - involved everyone present. Cllr Hollamby, Mareham-le-Fen Parish Council

If you are interested in arranging this kind of training session or would simply like further information, please contact Suzanne Waldram.


We are pleased to announce that Julie Carpenter has become a Senior Associate of TRA. Before establishing her own planning consultancy, Julie was Planning Manager (Business Support) at Broadland District Council. She has almost 20 years' experience in local government planning, principally in development control.

Julie joined TRA in late 2005 to work on DC Procedure Review and Procedure Guide assignments and as a workshop presenter. She has also been instrumental in the development of TRA's new certificated course for planning support staff due to start in early 2007, for which she will be the main Course Tutor.


TRA and the Planning & Environment Bar Association are running a further one-day conference in their informal series on planning law - this time on advertisements.

It will take place on Thursday 26 October 2006 in London.

Although the programme has not yet been finalised, likely topics include:

- a general review of the legal provision/case law of the Advertisement Regulations; what the LPA can/can't and must/must not do

- the use of conditions on advertisement consents

- new approaches to advertisement consent

- advertisement appeals

- roadside advertisements and enforcement

- illumination.

Full details will be circulated shortly but it is possible to reserve places provisionally now by contacting Shelagh Pooley.

Places are £170 plus VAT and PEBA members are offered a discounted rate of £125 plus VAT.


This month saw the launch of NAPE, the new National Association for Planning Enforcement, which has been set up with the support of the RTPI.

Vivien Green, Senior Associate of TRA, has been offered the position of Principal Honorary Member of the association in recognition of her work within the enforcement field. Amongst many other things, Vivien is the Course Tutor on the TRA/Cambridge University Certificated Course in Planning Enforcement and devises the programmes for TRA's annual Forum on Enforcement.

Speaking at the NAPE launch event, Vivien said:

"Over the years I have done quite a lot of work with Enforcement Officers in England, Wales and Scotland. I know how much they want to make enforcement, in both the proactive and reactive sense, an integral part of the planning process. Also, how much they want a means of get ting their voice heard and recognition for what they achieve. A national association, for all those interested in planning enforcement, should provide these opportunities and challenges."

TRA supports the aims of the new Association, many of which TRA has been championing for years through its portfolio of enforcement training, in particular:

- to encourage professional development

- to extend good practice within planning enforcement

- to raise the profile of planning enforcement within and beyond the planning community and to gain recognition for its importance within the planning process.


Don't forget that the next TRA Forum on Enforcement is coming up in October. This extremely popular event will be held on Thursday 12 October at the Centre at Birchwood Park, Warrington.

The programme for the Forum is currently being prepared and details will be circulated to our usual mailing contacts as soon as they are available. Details will also be posted on the website.

If you like to attend this event every year, or if you missed out on a place last year due to high demand, it is possible to reserve your place now - please contact Shelagh Pooley or use the provisional bookings facility on our website.


The programme for our latest Conference for Planning Support Staff has now been finalised. The Conference will take place on Thursday 28 September in Manchester and details have recently been circulated to our usual mailing contacts. Please click here for details of topics and speakers, venue, cost etc.

TRA has been running an annual conference for the last 15 years as part of its portfolio of training events designed for administrative and support staff working in planning. The event acknowledges the crucial and integral role of support staff in delivering the planning service and provides participants with an ideal opportunity to exchange information and examples of best practice with colleagues from other authorities.

Early booking is strongly recommended for this popular event. Please get in touch if you would like a leaflet/booking form. To make a provisional booking (to reserve your pl ace immediately) please contact Shelagh Pooley or use the provisional booking facility on our website.


TRA has recently developed an Online Procedure Guide for Kerrier District Council, covering procedures specifically relating to enforcement and appeals.

The Guide, which was handed over to the authority in April, was produced by TRA's Planning Manager, Stewart Glassar, and followed on from a review of the authority's enforcement procedures carried out by TRA in autumn 2005.

Peter Blackshaw, Planning Enforcement Team Leader, said that "Using the Guide has improved consistency of approach and the confidence of staff in dealing with a complex and procedurally driven part of the planning process."

The authority is hoping to be in a position to commission TRA to codify the rest of their DC procedures later in 2006. Larger scale assignments of this sort, involving the review and specification of all Development Control procedures, are more normal for TRA (the Kerrier guide was more limited in scope). Brief details of this service are available on our website and a brochure is also available on request. If you would like to explore things further please feel free to contact Penny O'Shea without obligation.


A number of students who have successfully completed one of TRA's certificated courses at Cambridge University attended an awards ceremony at Madingley Hall earlier this month.

Five students were there to receive the Certificate of Continuing Education in Planning Enforcement and three were being awarded the Certificate of Continuing Education in Management Concepts and Skills in Planning.

Enforcement graduates

Top left to bottom right:

James Willoughby (Northampton BC)

Peter Lowe (Three Rivers DC)

Bob Lee (Slough BC)

Gaynor Richards (East Staffordshire BC)

Tamara Roberts (Northampton BC)

Vivien Green, Course Tutor.

Management graduates

Left to right:

Trevor Roberts, Course Tutor

Trisha Coyle (London Borough of Havering)

Richard Purcell (East Riding of Yorkshire Council)

Jenny Nell (Mid Beds DC).

Some of the students brought along family members, which is a fitting way to thank them for their support and to share the celebrations with them. TRA tutors, Vivien and Trevor, looked on proudly as their students were awarded their certificates in recognition of the hard work they have put into completing the course. It is a considerable achievement and we send our congratulations to them all.


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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