ENews Issue - 30 November 2008

ENews - November 2008

Design Policy: learn how to make a positive difference - 30/11/08

A brand new workshop on Design Policy is being introduced into our 2009 workshop programmes in both England and Scotland. Tailored to suit the situation either north or south of the border (in terms of their different policy frameworks etc) the workshop will run in London on 19 March, Edinburgh on 13 May and Manchester on 10 December.

The workshop is being delivered by a new member of TRA's team, Timothy Crawshaw, an innovative designer with over 15 years' experience in both the public and private sectors.

Although there is high level support for design quality in new development and emphasis is placed on the importance of design considerations when determining planning applications, design policy can sometimes prove inadequate and/or may be poorly applied at a local level. It is a challenge to formulate sound and effective policies which will work on the ground, and the job can be made even harder if there is a lack of in-house design knowledge. This new workshop has been developed to provide officers with practical advice and ideas on how to develop effective design policies and how to strengthen the links between policy and design.

The workshop will be of particular interest to those involved in developing policy or who wish to have an input into the formulation of such policies and so positively influence the design of new developments in their area.

Further details for England and Scotland can be found on our website. Bookings can be made by returning a completed booking form. Provisional bookings can be made by telephone or online using our provisional bookings facility.

Accredited training for planning support staff - 28/11/08

The TRA/Cambridge University certificated programme in Town Planning Support began running in January 2007 and has proved extremely popular. The programme offers a unique opportunity for staff working in the crucial administrative/support role within planning to develop themselves through focused training, tailored to their needs and relating to issues and experience in their own workplace, and at the same time work towards a formal qualification.

The programme is modular, consisting of four modules, and we usually recommend that people begin with Module 1: The UK Planning Framework and the Role of Planning Support within it.

Each module is run once every 12-18 months and the next opportunity to attend Module 1 is coming up in January and February 2009 (after that, the module will next run in summer 2010). There are a few places left for January/February 2009 but prompt booking is recommended at this stage since places are strictly limited to 12.

If you would like further information or to discuss whether the course would be right for you (or one of your staff) please contact Shelagh Pooley who will be happy to discuss things in more detail.

TRA Enforcement Forum as popular as ever - 27/11/08

TRA's latest 'Forum on Enforcement', held on the 16th October, was once again a sell-out event, with over 130 attendees. The range of presentations generated excellent feedback:

  • Even with two forums each year, TRA continues to provide informative and interesting presentations from quality speakers. Kevin Dalton, Kirklees MBC
  • A great forum yet again. Very informative and interesting. Karen Morville, Burnley BC
  • Very relevant to the job. Mandy Swithenbank, City of York Council
  • Excellent subject matter and speakers. Can't wait for next year. Mark Sillitoe, Ellesmere Port and Neston BC.

The dates for the 2009 Forums are already fixed - 24 March and 27 October, both in Warrington. Places can be booked on either event now. Don't forget that they can count towards a block-booking, enabling you to save 15%. Provisional bookings can be made by telephone on 01204 385678 or via the provisional bookings page on our website.

The March Forum will be the last one before Trevor Roberts retires in June 2009 and he will be making a farewell appearance as a speaker. Trevor has personally championed the role of enforcement staff for many years, pioneering the provision of training specifically aimed at Enforcement Officers, including this Forum and the certificated course run in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. Trevor has always said that you need to be around for at least 25 years in planning to see the benefit of any plans and policies so it will be interesting to hear, at the end of his 25 years with TRA, what his final thoughts on enforcement might be.

TRA management support for planning, development and regeneration services - 27/11/08

As part of our portfolio of services dedicated to supporting local government, TRA has been providing in-house management training and consultancy services for nearly 25 years. But, unlike many other organisations offering similar services, we are not "general" management consultants; our services are oriented to the specific managerial needs of local authority planning, development and regeneration functions.

Our team, built up over many years, has an understanding of the particular technical, legal and professional context which applies in these specific areas. This context is vital, and it is what makes TRA different.

Training assignments vary from client to client, ranging from a single one-day workshop, say on Supervision and Motivation or Performance Management, to a more extensive and structured programme covering several topic areas, delivered either in a single block or at regular intervals over a specified period. Details of the management training options available can be found on our website.

Consultancy assignments are tailored to suit the specific needs of individual clients. Our website provides details of typical consultancy assignments but this is not exhaustive and we are happy to discuss your requirements on a no-commitment basis.

New Planning Policy Forum planned - 25/11/08

As well as our extensive range of small-group workshops (max 20 people), TRA also runs a small number of larger, conference-style events or "forums", including our ever-popular Forum on Enforcement and Conference for Planning Support Staff run each year. For 2009, we are planning a similar event for all those involved in the statutory forward planning system. Our new Planning Policy Forum will be held in Manchester on 1 July 2009.

TRA Forums are a well-established mechanism for keeping up to date with policy and practice issues, learning about techniques and methodology, and exchanging experience with fellow practitioners in a structured but informal environment. They normally attract between 80 and 130 participants.

The exact programme for each Forum is usually fixed a few months ahead of the event but places can be reserved on the event at any time. Please note that places booked on this event can count towards a block-booking for 2009. Topics for this particular Forum are likely to include contemporary policy/legislative issues, good practice on a range of methodologies, and up to the minute analysis of relevant legal developments. The event will be the main get-together for practitioners in the forward planning scene and we hope it will become established as a regular event.

Details of the programme will be posted on our website and circulated to our usual mailing contacts as soon as they are available. If you do not currently receive our publicity directly but would like to do so please visit our website to sign-up.

Want to catch up with ENews? - 24/11/08

If you've missed a recent issue of ENews or have only just subscribed to the newsletter then don't forget that previous issues of the TRA monthly newsletter can be accessed via our website. Just visit the Newsletter Archives page to catch up.

2009 Scotland workshop programme - details announced - 21/11/08

TRA's 2009 programme of training for planning and development practitioners in Scotland has now been finalised and the details are available for viewing on our website via the above link. The programme includes workshops on five brand new topics:

  • Advertisement Control
  • Certificates of Lawfulness: what are they and how should they be handled?
  • Financial Appraisal
  • Design Policy: making the most of the opportunity
  • Processing Agreements and Good Neighbour Agreements: new tools for development management.

If you are on our publicity circulation list you will receive details of the 2009 programme automatically. If you're not yet on the list but would like to receive details you can sign-up now. In the meantime you can download a list of dates and venues in the form of our handy programme summary.

Individual leaflets/booking forms for each event will be available via the website shortly but if you want to book a place on any of the workshops featured in the programme you can do so now using the general booking form or the discounted block booking form (to gain your 15% block booking discount). As always, you can also reserve places provisionally by giving us a call or by using the provisional bookings facility on our website.

Please note that for the 2009 Scotland programme, we will not be circulated printed leaflets/booking forms for each individual workshop - you will need to download these from the website. This is being done to reduce consumption of paper and energy as part of our Environmental Management System.

Negotiation Skills - places available on certificated course for planners/enforcement officers - 13/11/08

There are still a few places available on the Negotiation Concepts and Skills for planning and development staff module running in January and February 2009 as part of the TRA/Cambridge University certificated programme.

The module is equally appropriate for planning or enforcement staff. It is approved by the University for both the Management Concepts and Skills programme and the Planning Enforcement programme meaning that it can count towards the certificate for those following the Enforcement course. (This is often overlooked and provides an ideal alternative for those who may be struggling to get places on the enforcement modules).

The module covers the significance of negotiation in planning/development situations; when and when not to negotiate; the concept of "commitment" in negotiation; the different approaches (win/win, win/lose etc); common negotiation gambits and how they are used in planning; and power relationships and the personality dimension.

The module is running on 19-20 January and 23-24 February 2009 at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. It won't run again until Summer 2010 so if you are interested, now is the time to book.

The TRA Certificated Course offers excellent value for money, working out at less than £200 per training day. No one else offers training which is prepared and presented by someone experienced in town planning as well as management; delivered for strictly limited numbers of participants (max 12); which relates directly to the participant's own working situation; and is accredited by a University of international standing.

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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