ENews Issue - 30 July 2005

ENews - July 2005

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.

30/07/05 - APOLOGIES

We have been having some technical difficulties with the distribution of the July issue of TRA ENews. Please accept our apologies if you have received more than one copy.


The programme for this year's Enforcement Forum in Warrington has now been finalised. The event will take place on Thursday 13 October and publicity details will be circulated to our usual mailing contacts in the next week or so.

The theme for this year is making the most of the enforcement toolkit. Please click here for details of topics and speakers, venue, cost etc.

The Forum is always very popular, with many people attending every year. It has been a sell-out in recent years and early booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. It is possible to make provisional bookings now by contacting Shelagh Pooley or using the provisional booking facility. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive a copy of the leaflet once it is available please get in touch.


TRA has recently organised a series of in-house workshops for planning support, development control, and enforcement staff on behalf of Kerrier DC and neighbouring authorities. The series involves six one-day workshops, three of which were delivered in June, with three more due to take place in September.

The topics chosen by the authorities are:

  • The Basics of Planning for Administrative Staff

  • Supporting the Development Control Function: a workshop for experienced technical and administrative staff

  • Best Practice in the Administration of Development Control

  • Permitted Development

  • Understanding and Defining Material Change of Use

  • Understanding Operational Development.

  • Feedback on the series so far has been excellent.

    We can provide a range of in-house workshops for development control and planning support staff. If you would like further information please contact Sharon Collier.


There are places available on just two of TRA's remaining 2005 workshops in Scotland, the rest are all fully booked. Places are available for An Introduction to Development Control on 22 September and for Permitted Development on 6 December, both running in Glasgow.

Please contact Shelagh Pooley if you would like to reserve a place or for further information. Prompt booking is recommended at this stage.


TRA recently delivered a two-day training programme for Councillors at Carrick District Council. The programme was a bespoke one, combining a selection of the modules which TRA offers on a variety of planning related topics. These modules are mainly intended as follow-up sessions for existing client authorities where we have already delivered our two main one-day workshops, A Briefing on Planning for Councillors and The Role of Councillors in Planning: probity and propriety issues. However, in certain circumstances, it may be possible for us to deliver them for new clients.

The bespoke programme in Carrick involved an update on the planning system and changes to it, progress on various PPGs and PPSs, and half-day workshops on appeals and s106 agreements.

Details of the modules available can be found on our website under Training for Councillors. If you would like further informati on please contact Sharon Collier.


Due to unforseen circumstances, our latest conference for support staff has been rescheduled. It will now take place on Monday 21 November, still in Manchester as originally planned. The programme for the conference is currently being finalised and details will be available shortly.

TRA has been running an annual conference for the last 13 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.

Last year's event attracted over 80 participants from all types of authority and we are hoping that this year's event will be equally successful.

If you would like to register your interest in receiving details of this event once they are available please get in touch. You can also keep an eye on our website where details will be posted as soon as possible. If you would like to reserve a place provisionally in the meantime please contact Shelagh Pooley or use the provisional booking facility on our website.


For many years, TRA has organised training workshops for those likely to be involved in Public Inquiries and these have always proved popular. This training is now available exclusively on an in-house basis for the benefit of individual authorities (or groups of neighbouring authorities).

The workshop is run over two days. Day 1 involves inputs from our presenters and group discussion focusing on the background to and preparation for the inquiry, and Day 2 revolves around a mock inquiry exercise.

Generally, the workshop aims to boost participants' confidence by enhancing their competence. Its specific objectives include:

  • to improve presentation, witness and advocacy skills

  • to clarify the role of different participants at the inquiry

  • to equip participants with a clear understanding of inquiry procedures

  • to enhance good practice.

  • The training is presented by two of TRA's Seni or Associates, David Kaiserman and Ian Kinloch and can accommodate up to a maximum of 16 participants.

    TRA organised this particular workshop in June for St Edmundsbury BC and neighbouring authorities and feedback was positive:

    Both parts of the course were very helpful in understanding how inquiries work and how to perform in them. I have learned a great deal. Tony Collins, Cambridge CC.

    I have attended this course previously and had high expectations and I wasn't disappointed. It felt realistic, with handy tips throughout on how to present yourself at an inquiry. Toni Hylton, St Edmundsbury BC.

    If you would like further information or are interested in arranging a workshop please contact Sharon Collier.


The latest authority to take delivery of an online DC Procedure Guide developed by TRA is South Oxfordshire District Council. The Guide was produced by a team of TRA Associates led by Senior Associate Mike Muston and was handed over to the authority at the end of June.

This is a unique service developed by TRA. Guides are now operational in more than a dozen local authorities and TRA teams are currently working on a further six.

The development of each Procedure Guide, which is bespoke to the individual authority concerned, is preceded by a detailed review of all aspects of procedures and performance. The result of this review is a substantial written report with justified conclusions and key recommendations for change designed to improve development control performance.

Some basic information on this unique service is available on our website. It is also possible to view a demonstration version of the procedure guide. If you would like to explore things further please feel free to contact Penny O'Shea without obligation.


Steve Hill, a graduate of the TRA/Cambridge University certificated management programme, returned to Madingley last month to talk to current students. In his presentation, entitled Performance in Town Planning - getting delivery from the Cambridge Certificate, he explained how he and his employers have benefited from the course which he completed in 2001.

Afterwards, Steve said "I was extremely pleased and flattered to be invited back to the fantastic surroundings of Madingley. It was very enjoyable relaying my experiences of implementing the Certificate in practice, which has been of enormous help to me in developing my managerial career. The current crop of students seemed to find my experiences of interest and our lively discussion demonstrated to me how useful it is to debate practical management issues and solutions."

Steve is now Development Executive with Lich field District Council, where he has responsibility for Development Control (including enforcement), Conservation & Design, and Building Control.


Congratulations to Dan Roberts, one of TRA's urban design presenters, who has been awarded an MA(Con) in Architecture: Conservation and Renewal by the University of Central England. Dan has been studying for this latest qualification at the Birmingham School of Architecture, part of UCE. He has been awarded a pass with commendation and will be attending a graduation ceremony in September.

Dan is Conservation and Urban Design Manager with Lichfield District Council and presents one of TRA's most popular workshops, Design in Development Control: adding value to mainstream applications in England and Scotland.


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/


You can subscribe or unsubscribe directly from the form below. Alternatively, you can visit the Enews page on our website and manage your subscription from there.

You can also forward this email to a colleague and they can subscribe themselves using this form, or again via the Enews page on our website.


TRA will not share your email address with any third party, and you will only receive occasional emails from TRA. We do not use unsolicited email of any form.