ENews Issue - 28 October 2005

ENews - October 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.

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TRA has always recognised enforcement as a vital part of the planning process and has been organising an annual Forum on Enforcement for the last 15 years. This year's event was held earlier this month in Warrington and once again turned out to be an excellent event.

Feedback from participants was very positive and their comments include:

Extremely worthwhile and well presented by all speakers. Adam McNally, Eden District Council

I have been attending this event for the last 4 years and am always impressed by the quality of the speakers. I will be returning again next year. Paul Bridge, Urban Vision Partnership Ltd

Excellent. A good event even for consultants who don't necessarily deal with enforcement on a day-to-day basis. Yvonne Naylor, Spawforth Associates.

Although this event has always been popular, it has grown considerably in the last few years and this year's Forum was significantly over-su bscribed, meaning that many people who tried to book were disappointed. Because TRA is particularly committed to providing training for those involved in enforcement, we are in the process of organising an additional Forum to take place in Warrington towards the end of March 2006. It is not possible to reserve places on this event yet but we will publicise the details (via our normal mailing list, on our website and via ENews) as soon as they have been finalised. If you want to make sure you receive the information please get in touch now and let us have your contact details.

Please note that a Forum will also take place in October 2006 in Warrington as usual.


This section of ENews is a way for people who have taken part in the TRA/Cambridge University certificated courses to keep in contact with us and each other. We are keen to keep in touch so please let Shelagh at TRA know if you have any news.

Peter Faulkner is leaving Crewe & Nantwich BC to take up the post of Planning Compliance Officer at Vale Royal BC in November. Peter is about to start his fourth module on the Planning Enforcement programme.

Sandra Ford is leaving her job as Planning Policy Manager with Dudley MBC and joining East Staffordshire BC as Development & Regeneration Manager. Sandra has completed one module on the Management Concepts and Skills programme and is hoping to complete others in the future.

We wish them both the best of luck.


Booking is going very well for our forthcoming Conference for Planning Support Staff on 21 November in Manchester. However, there is still time to reserve places if you or one of your colleagues would like to attend.

Brief details of the programme can be found on our website and a leaflet/booking form is available on request. You can also make a provisional booking now using our provisional booking facility. Prompt booking is recommended.

TRA has been running this annual conference for the last 14 years. The event acknowledges the vital role played by support staff and offers a unique opportunity to exchange information and examples of best practice with colleagues from other organisations.


Doncaster MBC and Eastleigh BC are the latest authorities to have an online DC Procedure Guide developed by TRA. Both Guides were officially handed over to the respective authorities in September and were produced by TRA teams led by Trevor Roberts.

The preparation of an authority specific online Procedure Guide for Development Control is a unique service developed by TRA. Guides are now operational in 17 local authorities and our teams are currently working on a further six.

Before each Guide is developed, all aspects of procedures and performance within the department are reviewed by TRA. This review is a vital element of the assigment as a whole and results in a substantial written report with justified conclusions and key recommendations for change. The implementation of these recommendations can have a significant impact on the quality, consistency and speed of development control performance, all of which are crucial concerns in the era of Planning Delivery Grant.

Some basic information on this 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.


There are limited places still available on the forthcoming module on Concepts and skills for managing teams, groups and meetings, running as part of the TRA/Cambridge University certificated course in Management Concepts and Skills. The course is the only one of its kind in the UK which is directly applicable to the planning and development fields.

The module will be running on 19-20 January & 20-21 February 2006 at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, the base of the University's Institute of Continuing Education.

Comments from previous participants on this particular module:

The knowledge and understanding of team working that I have gained from the course will assist me in developing my team into a more effective unit. It should also help me to progres s towards more senior management positions through the increased confidence I have in my knowledge and abilities. Tim Marsh, Carrick DC

This module provided a good general understanding of the skills needed for managing teams, groups and meetings which can be applied to my job as a planner with line management responsibilities. Paul Beckett, Corporation of London

I have learnt how to structure and chair meetings more effectively and how to maximise the benefits of team working. The course has already facilitated improvements at work and will continue to do so. Helen Brookes-Martin, Dudley MBC

The course is equally applicable to those working in Scotland as it is to those in England and Wales and with cheap flights to Luton and Stansted, travelling to Cambridge is not something which should be ruled out by those north of the Border.

If you would like more information or to reserve a place please contact Shelagh Pooley.


As part of our 2006 programme of workshops in England and Wales we are introducing a brand new workshop aimed at DC Managers and/or Team Leaders which will focus on the DC admininstration/ support process.

The administration/support function makes a crucial contribution to development control performance. This workshop will help those who are accountable for DC delivery to manage this important element of the service more effectively on the basis of accurate and up-to-date knowledge of what it actually involves. It will look in detail at the statutory provisions and official advice which regulate the DC support function (eg the Application Regulations, the GDPO etc.) Specific aspects covered will include registration; validation; fees; neighbour notifications; consultations; issuing of decisions; maintaining registers; data protection; copyright; and Access to Information.

Understanding Development Control Administration/Support : a workshop for DC Managers and Team Leaders will be running in London on 18 May 2006 and in Manchester on 7 November 2006. It will be presented by Vivien Green, Senior Associate with TRA, and one of our most experienced practitioner presenters.

A publicity leaflet for this workshop will be available shortly. Please get in touch if you would like a copy. Details will also be posted on our website.


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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