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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We would like to wish all our ENews readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and successful New Year. We are grateful for all the support we have received during the year and look forward to keeping in touch with you all during 2012.
Rather than circulating a Christmas e-card separately we have placed it on our website to make it easier for you to access while reading ENews. So, if you haven't already spotted the mini version on our Homepage, you can view your Christmas card here.
If you need to contact TRA over the holiday period, please note that the office will close at 5pm on Thursday 22 December and re-open at 9am on Tuesday 3 January.Back to top
The Localism Bill received Royal Assent and became the Localism Act on November 15th 2011. Councillors, and particularly those serving on Planning/DM Committees, will now need to develop an understanding of the how the Act will affect planning and the impact it will have on their own roles and responsibilities.
TRA has developed a BRAND NEW briefing session to help prepare Councillors for the new ways in which the planning system will operate. Specific topics covered include:
The workshop has been designed to run over a half-day (morning, afternoon or evening) and will be delivered by one of our experienced Councillor presenters; please note that we can also offer a full day session, if required. All of our existing Councillor workshops have now been updated to incorporate the principles of Localism, so you can rest assured that our workshop content is bang up-to-date.
If you think that your authority's members would benefit from having an expert briefing on Localism, then please contact Angela Holmes to see an outline programme and receive a detailed quotation.Back to top
TRA's Diagnostic Review service for development management is now available in Scotland and a review was completed during October and November for Orkney Islands Council.
The purpose of a Diagnostic Review is to provide the authority with a snapshot of how well its procedures are currently operating, highlighting any areas that appear to be doing particularly well and any areas that require more detailed investigation because there are current or potential future problems which the authority should seek to address.
The review focuses on key areas of the DM service which help to form an overall picture of its "health" and which can be used as the basis for future development and improvement to the service. For information on the scope of the review please see our website.
TRA is qualified to conduct such reviews because of the range and depth of experience we have in looking at how the development management function is handled in a wide range of authorities. Our experienced team of planning practitioners know exactly where to focus attention, allowing us to quickly spot procedures and organisational arrangements which are not up to standard in terms of current best practice, legal requirements and operational efficiency/effectiveness.
For further information please see our website and to discuss things in more detail, without obligation, please contact Penny O'Shea.Back to top
The Government has made it clear that CIL is to be a key tool in the provision of infrastructure needed for development; it will replace the use of planning obligations under s106 in many instances.
TRA's brand new workshop Introducing and Making Best Use of the Community Infrastructure Levy , led by Senior Associate Lee Prebble, aims to provide those involved in establishing and using a Levy system with a thorough understanding of the legislation and its requirements. It will look at the evolution of CIL and practice to date, in order to provide guidance for those officers tasked with introducing CIL as part of a Local Development Framework or producing a Charging Schedule and having it declared sound. It will also offer advice on implementation to secure developer contributions.
The workshop will take place on 26 April 2012 in London and further details can be found on our website. A detailed leaflet (including booking form) will be added shortly, but in the meantime bookings can be made using the general booking form. Alternatively, provisional bookings can be made to reserve places by telephone or via our online provisional booking facility.Back to top
The TRA training workshop programmes for 2012 have now been finalised and are available to view on the website via these links:
As mentioned in last month's issue of Enews, a number of brand new workshops have been developed for this year's programmes, which we hope many of you will be keen to attend, covering areas including: Community Infrastructure Levy (see detailed article in this month's ENews); Managing in Planning Today; Being Effective at Inquiries; Advertisement Control (new to England/Wales programme) and Sustainable Development By Design.
Bookings are now invited on all the workshops in the 2012 programmes. Detailed leaflets incorporating booking forms for each workshop will be available to download from the website shortly. In the meantime, bookings can be made using the general booking form for England/Wales or Scotland.
Those wishing to book two or more places can take advantage of our Discounted Block Booking Scheme to receive a discount of up to 15% (depending on the total number of places booked). Booking your training this way offers the opportunity to make substantial savings, which can be a bonus in these times of limited training budgets. Bookings should be made using the special Discounted Block Booking Form which can be download from the website for England/Wales or Scotland.
If you are unable to make firm bookings straight away, provisional bookings can be made to reserve places (completely without obligation) using our online provisional bookings facility or by telephoning 01204 385678.Back to top
TRA was recently commissioned to deliver the very popular Basics of Planning workshop on an in-house basis for West Lindsey District Council. The training was for the benefit of their planning support staff and also members of their customer service team who regularly take planning enquiries. The aim of the training was to improve the general understanding of planning, from their 'non-planner' perspective.
The session was delivered by TRA presenter, Vivien Green, and course feedback was excellent:
This one-day workshop provides a valuable training opportunity for new or less experienced enforcement, administrative, clerical and technical staff who work in town planning, to learn about the key elements of the planning process. The workshop can also be of benefit to more experienced staff who want to set their own job in the wider context of the planning service.
If you are interested in receiving more information about this workshop, such as an outline programme, please contact Angela Holmes, without obligation.Back to top
Town & Parish Councils have a important role to play in the planning system and their potential influence will be even more significant in light of the new Localism Act and the concept of neighbourhood planning. But to be fully effective in their role, Town & Parish Councillors need to understand the fundamentals of the planning system and where they fit in.
TRA has been providing training for Town & Parish Councils for the past 10 years. The most popular option is our half-day Briefing on Planning for Town and Parish Councils. Recently updated to reflect the implications of localism, it is suitable for both Councillors and Clerks and is is designed to help them make a more effective contribution to the Development Management process.
Training can be organised by the District Council for the benefit of its Town/Parish Councils, or by the Town or Parish Council directly. Two recent examples are sessions organised by Bracknell Forest BC and North Horsham Parish Council. Both briefings were delivered by TRA Senior Associate, Jed Griffiths, and the feedback received was very encouraging:
As with our usual approach to training, the session is delivered in an informal, yet structured atmosphere allowing plenty of opportunity for questions. The workshop lasts for three hours and can be delivered at a convenient time in either a morning, afternoon or evening. For more information on this session, or to see an outline programme, please contact Angela Holmes.
For those wishing to provide training for Town & Parish Councils which is more focused on the principles of localism and neighbourhood planning, we can also offer an alternative half-day workshop - again, please contact Angela Holmes for details.Back to top
Tel: (01204) 385678
Fax: (01204) 386376
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