ENews Issue - 20 December 2011

ENews - December 2011

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.

In this issue:

  • Merry Christmas!
  • NEW workshop to bring Councillors up to speed with Localism
  • Diagnostic Reviews of Development Management available in Scotland
  • The Community Infrastructure Levy: new workshop
  • Take a look at the TRA training workshop programmes for 2012!
  • West Lindsey Support Staff get to grips with The Basics of Planning
  • Planning training for Town and Parish Councils




Merry Christmas!

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.

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NEW workshop to bring Councillors up to speed with Localism

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:

  • an overview of the Act
  • proposals for further change
  • pre-determination and Codes of Conduct
  • plans and strategies: NPPF, presumption in favour of sustainable development, duty to co-operate, local development schemes etc
  • neighbourhood planning
  • the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
  • the implications for enforcement
  • development management - other provisions
  • the way forward...

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.

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Diagnostic Reviews of Development Management available in Scotland

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.

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The Community Infrastructure Levy: new workshop

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.

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Take a look at the TRA training workshop programmes for 2012!

The TRA training workshop programmes for 2012 have now been finalised and are available to view on the website via these links:

  • England & Wales
  • Scotland

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.

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West Lindsey Support Staff get to grips with The Basics of Planning

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:

  • I was particularly interested in Permitted Development Rights and this was covered very comprehensively. The content was excellent and has filled in the gaps in the very basic knowledge of planning I had. Diane Leslie
  • I wish I'd have had this level of training four years ago when I started out in planning! Denise Donaldson
  • Good coverage of the basics of planning; put 'meat on bones' of existing knowledge. Diane Krochmal
  • I found the training very useful. The presenter was easy to understand and explained points thoroughly. Heather Kelly
  • Exceeded my expectations. The presenter made planning (normally perceived as a complex subject) very fascinating. Very well explained - I was able to understand the complex subject as it was delivered in plain English with a lot of examples, very interesting. Marina Di Salvatore

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.

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Planning training for Town and Parish Councils

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 a new Councillor I found it extremely informative. The presenter was very enthusiastic and clear in his delivery. Cllr Gavin Porter, North Horsham Parish Council
  • An excellent presentation. I am looking forward to perusing and revisiting all of the information provided at the end of the training session. I was impressed with the accurate time keeping! Cllr Sally Wilton, North Horsham Parish Council
  • It surpassed my expectations. I particularly enjoyed the case study, it brought the training alive. Cllr Sandra Ingham, Warfield Parish Council
  • The presenter was excellent, covering all of the issues raised with in-depth knowledge and humour. He most certainly engaged with my Councillors, who in turn engaged with each other. Sue Kemp, Parish Council Clerk, North Horsham Parish Council
  • It certainly met my expectations. Planning was brought to life by the presenter. Cllr Susan Thompson, Crowthorne Parish Council
  • Very informative - good to use an actual example which promoted discussion from all angles. Lesley Doyle, Bracknell Forest Council
  • It was much better than I thought it would be and was very informative. Emma Coles, Bracknell Forest Council
  • A thorough and concise workshop that did not stray too far into more complex issues. A challenging and effective case study. A very engaging speaker. Matthew Miller, Bracknell Forest Council

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.

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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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