ENews Issue - 28 February 2012

ENews - February 2012

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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In this issue:

  • New workshop on Advert Control
  • Annual Conference for Planning Support Staff - details being finalised
  • First two training workshops in Scotland coming up soon!
  • Bromsgrove DC commission tailored training on Green Belts for Councillors
  • TRA "enforcement expert" speaks at RTPI event
  • In-house Training Solutions for Non-Planners




New workshop on Advert Control

One of several new workshops in our 2012 training programme for England and Wales deals with the tricky topic of Advertisement Control.

Whether you are providing pre-application advice, dealing with applications for consent, or investigating breaches of control, a good working knowledge of the Advertisement Regulations is invaluable. The workshop will therefore be of benefit to development management, enforcement and planning support staff who are involved with advertisements. Topics covered include:

  • the definition of an advertisement
  • current legislation and guidance
  • advertisements not covered by the Regulations
  • the classes of deemed consent
  • Areas of Special Control
  • applications for express consent
  • advertisement enforcement
  • flyposting.

The workshop, which is presented by Michael Hyde, has already been delivered successfully as part of our Scotland programme and on an in-house basis for individual authorities, and feedback has been very positive:

  • It was very informative and I enjoyed all the discussions and examples that the trainer provided. It's a very tough subject and he made it simple and approachable. Kirsty Hope, Falkirk Council.
  • Type of training all DC or enforcement planners should take benefit of. Clarified some things I wasn't sure about after many years as a DC officer. Gareth Wyn Jones, Snowdonia National Park Authority.
  • A good mix of participants which encouraged lengthy discussions between the group. I have definitely benefited and extended my knowledge on Advertisement Regs. Audrey Smith, Aberdeenshire Council.

The workshop is running in Manchester on 22 May and places are available. Bookings can be made using the booking form (download via the above link). If you are interested in attending but unable to make a firm booking straight away, places can be reserved provisionally either by telephoning 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility.

Please note that the workshop is also running in Glasgow on 9 May.

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Annual Conference for Planning Support Staff - details being finalised

The programme details for this year's Conference for Planning Support Staff are being finalised as we write and full details will be available shortly. In the meantime, we can give you a sneak preview of some of the issues being covered ...

  • the recently established South Downs National Park will share their experience of starting from scratch in setting up a new administration team and planning admin system and of developing partnership working over a large geographical area
  • we'll hear from South Gloucestershire Council about their considerable experience of integrating back office systems
  • the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) will provide an input
  • there will be a brief round-up of recent developments and/or proposed changes affecting planning support.

The Conference will take place on 12 June 2012 at our London venue. Like last year, the Conference is being organised in association with the Planning Admin Network (PAN). PAN is a FREE online network for anyone with an interest in the administration of the planning service in both the public and private sectors in England, Wales and Scotland. If this is you - we would encourage you to become a member. You can find more information about PAN on the TRA website. As an added bonus, PAN members will be entitled to discounted places on the Conference so why not join and take advantage of the saving on offer. It's really quick and simple to join - register now.

If you are keen to attend the Conference, provisional bookings can be made now either by telephone on 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility.

Please note that additional discounts of between 10 and 15% are available when booking two or more places at the same time across any number of events in our 2012 programme, including this Conference.

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First two training workshops in Scotland coming up soon!

The TRA 2012 training workshop programme for Scotland is about to get underway shortly with the first two workshops due to take place on 27 March at the Edinburgh Training & Conference Centre:

Development Management: exploring best practice

How Development Management processes are handled, especially "validation", can have a critical impact on performance and the cost of service delivery. In difficult financial times, Development Management has to demonstrate value for money to the customer and ensure it is cost effective for the authority. This interactive workshop is designed to explore with key administrative/technical support staff and their managers not only the legal requirements for processing applications but also day to day practices in their authorities. Participants will be encouraged to compare their own practices and concerns with those of others on the workshop - the exchange of information and ideas is a crucial element of the day. Overall, the workshop aims to:

  • identify what can be considered "best practice" in the light of concerns about how the system is operating in the face of reductions in staffing and financial resources
  • equip participants with greater knowledge and confidence to bring forward improvements to the operation of Development Management procedures in their authorities.

Trees, Landscape & Ecology for Planners

The aim of this workshop is to provide planning staff with the knowledge and understanding needed to make informed decisions regarding tree retention, protection, removal and replacement within the context of the now established BS5837:2005 'Trees in relation to construction - Recommendation'. Participants will also learn about ecology and landscape within the planning framework, enabling planning officers to seek the right information and know what to expect. The workshop is participatory in format, including a mixture of technical inputs from the presenter and practical exercises to demonstrate the difficulties faced by both the planner and the developer/applicant in relation to tree landscape assessment.

Further details for both these workshops can be found on our website by following the appropriate link above. Booking forms are also available via the links. If you are interested in attending but unable to make a firm booking straight away, places can be reserved provisionally either by telephoning 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility.

Please note: we are able to take bookings now on these and other earlier workshops in the programme, but delay invoicing until the new financial year if this fits in better with your budgets. Just mark your booking form "Invoice in April" or contact Shelagh Pooley in advance and we will do the rest. This includes our block booking scheme where discounts of up to 15% are available when booking 2 or more places.

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Bromsgrove DC commission tailored training on Green Belts for Councillors

Training quite often needs to be focused in terms of a client's particular requirements and TRA are frequently asked to prepare bespoke training sessions. One recent example is a session that we delivered on behalf of Bromsgrove District Council.

A half-day session was developed and delivered by TRA presenter, Andrew Ashcroft, focusing on Green Belt Issues for the benefit of local Councillors. Members from both Bromsgrove and Redditch District Council attended, as well as various local Parish Council members.

Specific topics covered were:

  • the history behind Green Belts
  • the West Midlands Green Belt
  • purposes and benefits
  • controls and harm
  • the decision making process
  • the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • local policies
  • appropriate and inappropriate development
  • future key issues

Course feedback was very positive:

  • A good overview which was well related to local policies and circumstances. Katie Limm, Clerk, Belbroughton Parish Council
  • Enjoyable, informative and well presented. Cllr Tony Flynn, Licky & Blackwell Parish Council
  • As always Andrew Ashcroft was very good. Well done! Cllr Janice Boswell, Bromsgrove Borough Council

If you have a particular issue in your area that you would like to see included in a bespoke training session for your Councillors then please feel free to contact Angela Holmes for a no-commitment discussion.

Alternatively, follow the links to see some of the topics that we have covered in the past for Councillors in England and Wales and Scotland.

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TRA "enforcement expert" speaks at RTPI event

Earlier this month our Senior Associate, Vivien Green, was invited to give a short presentation at the RTPI North East branch's half-day update on Enforcement Issues. Being aware of Vivien's particular interest in understanding and defining material change of use, the organisers asked her to look at some of the problems associated with defining the Planning Unit.

The Planning Unit in itself can be quite a big topic and it is an area where there is certainly lots of relevant case law. In the limited time available to her, Vivien concentrated on highlighting the three scenarios from Burdle and providing examples particularly relevant to day-to-day enforcement work. She also identified seven key practice points to help enforcement practitioners when they are faced with defining the Planning Unit. She was also pleased to deal with questions from delegates and to catch up with some familiar faces who have attended TRA's Certificated Enforcement Programme at Madingley Hall, Cambridge.

As well as being the Course Tutor on the certificated enforcement course, Vivien delivers workshops on enforcement in England - Planning Enforcement in Practice: the core elements in detail - and Scotland - Current Issues in Planning Enforcement: essential CPD - and is available for in-house training for individual authorities (or groups of authorities) on request. For information on in-house training, please contact Angela Holmes, without obligation.

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In-house Training Solutions for Non-Planners

Although the majority of TRA's work is carried out for local authority planning departments, we are also able to provide training solutions for other departments and organisations beyond local government which come into contact with the planning system. These are generally contextual briefings on the planning system for those wanting to be able to interact with it more effectively.

The most effective way of providing this kind of training is on an in-house basis (i.e. where we come to you). More than half of all our training is delivered in this way and it has numerous advantages for the client organisation:

  • the per capita cost is usually much lower than sending several staff on external events
  • existing workshops can be tailored to suit the needs of the specific client organisation
  • where appropriate, completely bespoke workshops can be developed for individual clients
  • it is more environmentally friendly, by reducing the amount of travel required
  • time spent away from the office is minimised - often an important consideration.

Within local government, we provide training for staff from Building Control, who have regular contact with planning, and other departments who need a basic understanding of how the planning system works. Beyond local government, we provide briefings for agents and applicants, Housing Associations, and other organisations which interact with planning eg as consultees, landowners etc. Please visit our website to see a full list of the workshops available.

If you are interested in learning more about our in-house training services, or wish to receive further information, such as an outline programme and/or a quotation then please feel free to get in touch with Angela Holmes.

The prices that we quote are fully inclusive and therefore cover all of our fees, presenters expenses and pre-course/course material; so there are no hidden extras and our clients are aware from the outset what they can expect to pay at the invoicing stage.

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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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