ENews Issue - 31 August 2012

ENews - August 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:

  • Survey on introduction of CIL - share your experience
  • Extra speaker now added to Enforcement Forum line-up
  • Last chance to book on Scottish workshops in September!
  • In-house updates on 'topical' issues for Councillors
  • Lee Prebble plays part in London 2012
  • Autumn Workshops to include sessions on Planning Negotiations and Sustainable Development
  • In-house training for Development Management and Enforcement staff




Survey on introduction of CIL - share your experience

It's more than 8 months since the first CIL Charging Schedule came into operation and the number of LPAs who have adopted a schedule or published a Draft Schedule is growing each month. There are now nearly 50 draft or adopted schedules and it is likely that over the coming 12 months the pace of publication and adoption will increase significantly. This will undoubtedly have resource implications for LPAs and the various organisations who are able to undertake independent examinations of Charging Schedules (including TRA).

From their involvement with the Front Runners programme, the Planning Advisory Service was able to produce in December 2011 some "success factors and lessons learnt" with regard to developing the actual Schedule. Similarly, there are a number of organisations and consultancies who have developed some experience in preparing viability evidence for LPAs and/or assessing Charging Schedules and clearly some lessons are being learnt - such as not distinguishing between different sizes of retail unit.

However, we have so far heard little from the LPA officers involved about what happens after publication of the Draft Schedule ie through the consultation and examination stages.

With the number of authorities working on the introduction of CIL increasing all the time, we felt that now would be a good time to pose a few questions about the later stages of the CIL introduction process and, in particular, try to highlight any key lessons that other authorities can learn from.

If you are or have been involved in the introduction of CIL in your authority and would be willing to share your experience please take a few moments to complete our questionnaire. It won't take long and should help other authorities to get the most from the process and to avoid any major pitfalls along the way. We will publish the survey results in a future issue of ENews.

The survey can be found here. Thanks for your help.

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Extra speaker now added to Enforcement Forum line-up

Due to the number of bookings received already for this year's Forum on Enforcement, we have decided to include an extra parallel session in addition to the two already advertised. The parallel sessions run twice during the day, so participants will be able to choose which two out of the three they would like to attend.

In addition to the two sessions already scheduled covering localism and enforcement in practice and the Local Enforcement Plan: theory and practice, the extra session will be led by Andrew Marx, Deputy Head of Service - Development Management and Building Control with Islington Council and will focus on enforcing advertisement control.

Further details of the Forum can be found on the TRA website. If you have still not reserved your place, booking forms can be downloaded from the website or you can reserve places provisionally via the usual methods. Don't forget discounts are available to those booking 2 or more places.

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Last chance to book on Scottish workshops in September!

A number of places are still available on two of the workshops due to take place in September as part of our 2012 Training Workshop Programme for Scotland.

Development Management: exploring best practice

This workshop aimed at experienced support staff and newly qualified professional staff will also be of relevance to their DM Managers. The day will explore the process from pre-application discussions through to consultation procedures and monitoring requirements; and will focus on identifying best practice in light of amendments to the system and making best use of limited staff and financial resources. The workshop aims to equip participants with greater confidence to bring forward improvements to the operation of Development Management procedures in their authorities. The workshop will be lead by Vivien Green, freelance Planning Consultant and one of TRA's most experienced and highly regarded presenters and will be in Edinburgh on 19 September 2012.

Appearing at Hearings

Becoming familiar with the style and format of hearings which require different skills from the more familiar public inquiries is essential for all development planners (and other practitioners). This highly practical workshop which includes a mock hearing, is designed to explain what hearings are; improve preparation and presentational skills; and enhance the overall confidence of those involved. This workshop will be lead by Sue Glover, an independent Planning Consultant, who also works in a "Reporter" role in England and will be in Glasgow on 20 September 2012.

Prompt booking is recommended and booking forms can be downloaded from the TRA website via the above link to the appropriate workshop. If you are unable to make a firm booking straight away, places can be reserved provisionally by telephone on 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility.

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In-house updates on 'topical' issues for Councillors

In addition to our popular one-day sessions (A Briefing on Planning and The Role of Councillors in Planning) for Councillors, we are also able to provide more focused training, usually in the format of half-day briefings, on more topical or specialist issues.

Most recently we have delivered training sessions at Carlisle City Council, East Hertfordshire Council and Ryedale District Council for their members on topics such as Localism and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Feedback from attendees was very encouraging:

  • More than met my expectations. Complicated but well explained.
  • Well presented and thought provoking.
  • Raised awareness of the issues which are very scary!
  • It was very informative and opened up many ideas and future communication.
  • Excellently presented workshop and very informative.
  • Neighbourhood Plans were very well explained.
  • Excellent, clear content. Very much met my expectations.
  • Excellent interaction with the group.

Our large group of experienced presenters (who are practitioners as opposed to academics) are constantly on the look out for proposed changes to legislation and the way in which the Planning system works, so you can always be assured that the content of our training sessions is bang up-to-date.

If you have any particular training needs for your Councillors that you would like to discuss further, then please feel free to contact Angela Holmes for a no-commitment discussion.

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Lee Prebble plays part in London 2012

Lee Prebble, one of TRA's Senior Associates, was thrilled to be chosen as one of the volunteer Games Makers at the 2012 Olympics (and now also the Paralympics).

Born in London, Lee was keen to get involved from the start. "Even though I haven't lived there for many years I still count it as my city and so I wanted to be there and welcome the world in my own small way."

Based at the ExCel Centre, he had a great time and wouldn't have missed it for the world. "Many people remarked that the Games Makers all seemed to smile. It was hard not to in an atmosphere of thousands of spectators simply excited about the event; and I get to do it all again for the Paralympics..."

Lee, pictured here in the distinctive Games Maker uniform, has worked with TRA both as a training presenter and a member of our procedural consultancy team since 2000.

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Autumn Workshops to include sessions on Planning Negotiations and Sustainable Development

The TRA Training workshop programme resumes shortly after a brief summer break, and includes three events due to take place at our venue in York on 16 October 2012.

Two of the workshops (Negotiation Skills and Understanding Viability) will be particularly useful to those involved in planning negotiations, whether on the Development Management side, dealing with applications, s106 agreements or enforcement or on the Policy side, dealing with development plan matters. Both skill-sets could be especially pertinent if the government goes ahead with plans to allow the renegotiation of s106 agreements agreed before April 2010.

  • Negotiation Skills: the key to achieving planning goals and objectives

    Almost every day, planning, enforcement and other 'environmental' staff within local planning authorities engage in some form of negotiation. This workshop focuses on persuasion and influencing skills; when to negotiate and when not to; approaches to negotiation; "tricks" and techniques; and the power and personality dimensions. The workshop combines theories with working references from the experience of participants.
  • Understanding Viability: key concepts in development economics for planners

    This workshop is aimed at all local authority planning and development staff who are engaged in policy implementation and development management where the need to judge the viability of plans and projects is now vital. The workshop will be particularly relevant to staff who work with and negotiate with commercial developers to assess contributions under a planning agreement. As a result of taking part in the workshop, participants should be able to understand how developers approach financial appraisal; be able to assess in broad terms the viability of proposals; and appreciate the financial impact of conditions and planning agreements under consideration.

Also running alongside these events is a brand new workshop introduced for this year's programme on

Sustainable Development by Design

This workshop looks at how local authorities, local communities and developers can best introduce new technologies and approaches to aid sustainable development, whilst at the same time maintaining the design integrity and viability of the development in question. The workshop will explore different technologies and design approaches to sustainability in the context of their environmental benefit and impact, and will also look at the way in which careful design can help future proof developments so that as new sustainable technologies come along or become more affordable they can be fully utilised without compromising the overall design.

Further details and booking forms for each workshop are available on the TRA website via the relevant link above. If you are unable to make a firm booking straight away, provisional bookings are recommended and can be made by telephoning 01204 385678 or via the online provisional bookings facility. Don't forget, discounts are available for 2 or more bookings via our block booking system - further details are on the website.

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In-house training for Development Management and Enforcement staff

TRA has experience of delivering in-house training for staff involved in the Development Management and Enforcement process in over 220 authorities.

In-house training provides a unique opportunity for local authorities to provide training matched to their requirements, run at or near their premises, in a systematic and cost-effective (and more environmentally friendly) way. Workshops can be organised for a single authority or for a group of neighbouring authorities joining together; joint sessions have proved particularly useful for smaller authorities or in areas where there is an established local "network". This can be particularly useful if you do not have quite enough staff from your authority to make an in-house session viable.

Recent workshops we have delivered include:

  • Lewisham London Borough Council - A bespoke session combining The Basics of Planning and Permitted Development
  • Falkirk Council - Permitted Development: The new regulations
  • Rushcliffe Borough Council - A two-day bespoke session on Enforcement Issues
  • Sevenoaks District Council - A workshop on Validation

A full list of the workshops that we can provide on Development Management and Enforcement can be viewed on our website.

Please note that in addition to tailoring our existing workshops, we are also happy to consider developing bespoke sessions to ensure that training meets with an individual client's needs; so if you have a particular requirement that you don't see on our website, please feel free to ask.

If you are interested in receiving more information, such as an outline programme for any of our sessions, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes directly.

Please be reminded that the prices we quote are inclusive of all of our fees, presenter's expenses and pre-course/course documentation. This means that 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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