ENews Issue - 18 December 2012

ENews - December 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.

View our contact Information or subscription information.

In this issue:

  • Season's Greetings
  • Do you manage Planning Support Staff? - join our new focus group on CPD
  • New workshops for 2013 training programme
  • Planning and Localism - tailored training for Town and Parish Councils
  • The planning process explained for South Downs 'non-planners'




Season's Greetings

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Do you manage Planning Support Staff? - join our new focus group on CPD

Last month's ENews included an invitation to join our new online Focus Group on CPD for Planning Support Staff. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to take part so far - we've had a good response and will be contacting the Group early in the New Year to get the ball rolling.

If you would like to contribute, there is still time to join - the deadline is the 31 December - and all the details can be found in our flier. At this stage, we would be particularly interested to hear from people who manage planning support staff and/or are responsible for their training and development. This would help ensure that we cover all the angles, including financial and organisational considerations, when looking at potential options for future CPD provision.

As explained in the flier, TRA's popular certificated course in Town Planning Support has been put on hold due to local authority funding issues and we are keen to explore alternative options for delivering this kind of high quality, practical, and tailored training for planning support staff.

If you would like to influence this process, either as an individual working in planning support or as a manager interested in training options for your staff, please complete the form and return it to TRA by 31 December 2012. Many thanks.

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New workshops for 2013 training programme

As mentioned in last month's Enews, the 2013 Training Programmes for Planning and Development Practitioners are almost ready, and once again will include a number of new workshops. As a taster, here are the details for a couple of the workshops being introduced into the England & Wales programme:

Effective Validation: good practice for all application types - 27 June 2013, Manchester

This brand new workshop is concerned with validating the wide range of applications submitted to a Planning Authority: planning, advertisement, listed building, trees, certificates of lawfulness and prior notifications. Its purpose is to help practitioners develop the knowledge and confidence essential in dealing with validation and will be suitable for everyone who is directly involved in carrying it out. In many authorities this will be Support and Technical staff but in others the work may be done by Planning Officers. It should also provide a valuable overview of procedures and Best Practice for DM Managers. The workshop will consider the different requirements for different types of application as set out in primary and secondary legislation (including the fee regime); Government policy on the use of local validation requirements; and when to ask for fur ther information. Identification of statutory consultations, notifications and publicity usually follows from validation and identification of constraints, so the workshop will also ensure that participants are aware and up to date on the requirements for different application types. The workshop will conclude by considering how authorities deal with invalid applications, handle disputes and when an appeal against non-determination can be made. It will highlight the opportunities that exist through incremental and marginal changes to make this key element of the process both more efficient and effective.

Avoiding Cost Awards at Appeal - 3 October 2013, York

There is an increasing tendency for both appellants and Councils to make an application for costs on appeal. An award of costs against you is unwelcome at the best of times, and particularly in these days of limited resources, but they can be avoided through good practice. By examining a variety of scenarios, this brand new workshop analyses each stage from receipt of an application through to appeal (by Written Representation, Hearing or Public Inquiry), including Committee decisions. It considers what measures can be put in place to minimise the risks of a successful costs claims against you and in what circumstances you should pursue an application for costs against the other party. The workshop is appropriate for all those involved in Development Management, including both Council officers and planning advisors to appellants and third parties.

Provisional bookings can be made to reserve places on either of these workshops by telephoning 01204 385678 or via the provisional bookings facility on our website.

Details of other new workshops and the 2013 programme as a whole will be posted on our website very soon and circulated to the contacts on our mailing list. If you would like to sign up to receive details of forthcoming training events by email, you can do so by completing and submitting the form on our website, where you will be able to select which topics you are interested in receiving information on.

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Planning and Localism - tailored training for Town and Parish Councils

TRA is the UK's leading provider of training for Councillors involved in planning and over the years many of our District Council clients have extended the provision of this kind of training to their Town and Parish Councils, with most of them running several repeat sessions. This training has proved to be especially worthwhile and some of the feedback from these sessions can be viewed on our website.

The most popular option is our Briefing on Planning for Town and Parish Councils. Aimed at Councillors and Clerks, it is designed to enable participants to make a more effective contribution to the Development Management process. It is a general Planning overview which also incorporates changes resulting from the Localism Act 2011. The main aim of the session is to familiarise participants with the overall framework of the planning system by explaining the basic components of the development management process and where Town/Parish Councils fit in.

In addition, we can also deliver a briefing which focuses specifically on Localism, entitled Localism and Planning for Town and Parish Councillors. In light of the Localism Act 2011, this session has been designed to help Councillors deal with the new ways in which the planning system now operates and to help them develop an understanding of how these changes affect planning and their roles and responsibilities. You can see feedback from past participants of this session on our website.

Both of the above workshops have been designed to run over a half-day with flexible timings in a morning, afternoon or evening and are delivered by one of our experienced Councillor presenters using a variety of techniques.

If you are interested in the possibility of arranging a training session or you would like to see an outline programme, please feel free to contact Angela Holmes without obligation. Remember - 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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The planning process explained for South Downs 'non-planners'

For many years TRA has specialised in providing training for those involved or interested in the planning process. This has included a number of sessions explaining the 'mysteries of the planning system' to people who may interact with it but who are not planners themselves. It is on this basis that we were commissioned to deliver a bespoke one-day workshop on behalf of South Downs National Park Authority entitled 'An Introduction to Development Management'.

The workshop covered several topics including the key elements of the planning process, permitted development, the various roles in planning, the scope of appeals and much more. It was developed and delivered by popular TRA presenter, Vivien Green, and course feedback was very encouraging:

  • I hoped to achieve a broad understanding of the planning framework we are operating in. This was achieved in an easily digestible way, very clear and comprehensive and relevant to the National Park context. Very good trainer with clear, professional manner - thank you.
  • I now have a better understanding of how the NPPF will affect my role and an understanding of how Ops and Planning might work together.
  • Very good trainer. Extensive knowledge of the planning system.
  • I wanted to learn about the history and process of planning this was achieved and more! Very enjoyable, many thanks!
  • An excellent training day with a very good trainer.
  • Very comprehensive overview of the whole planning process; needs to be ongoing as things change.
  • It was all interesting and thorough. It helped having the pre-course questionnaire in advance so the trainer could prepare answers.

Take-up for the workshop was very high; so much so that TRA is set to return to South Downs to deliver a repeat session in January 2013 for the staff who missed out on the first session!

If you would like to see more information on the above workshop, or you are interested in running your own in-house session for 'non-planners' then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes for a no-commitment discussion.

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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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