ENews Issue - 28 March 2013

ENews - March 2013

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:

  • TRA 2013 Workshop Programme for England & Wales to begin shortly
  • Conference for Planning Support Staff in June - full details now available
  • Bespoke Councillor workshop commissioned by Warrington
  • Brand new workshop for Support Staff in Scotland
  • Understanding Planning Fees: a half-day workshop

TRA 2013 Workshop Programme for England & Wales to begin shortly

The first batch of workshops in the 2013 Training Programme for Planning and Development Staff in England & Wales are due to take place on 21 May 2013 at our London venue. Places are still available on these workshops which are:

The Basics of Planning

This practical workshop is designed as an introduction to the planning process for enforcement, administrative and technical staff in LPAs and support staff working in private practices. As well as providing an introduction to anyone who is new to planning, it will also be relevant for experienced staff who want to set their job in the wider context of development management. The workshop deals with the key elements of plan-making, processing planning, listed building and other applications, and monitoring and enforcement against unauthorised development. It incorporates group exercises and case studies where appropriate and provides participants with a valuable opportunity to meet and share experiences with colleagues from other authorities and other parts of the planning process.

Advertisement Control

Advertisement control is an increasingly important yet often misunderstood part of the planning regime. The present English Advertisement Regulations came into force in 2007, and provide the principal statutory framework governing the display of all types of outdoor advertising; from signs on buildings and vehicles, to more novel formats such as digital hoardings and 'reverse graffiti'. This recently developed workshop provides a clear insight into the complexities of the Regulations using real life examples at each stage. The workshop will be of benefit to development management, enforcement and planning support officers. Specific aspects covered include: what is an advertisement?; advertisements not covered by the Regulations; deemed and express consents; Areas of Special Control; advertisement enforcement and fly-posting.

Sustainable Development by Design

This recently developed 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. The workshop will help to answer the conundrum of integrating good design with environmental principles having regard to the current market and all the various pressures upon viability. The workshop will conclude with a 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 for all these workshops can be found on our website by following the relevant links above. If you would like to book a place, booking forms can also be found on the TRA website. Alternatively, places can be reserved provisionally by telephone on 01204 385678 or via the online provisional booking facility.

Bookings of 2 or more places (over any number of workshops in the programme) will receive between 10 and 15% discount, depending on the total number of places booked. Further details of the scheme are also on the website.

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Conference for Planning Support Staff in June - full details now available

We are pleased to announce that details for TRA's latest Conference for Planning Support Staff have now been finalised. The event will take place at The Wesley (formerly known as the MIC Centre) in London on 6 June 2013.

At TRA, we aim to support all staff contributing to planning service delivery and we know that this is particularly crucial in a period of continuing uncertainty and challenges. We have therefore sought to reflect these challenges, and the changing nature of the work of support staff, in this year's programme. As well as covering technical issues such as validation, we are also taking the opportunity to look at some new topic areas and skills that support staff increasingly need to use in their day to day work.

  • The changing face of planning

    will provide an update on recent planning reforms and a look ahead to forthcoming changes planned by the Government. She will look specifically at what this all means for planning support staff and how their roles will evolve and the work they may well be asked to do in the future. Julie is a planning consultant, former local authority Planning Manager, and was the Tutor on TRA's certificated course in Town Planning Support.
  • Validation for validators

    VIVIEN GREEN will run a small-group session looking closely at primary and secondary legislative changes to validation. Vivien is a Planning Consultant and TRA Senior Associate and delivers a significant amount of training for planning support staff.
  • The psychology of dealing with planners and the public

    CHRIS WEETMAN will run a small-group session exploring the skills and techniques that support staff can use to get the most out of their ever-increasing dealings with case officers and the public. Chris is a Planning Consultant and former Development Services Manager.
  • Understanding design

    will provide an insight into how the design process works and help participants better understand the plans and drawings submitted with applications. Although this is not a traditional training topic for support staff, the increasing importance of getting applications validated as quickly and easily as possible means that support staff are increasingly having to understand and interpret plans and drawings and discuss related issues with members of the public. Dan is Conservation and Urban Design Manager at Lichfield DC and part-time senior lecturer at Birmingham City University.

Full details for the conference can be found on the TRA website. Firm bookings can be made using the booking form available to download from the website, or provisional bookings can be made by telephone on 01204 385678 or via our online provisional bookings facility.

Don't forget, this year's conference is once again being run in conjunction with the Planning Admin Network (PAN), a FREE online network for anyone with an interest in the administration of the planning service in England, Wales and Scotland. A discounted price for the conference is available to PAN members - visit the PAN website for further details on the network and the quick and easy registration process if you would like to become a member.

Additional discounts of between 10 and 15% are also available when bookings of 2 or more places are made at the same time (over any number of events) using our block booking scheme. See the website for further details.

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Bespoke Councillor workshop commissioned by Warrington

TRA was recently commissioned to deliver a bespoke half-day workshop for Councillors at Warrington Borough Council. The session, which was developed and delivered by TRA Senior Associate Vivien Green, covered a number of topics including:

  • the National Planning Policy Framework
  • Green Belt issues, and
  • enforcing conditions.

In particular, the session helped to enhance participants' knowledge of green belt policy and its application to decision making, particularly in relation to 'very exceptional circumstances'; it also explored the use of conditions on planning permissions considering how and when they can be enforced.

The training was very well received by participants with the Chair of the Committee stating that "the presenter was excellent and there was nothing that she couldn't answer or explain to attendees in a way that they could understand. With her not being local to Warrington the session didn't get bogged down with Councillors asking about specific developments in their areas, and therefore they were able to concentrate on the points of law and follow the schedule properly."

TRA is able to offer training on various specific aspects of planning; you can see a full selection on our website. Some popular examples include:

  • a briefing on Planning Enforcement
  • a briefing on Localism and Planning
  • a briefing on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • a briefing on Neighbourhood Planning

In-house training can be organised on either a half or full-day basis depending on a client's individual requirements. If you would like to discuss the options in more detail, or see an outline programme for any of our existing sessions then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes for a no-commitment discussion.

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Brand new workshop for Support Staff in Scotland

As previously mentioned in Enews, we are introducing a brand new workshop for Planning Support and Adminstrative Staff into our 2013 Programme for Scotland. Support staff are key people within any planning department and TRA firmly believes that developing their potential is an essential element in making any Development Management service effective and efficient.

The workshop is entitled 'Current Issues in Planning Support: essential CPD update' and is suitable for anyone directly involved in administrative and technical support of the planning process and also DM Managers. Each year, this workshop will take a look at some aspects of the legislative and/or policy framework in which support officers work, as well as focusing on their current day-to-day practice issues. It will also cover any changes that the Government may be proposing. The update will provide an opportunity for participants to build up their knowledge and confidence, to discuss matters of general concern, share working experiences and consider improvements that can be made to practice in their authority.

The workshop is presented by Vivien Green, who has worked closely with support staff in planning authorities across the UK and is able to offer comment and advice on a wide range of procedures and practice.

It will be taking place in Edinburgh on 23 April 2013 and a number of places are still available, however prompt booking is recommended if you would like to attend.

Further details and booking forms are available from the TRA website. If you are unable to make a firm booking straight away, provisional bookings can be made to reserve places for a limited time by telephone on 01204 385678 or via our online provisional booking facility.

Don't forget our block booking scheme means that bookings of just 2 or more places (over any number of events in the 2013 programme) entitles you to a discount of between 10 and 15% - further details of the scheme are also on the website.

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Understanding Planning Fees: a half-day workshop

TRA was recently commissioned to develop and deliver a half-day training session on Planning Related Fees on behalf of West Lindsey District Council and neighbouring authorities.

The aim of the workshop was to help participants understand how the fee regime operates by looking at the consolidated Fee Regulations 2012 and Government advice on fees. Consideration was given to how the fee regime works in relation to different types of applications/developments by exploring the exemptions, exceptions and concessions that can be applied for.

The interactive session was delivered by TRA presenter, Vivien Green, and course feedback was very positive:

  • Very informative and helpful in answering questions
  • Gave a great insight into 'fees' and their interpretations
  • Very informative, I now have the tools to stand up to agents and developers. Thank you!
  • Discussed all relevant subjects and confirmed issues I wasn't aware of in some cases
  • Good information and examples of fee setting; well delivered presentation and slides.

TRA are always happy to discuss a client's individual requirements with regards to training, so please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes directly if you would like to arrange in-house training on any particular topic(s).

A list of the most popular topics for staff involved in development management can be found on our website and we would be more than happy to provide a detailed proposal on any of these, if required. Please remember that the prices we quote are all-inclusive and therefore 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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