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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Our latest Forum on Enforcement is taking place in Manchester on 26 September. Places are still available but we'd recommend booking soon if you do want to attend. If you can't send a booking right away it would be best to reserve a place provisionally via our online provisional booking system or by contacting Shelagh Pooley on 01204 385678.
Topics being covered include:
Full details and a booking form are on our website. Discounts are available if you book more than one place. This is always a very popular event and we hope to see you there.Back to top
The Planning Advisory Service (PAS) recently published a new guide - Successful plan making: advice for practitioners - and much of the analysis on which it is based was carried out by TRA. It was the latest commission awarded to TRA under the PAS approved supplier framework.
PAS has been supporting local authorities with their plan-making (sometimes jointly with the Planning Inspectorate) and the knowledge and experience gained has been distilled into the guide. It is part relective and part looking forward and is designed to help practitioners learn from the experience of other authorities and avoid some of the past plan-making pitfalls.
Successful plan making - advice for practitioners is available for download from the PAS website.Back to top
Having recently taken silk, Richard Harwood QC, has just released his new edition of Planning Enforcement. Offering a comprehensive guide to the enforcement of planning law, the text considers the kinds of projects which require planning permission and discusses the reasons for and the ways in which enforcement is enacted.
TRA was able to review an advance copy and Senior Associate (and enforcement expert) Vivien Green has added it to the recommended reading list for her students on TRA's certificated course in Planning Enforcement. She was pleased to see a text book which considers changes consequent on the Localism Act and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act.
The book is normally priced at Ã‚Â£75 but TRA can provide details of how to get 15% off - just contact Shelagh Pooley by email or on 01204 385678.
The book is published by Bloomsbury Professional, ISBN: 978 1 78043 178 9.Back to top
TRA have been running an annual Conference for Planning Support Staff in the North West since 1991 and added a second conference in London in 2002. As a result of budget issues in local authorities it has not been possible to run the event in the North for the last couple of years, however following requests from a number of authorites the conference is returning to Manchester for 2013.
The event will be held at the Staff House Conference Centre on 17 October 2013. It is aimed at all administrative and technical staff involved in the planning process and represents an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues from other authorities, exchange experience and learn about current best practice and future developments affecting planning. In this period of continuing uncertainty and challenges in the planning world, the conference will address new areas of practice as well as day to day issues, with this year's topics/contributors including:
JULIE JOSEPH, Former Local Authority Planning Manager and now freelance Planning Consultant - Planning reform and its
Julie will take a look at recent reforms, particularly to validation and PD, and examine what support staff should now be doing to comply with them; plus a look ahead to forthcoming changes in other areas such as neighbourhood planning and its implications for support staff.
VIVIEN GREEN, Planning Consultant and TRA Senior Associate - Forgotten but not gone - other crucial support
Vivien will explore a number of planning support processes which tend to be less in the spotlight but are still crucial including registers and decision notices.
CHRIS WEETMAN, Planning Consultant and previously Development Services Manager at St Helens Council - The psychology of dealing
with planners and the public
Chris will explore the art of dealing with planners and members of the public to help support staff get the best out of difficult situations and people.
SIMON ROWBERRY, Interim Head of Planning & Building Control at the City & District of St Albans - Challenges and
Simon has recently initiated a number of improvements within the Technical Support Team at St Albans, and will provide an update on the challenges and opportunities within planning and their possible implications for support staff.
Once again, the conference is being run in association with the Planning Admin Network (PAN), a free online network open to anyone with an interest in the administration of the planning service. Membership of PAN is absolutely free and registration is quick and easy via the PAN website.
A discounted price of Ã‚Â£170 per person is available for PAN members (normal event price Ã‚Â£185) and further discounts of between 10 and 15% are available to all via our block booking scheme for 2 or more places booked at the same time (over any number of events in the 2013 programme).
Further details for the conference and a booking form can be found on the TRA website or on this downloadable leaflet/booking form. If you are unable to make a firm booking straight away, places can be reserved provisionally here.Back to top
Back in June, ENews reported on Canterbury City Council who had commissioned TRA to provide a series of bespoke training workshops for their officers and technical staff. Five sessions were commissioned in total to be delivered once a month starting from April. These were:
The final two sessions have now been delivered by TRA Senior Associates, Vivien Green (4) and David Kaiserman (5) and as with the previous three workshops we received some excellent feedback from participants:
An introduction to the appeals process
TRA has extensive experience in preparing bespoke training solutions and in the past has successfully completed a series of several workshops for the Surrey Planning Officers Association (SPOA), the Hereford & Worcester County and District Planning Officers Group (CADPOG), and the Kent Planning Officers Group (KPOG), to name a few.
Please note that clients who opt for a series of 4 or more workshops are eligible to receive a discount on our standard workshop prices. As with the above-mentioned series, sessions can be delivered across a number of months and if required a structured invoicing plan can be agreed. So if you have any particular training requirements and would like to discuss the options available, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes, without obligation.
You can see more of the topics we can offer on an in-house basis via our website.Back to top
As mentioned in last month's Enews the TRA Training Programme for Planning and Development Practitioners will re-commence in September following the Summer Break with some of our popular well-established workshops. Taking a look ahead, we have a couple of newer workshops coming up in October at our York venue, one of which is brand new and the other added to the programme just a couple of years ago and already proving quite popular:
Avoiding Cost Awards at Appeal (NEW FOR 2013)
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.
This workshop will be particularly helpful in light of an important change about to be introduced to appeals with the intention of improving transparency and timeliness. Appeals submitted on or after 1 October will be subject to a new practice whereby the Inspector may award costs on his / her own initiative as well as dealing with applications from the parties. Costs decisions will continue to be based on the same test of reasonableness.
Planning Enforcement in Practice: the core elements in detail
This workshop will be best suited to those who already have at least some experience of enforcement either as enforcement officers, planning officers or lawyers. For anyone who has previously attended our popular 'Basics of Planning Enforcement' workshop this session would be an ideal next step. The workshop focuses on the nuts and bolts of handling enforcement complaints: getting information to assess a breach; drafting a report on expediency; and considering the use of an enforcement notice. There will be an opportunity to look at what went wrong with some real notices and whether they could be rectified on appeal. Where appropriate, the workshop will also include an update on any government proposals affecting enforcement.
Both of these workshops will take place on 3 October 2013 and further details can be found on the TRA website via the above links. Booking forms are also on the website or alternatively, places can be reserved provisionally via our online provisional bookings page.Back to top
TRA was recently commissioned by Norwich City Council to deliver two consecutive one-day training workshops on Enforcement. The first day covered the 'Basics of Planning Enforcement' with the second day looking at the 'Core Elements of Planning Enforcement'. The training was attended by staff, not only from Norwich City Council, but also from North Norfolk DC, the Broads Authority and Broadland DC, and was made up of a mixture of planners, lawyers, enforcement officers and other staff new to enforcement.
The training was delivered by popular TRA presenter Vivien Green and feedback from both of the sessions was exceptional:
The Basics of Enforcement
The Core Elements of Planning Enforcement
Delivering joint training with neighbouring authorities is a popular approach for many of our clients, with positive results. Not only does it maximise the cost effectiveness of training but
many find that it creates an ideal opportunity for participants to share local knowledge and experience (and it reduces travel, making it more environmentally friendly). For joint training we
need to deal with one 'lead' authority as our client for liaison, administrative and invoicing purposes; the lead authority is then free to "sell-on" any spare places to their neighbouring
If you feel that your authority has some specific training requirements and you would like to discuss them further, please feel free to contact Angela Holmes, without obligation.
Tel: (01204) 385678
Fax: (01204) 386376
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