Training and coaching

People Training

Andrea Pellegram, who also has a PhD in Social Anthropology from University College London, has prepared a specialist training programme for councillors and clerks. Her unique training focuses on the motivations and risks that we all face in planning and our training provides a unique perspective on how local councils should negotiate with different players in the planning game.

Lee Searles has used his extensive private sector experience to create new training modules in Biodiversity Net Gain and the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

We can also provide one to one coaching for clerks and officers to help them become more effective in managing their council’s planning functions.

The courses are very popular and most customers (usually county associations of local councils) run the courses again and again.  Training courses are run regularly in Shropshire, Cheshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, and Dorset.  Individual councils also regularly use our training, which can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.

Module 1:  Introduction to town planning from a local council perspective
Session 1:  Introduction to planning

What is town planning and what does it cover?

  • It’s a plan-led system
  • The policy hierarchy
  • Who is involved and what do they want?
  • Where do parish and town councils fit in?
  • Development Timetable

Session 2:  The role of local councils in town planning

  • Development Timetable
  • Your role as a consultee
  • Probity and transparency
  • Running your planning committee
  • Pre-application discussions with developers
  • The difference between a neighbourhood plan and other council plans

Session 3:  Important planning concepts

  • Planning Conditions
  • Planning Obligations
  • Community Infrastructure Levy
  • Viability
  • Up to date housing land supply policies
  • Permitted Development
  • Biodiversity
  • Material planning considerations

Module 2:  Introduction to neighbourhood planning
Session 1:  Want to do a neighbourhood plan?

  • Introduction to neighbourhood planning
  • NDP preparation timetable (all the steps and how long they will take)
  • The Steering Group
  • Strong and weak policies

Session 2:  Neighbourhood planning – practical tips

  • Policy Types and Evidence
  • Policies to avoid
  • Get organised
  • Funding and support available to you

Biodiversity Net Gain

This briefing will explain how new national biodiversity net gain requirements will create opportunities and challenges for Neighbourhood Plans and for Parish Councils when responding to new development proposals. The session will explain the requirements set out in the Environment Act 2020 and the emerging regulations published this year. It will highlight some good practice approaches and give tips about how parish councils can use the new system to improve biodiversity in their areas.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

The new Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is technical and yet wide in scope. It has been well-received by many planning commentators and contains important reforms which will be highly relevant to Parish Councils. With the Bill now at Committee Stage, this session will explain the key elements of the Bill and report on the latest changes. The session will draw out key provisions including those for empty dwellings and second homes, changes to basic conditions for neighbourhood plans, new national development management policies, increased emphasis on area design codes, replacement of EIA, new infrastructure levy, improvements to enforcement and increase transparency over who owns and has an interest in land. The session will highlight implications for Parish Councils in developing their Neighbourhood Plans and carrying out their day-to-day role as planning consultees and local community leaders.


For more information on our training and coaching service, please get in touch