Guys! Is there a short course I can do to infill my knowledge gaps on things like council processes/systems or to get up to speed with technical terminology when it comes to planning and dev. I don’t require much technical knowledge in my role (placemaker) but would really like to have a basic grasp regardless as sometimes when my ideas get shot down because of section 47 subsection b I’d like to be like, bullshit mate,
Also a job I want to apply for asks for some knowledge of London Council processes but reckon any council would do.
Again don’t really want to learn the ins and outs (at this point) but more an intro/overview. Is this something that’s possible without just working for the council or doing a degree in planning?
A degree in planning isn’t going to provide the information that you want in any event. I only got to grips with all of that stuff through spending six years working as a local authority planner.
Be wary that London Councils are somewhat different to elsewhere. For instance, London Councils have different (and far more complex) planning application forms than anywhere else.
For specific queries, the National Planning Practice Guidance might be of some use. The guidance is broken down by topic.
Alternatively, if you want pointers on any specific issues / processes / topics then please let me know. I often deliver CPD to architects on the intricacies of the planning system, so I might be able to send something through that I already have.
For local authority processes and the legislative requirements they operate under, it’s often worth looking at officer reports for specific applications (probably ones relevant to whatever you’re working on).
They’re often really long and boring but they’re written in such a way as to avoid leaving yourself open to procedural challenge in court - ie you didn’t consider this test under this piece of legislation quite right, so your decision is quashed. So they’re written in this over detailed kitchen sink way to avoid that, and so can be quite illuminating for showing how things are considered by officers.
I’ve just accidentally deleted a long response here, so a precis of that is (sorry if this is sucking eggs for you):
In terms of courses, MMU have a good planning faculty, might be worth seeing if they do a section on basic terminology etc. for people starting the degree from fresh.
Its a hierarchy of polices - NPPF on top, clarified by a series of local docs, each with a degree of weight, so eah LA will have adopted a Local Plan or equivalent, then there may by Supplementary Planning Docs, Design Guides, Heritage Zone Policies, etc. which sit below them for specific areas or types of development. Those docs can clarify but not contradict the doc which sits above them in the hierarchy.
Process is generally the below, but again there are localised flavours of this.
application - consideration by planning officers - then dependant on size of development there may be some cases where they can approve but more likely recommendation made to elected member committee - Committee makes decision - start work / give up / come back with modifications / appeal depending on what you think of their decision and its justifications.
Also, the women in planning group are really good and supportive. The twitter handle appears to be borked but you could drop a tweet to [spoiler]https://twitter.com/MorphetMinor[/spoiler] who is the co-chair and ask her if she knows any good resources.
Thanks for all the pointers so far guys, really helpful
I started out in local authority, before moving to planning consultancy (in London) - and eventually set up as a sole trader.
Happy to answer any questions that you might have about either side of the fence.
In terms of local authority, I should say that at the moment they are (almost without exception) under-resourced and over-stretched. I’m not sure that I know many local authority planners that are happy about the current state of affairs.
I really liked the look of some talks that have been on at WRLDCTY in NYC
Messaged them to see if the past talks were recirded and if there’s a low income ticket and they’ve sent me a free link. Anyway, happy to share my log in if anyone wants to check out any of the recordings.
Not sure how long they’re up for. Going to try and watch some tonight and tomorrow and might record the audio
Any ideas where i can find plans for a residential development (from 2003)
Have looked at the planning portal on the council site but nothing comes up and i dont know how far back it goes. Are these things kept in house by the developer? I don’t know who the developer was and its driving me round the bend
Similarly, what about plans for small green spaces? Do they have to exist? Looking for info on a very small park that was created on the same site prior to the development but not sure these would even exist as it was tiny
The Council should maintain records of all planning applications going back to Local Government reorganisation in 1974. If their online records do not go back that far (although they should) then it may be that the Council maintain microfiche records, which can be viewed by appointment at the Council Offices.
If green space was provided as part of that development then it should be detailed on either (a) the planning application drawings, (b) drawings submitted pursuant to a planning condition, or (c) drawings associated with the Section 106 legal agreement. Wherever that detail is shown, it should be publicly available for viewing.
If you have an email address for the Planning Dept it might be best to send them a message saying that you want to view the records relating to the development. If you don’t get a response you could always hit them with a Freedom of Information Request - which they have to respond to within 20 working days.