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TCPA Seminar: Understanding planning inspectors, local plan implementation and planning decision-making

A timely seminar for public and private sector practitioners to engage directly with PINs, DCLG and experts on improving their understanding and skills in the legal planning processes of examinations in public and planning appeals.

Dates20 May 2014
LocationTCPA ● 17 Carlton House Terrace ● London SW1Y 5AS

Time:  13:00 start (12:30 Registration and lunch) until 16:30



Planning is both a tool and legal process to ensure that the policies that local planning authorities develop for local planning documents and the decisions made on individual planning applications aresound, robust, conform to national policies and consider all material considerations. Inspectors from the Planning Inspectorate (PINs) – a DCLG executive agency responsible for planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, and examinations of local plans in England and Wales –are appointed to adjudicate the process and make formal recommendations before final decisions aremade.

When preparing local plans, local planning authorities must ensure they are positively prepared,justified, effective, and consistent with national policy (in line with the soundness test set out inparagraph 182 of the NPPF). When determining planning applications, decisions should be made inaccordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise (paragraph196 of the NPPF).Taking material considerations into account and producing an up-to-date and relevant evidence baseare critical factors for local planning authorities across a range of planning issues, including housing,public health and environmental impacts. These are necessary to develop policy or make decisionsthat will be accepted by Planning Inspectors in an examination in public of local planning documentsor when defending decisions on specific planning applications at appeal.

However, in practice there is often a lack of experience and understanding of the role and function ofplanning inspectors, the extent to which material considerations are taken into account in finaldecisions, and the nature of evidence that can be accepted. Consequently, outcomes often go againstlocal policy and the interests of communities, creating uncertainty for local planning authorities, localcommunities and private sector interests alike.

This timely seminar for practitioners in both the public and private sectors will provide advice frompractitioners in the public and private sectors and will give attendees background information on thework of PINS, an understanding of the legal processes of different types of planning inquiries,particularly local plan examinations and planning appeals, and details on how to conform with theduty to co-operate on strategic planning issues.

Click to see seminar flyer


Agenda (updated 29 April)

12.30 Registration and light lunch

13.00 Welcome and introduction from the Chair, Dr Hugh Ellis, TCPA

13:15 Session 1: Local plan-making process and implementation

  • PINS and planning inspectors: Keith Holland, The Planning Inspectorate, and Chris Shepley CBE, Former Chief Planning Inspector
  • Local Plan implementation: Tom Bristow, Department for Communities & Local Government

14:15 Questions and discussion

14:30 Coffee break and networking

14:50 Session 2: Approaches and lessons

  • Implementing the Duty to Cooperate of strategic planning issues: Catriona Riddell, TCPA
  • Preparing for planning appeals: Deirdra Armsby, London Borough of Newham 
  • Raised expectations – a public perspective: Sue Manns, Pegasus Planning, 

16:15 Questions and discussion

16:30 Closing remarks from the Chair, seminar end and networking            


Who should attend

This event is for planners and built environment practitioners in local government, agencies and NGOs, developers and consultants, involved in the planning process. It is intended for those with limited experience but those with experience will find it useful to better understand the processes and update their knowledge and skills. It is not just limited to public health issues but across the wide spectrum of planning issues, 

Attending this seminar can count towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. 

For information, please contact Michael Chang at Michael.Chang@tcpa.org.uk or on 0207 930 8903


This seminar is supported by the Planning Officers Society and Public Health England.

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