Correction: Councillor training, Nutrient Neutrality, PAS events and more...

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28 April 2022

Planning Advisory Service

I hope that you managed to get some rest over the bank holidays and are returning ready for the local elections and planning reforms that await us.

The PAS team have been taking the time to reflect on the year just gone and are looking forward to the year ahead. It has been a year of great uncertainty where we have been waiting for changes to the planning system and managing our programme through Covid. We are hopeful that both of these issues will be lessened as the year progresses.

We have welcomed six new team members in the last 12 months and we have another arriving soon (we will make the introductions in the May newsletter). This has given us the capacity and flexibility to meet the needs of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and local government as they arise.

This year will see us continuing to work on local plans, development management, design, biodiversity net gain and developer contributions. To this we add environmental assessment, Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), Class E, pre-application advice and Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs), amongst a wider reform programme. Visit our website for more information.

Anna Rose

Head of PAS

PAS Heads of Planning Conference 2022

We are really pleased to announce that the PAS Heads of Planning and Rising Stars Conference will be taking place on Thursday 14 & Friday 15 July 2022 at Wolverhampton after having to previously cancel dates due to Covid.

Places can be booked and further information on the conference is now available. Places are limited and we expect there to be a high demand so please book your place early to avoid disappointment. 

New Councillor Training – Updated training materials

Many of you will have local elections in May so we have updated and refreshed the Planning Committee member training presentation for you to use and show to new and more experienced members of the Committee. The new version can be found on our website.

Nutrient Neutrality Update

We’ve spent the last few weeks running a series of events, walking local planning authorities through the many complicated and moving parts of the Nutrient Neutrality agenda. There are more events in May which you can now sign up to. Check out the Nutrient Neutrality page on our website –where you can find presentations and recordings from our first set of events, a map of the affected areas and an updated set of FAQs.

Examples of good practice in validation

We are looking to prepare a "top tips" section on our website to help improve the quality and speed of validation across the country. If you feel you can showcase best practice in validation or have an innovative approach that others can learn from please get in touch with my colleague Pete Ford.

Digital showcase

There has been lots going on in the digital/reform world, with long-running projects like Back-office Planning System (BoPS) joined more recently by both modern software pathfinders and digital citizen engagement projects. Most of these projects are working in the open so there are lots of videos of show and tells and retrospectives. Our showcase is an attempt to draw the work together, to think about the general direction of travel and reflect on what these changes mean for planning authorities. We'll want to hear from those of you without a shiny project, to find out how we might support you in the future. You can now book your places at the virtual event, which will take place on 25 May 2022.

Biodiversity net gain - what's happening?

Travellers Site Fund: Q&A session with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

On 20 March 2022 DLUHC launched the £10 million Traveller Site fund.

Funding is available to local authorities for building new or improved transit, temporary stopping places and permanent accommodation for travellers who have their needs assessed under the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites or the National Planning Policy Framework. 

We are holding a workshop on 3 May 2022 for planners to think about how the fund might be used to target problems or risks from a planning perspective. Book your place and find more information about the event on eventbrite.   

Alternatively, the LGA is holding a wider-ranging webinar with DLUHC on 11 May to answer questions about the fund. Book your place and find more information about the event on eventbrite. 

Office for Place event - Daring to say no

PAS are supporting the Office for Place to deliver a short lunchtime (12 to 1pm) online event on 25 May 2022 looking at how local authorities can confidently drive design standards through the planning application process and have the confidence to turn poor applications down on design grounds. 

BAME Planners Network Event

The BAME Planners Network are hosting a virtual event which will explore how to improve representation in local planning authorities and participation in the PAS Peer Review programme. Speakers include Anna from PAS and various heads of services and managers from local planning authorities. The event will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday 30th June. You can register your place at the event now or to find out more about the Network’s Heads Together initiative please email

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