Saturday, 29 November 2008

Make your Planners the spatial planning Ringmasters

jml Training launches course for local council planners to deliver sound Local Development Plan Documents Development Plan Documents are not being produced as quickly as expected and the Government is now intending to link Planning Delivery Grant Funding to the preparation of Sound Development plans over three years.

jml training are offering a new training course "Make your Planners the spatial planning Ringmasters". Spatial planning goes beyond traditional land use planning to bring together and integrate policies for the development and use of land with other policies and programmes which influence the nature of places and how they function PPS12.
The examination of Development Plan Documents (DPD's) so far suggests this is not happening. It is also clear that development plan documents are not being produced as quickly as expected. Significantly, the Government is now intending to link Planning Delivery Grant Funding to the preparation of sound Development Plans. The new funding arrangements being proposed amount to £192 million over three years.

In practice plans demonstrate that there is a continuing lack of engagement with other Local Authority partners, stakeholders and Chief Executives. Aspirational visions and strategies are not rooted in local issues, are not adequately backed by evidence and are not supported by measurable targets and indicators.
As at October 2007, of the 157 (DPD's) submitted for examination slippage has occurred in over 90% compared with original Local Development Schemes (LDS).
Binding reports have been issued on 24 core strategies and 19 other DPD's.
21 submitted DPD's have been withdrawn or are to be withdrawn.

The resources wasted through submitting a DPD that is found to be unsound are considerable. In addition to the substantial production costs the examination of the document by the Planning Inspectorate could easily cost well over £50,000. No Local Authority wants to waste resources.

Clearly many planners are struggling to grasp the opportunities provided by the Local Development Framework system. A significant part of the problem is that they are not fully recognising that this new system demands a completely different way of thinking about development planning. What is required is a culture change by all parties involved in delivering sound spatial plans. It is the planners who have the task of driving the essential culture change.

No matter how good their professional planning skills planners need to ensure that their personal development skills are finally tuned to enable them to handle the challenges and demands of the agenda in engaging with the relevant stakeholders.

In order to deliver the new planning agenda, planners are required to adopt an inclusive, delivery focussed approach that is responsive to local issues and needs.
Communicating, influencing and negotiating; thinking strategically and creating an environment for others to do the same are the core of the broader skill set required. In addition planners need to ensure they get the best from multiple partnerships between the public and private sectors and secure corporate and community buy-in.
Planning is now at the heart of local government decision making and planners have to be the ringmasters. jml training's new training course is called "Make your Planners the spatial planning Ringmasters".
A spokesperson for jml Training said that: "In stepping up to this new ringmaster role planners need to: a) Develop a confident influencing style when working within a partnership context b) Develop a professional and more persuasive presentation style to get the co-operation and support of key stakeholders across sectors. c) Adopt the appropriate leadership styles necessary to achieve collaborative working Identify how to manage the integration of public and private sector partnership interests"
jml Training can help planners to develop the broader range of skills that lie outside the traditional boundaries of planning that are essential for effective spatial planning They are a well established company with a considerable experience of delivery to all areas of the public sector who constantly seek to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of issues facing the public sector, in particular Local Government

No comments: