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7-9.15 pm

Understanding how the planning system operates and routinely considering planning applications are key responsibilities of parish and town councils.  We look at the process from both the parish/town council and district/borough council perspective and how to manage the expectations of the public who are likely to attend our meetings.


Tuesday, 12 March 2024


Held online


David Fowler


£48 for subscribers | £60 for non-subscribers

This course is recommended for new and experienced clerks and councillors.

Course content

What is planning and development?

Planning policies and policy context – Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans

The Parish/Town Council’s role in responding to planning applications

Types of applications

The Local Planning Authority’s role

Debating applications and understanding material & non-material considerations

Developer contributions – explaining S106 and CIL

Conditions/Appeals and Enforcement

Good practice to take back to your council

By the end of the session you will feel more confident about the planning process, know how to prepare for future planning application discussions, and understand how your Parish Council’s representations contribute to decision making.

The tutor, David Fowler, is a recently retired local government Assistant Director of Planning with over 30 years of working in this field.  He is now a parish councillor in Norfolk.

Training the whole council

Understanding the Planning System can be delivered and tailored specially for your council, which can be a cost-effective approach if you have a number of councillors who require this training. You choose where and when you want our tutors to deliver.


We'll send you a link via email a day or two before the session is due to be held, so you can just click on the link to join in. You'll need a laptop, tablet or smartphone with a camera; if you haven't tried this technology before that's fine - we'll happily conduct a quick test session with you the day before if you like.

100% satisfaction rating from recent attendees on a whole council planning training session
99% satisfaction rating from courses open to any councils

Recent feedback:

Surprisingly good! In that I felt that this was a rather dry subject and it would be difficult to keep our attention. And yet that was more than achieved as, I believe, the training was relevant, useful and informative.

Excellent, I certainly learnt a lot during the evening and it was a nice relaxed atmosphere.

Very professional and very relevant and useful.

For me it was spot on.

As always with Norfolk PTS, a very well planned and presented session.

I’m really pleased with how it went and I’m confident my councillors (and I) will be a lot more focused and structured with planning comments now.

Excellent: Informative, objective and delivered by knowledgeable presenters.

A brilliant and very useful course, will definitely be using some of the information given to help advise the Cllrs on how to comment on planning applications. I really appreciated how it was balanced for Clerks and Councillors.


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