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Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the management of the affairs of the Institute and promoting its objects. 

The members are also the charity trustees of the RTPI, which is a registered charity. 

The Board of Trustees is composed of the Honorary Officers of the Institute, eight members elected by the General Assembly and one member elected from the Regions and Nations representatives on the General Assembly. 


Ian _Tant _edit

President 2019

Ian Tant MRTPI

Contact Ian Tant

Ian Tant is a freelance consultant, offering strategic advice to land promotion and development companies and to Local Enterprise Partnerships.  First qualified in Environmental Sciences, Ian trained in Town and Country Planning at the University of Manchester, starting work in local government with district councils in Hertfordshire and Berkshire.  He worked for Barton Willmore, one of the UK's leading planning consultancies, from 1986 – 2016 where he was an Equity Partner 1990 - 2016 and Senior Partner 2004 – 2015. He was elected to the RTPI General Assembly for 2014-15 and to the Board from 2016.  


Sue MannsVice President

Sue Manns FRTPI

Contact Sue Manns

Sue is Director of Sue Manns Associates, a specialist consultancy. She started her career at Birmingham City Council before becoming a senior lecturer in planning law and practice at the University of Central England.  In 2002, Sue became Head of Planning and Transport at Advantage West Midlands.  This was followed by a move to Arup in 2005, where she led the growth of their Midlands Planning, Policy and Ecomonics Business.  Sue is best known for her role as National Planner for the RTPI Planning Aid England and was lead author of the RTPI Planning Aid 'Good Practice Guide to Public Engagement in Development Projects'.  In 2011, Sue moved to become a Regional Director for Pegasus Group (Birmingham) and their specialist lead on consultation and engagement.  In 2018, she set up her own specialist community engagement and consultation practice.


Immediate Past PresidenJohn Acres RTPI VPt

John Acres MRTPI

Contact John Acres

John Acres has almost 45 years' experience in planning, within both the public, private and voluntary sectors. Initially, he spent 15 years in Local Government in London, then moving to the Midlands to serve as the Regional Planner for the House Builders Federation for 10 years. Since then John has worked for Redrow Homes and Catesby Property Group, moving in 2012 to become a Director at consultants, Turley in Birmingham. John now runs his own planning consultancy, Acres Land & Planning Ltd. During 2005/06, John served on the Government's Affordable Rural Housing Commission. He was a founder Board member of the South Shropshire Housing Association where he served for 8 years and has previously sat as a local Parish Councillor in Warwickshire.


Honorary Officers


Sue _Bridge _editChair of the Board

Susan Bridge FRTPI

Contact Susan Bridge 

Susan is a Chartered Town Planner with nearly 30 years' experience as a planning practitioner in local government and 12 years in the development industry.  She was Head of Planning for six years at Northampton Borough Council and has a proven track record in successfully managing the department through a difficult period of change and transformation.  Since 2014 Susan has worked as an independent planning consultant working with both public and private sector clients.  As a planning practitioner she has experience of developing and implementing development and regeneration projects and a proven track record of working in partnership and in a multi-agency and disciplinary environment.  Susan is also currently the Chair of the Nominations Sub-Committee.


Andrew Taylor BioHonorary Treasurer

Andrew Taylor FRTPI

Contact Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is Director (Head of Planning) at Countryside Properties and leads the company's strategic planning function. Before joining Countryside, Andrew was Head of Planning at Barratt Homes Eastern Counties and prior to that spent over 18 years in planning authorities in the south east of England. He has experience of both urban and rural planning from small scale exception needs housing to master planning new settlements, major town centre redevelopments and international airport expansion.

Andrew chaired the RTPI Board of Trustees for 4 years to December 2016 and helped steer the Institute through probably its most challenging period in recent years. Andrew took on the role of Hon. Treasurer in January 2017 and continues on the RTPI's General Assembly.


Bernadette HillmanHonorary Secretary and Solicitor

Bernadette Hillman LARTPI

Contact Bernadette Hillman

Bernadette is a Planning Solicitor. She is also Senior Planning Counsel at Asserson. She has served as a legal member of the GA since 2008 and was on the Conduct and Discipline Panel 2009- 2015. She is Honorary Solicitor to the RTPI and sits on the organisation's Board of Trustees.

She is an Assessor to the Law Society's Planning Accreditation Panel and was voted Planning Woman of Influence 2017 by "The Planner".

Bernadette offers specialist advice and representation on all aspects of planning and licensing, including planning and enforcement appeals and judicial review.




Colin HaylockCorporate Trustee

Colin Haylock FRTPI

Contact Colin Haylock

Colin Haylock is an architect-planner with over 40 years' experience spanning the public, private and educational sectors. He is now running a specialist Planning and Design consultancy and a Partner in an Architectural and Historic Building practice.  He was President of the Institute in 2012 and has been heavily involved in the design dimensions of planning through roles with CABE throughtout its life which continue through work with the Design Council.  He is a Visiting Professor and Lecturer at UCL's Bartlett School of Planning, a Member of the Fabric and Fabric Advisory Committee for Durham Cathedral, a member of the RIBA's Planning Policy and Strategy and CPD groups and a Member of The Edge multi-professional group.  He is a past Visting Professor of Practice at Newcastle University, Member of the London Mayor's Design Advisory Group and the Planning Committee for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.


Lucy SeymourTrustee for Young Planners

Lucy Seymour-Bowdery MRTPI

Contact Lucy Seymour-Bowdery

Lucy Seymour-Bowdery is a Senior Planning Officer at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) where she specialises in planning policy. Before Lucy joined MHCLG she was a Senior Planner at West Sussex County Council. Lucy was Chair of the South Coast Young Planners' Network 2015 – 2016 and chaired the organising committee for the Young Planners' Conference in 2015, which was shortlisted for an Association Excellence Award.


Tom VenablesCorporate Trustee

Tom Venables MRTPI

Contact Tom Venables

Tom is Planning Director at Prior+Partners with extensive experience strategic planning and regeneration projects in the UK and overseas. At Prior+Partners Tom leads a variety of commissions advising public and private clients on urban strategies, spatial planning and the development of sustainable urban masterplans. He has led the production of  a number of Local Plans, major planning applications and has extensive experience in stakeholder and community engagement. Recent projects include the Jeddah Plans, Dubai 2020 Master Plan, Ebbsfleet Garden City Framework Masterplan and the Kent and Medway Growth and Infrastructure Framework


David StovellTrustee for Regions and Nations

David Stovell MRTPI

Contact David Stovell

David has well over 40 years experience in a wide range of planning roles in the public and private sectors, working variously, in Lanarkshire (Scotland), London, Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough.  He is at present a Director of Stovell & Millwater Ltd, a Chartered Planning Consultancy, based in Middlesbrough, that he formed in the late 1980's.

He joined what is now the North East Region RTPI in the late 1980's and chaired the CPD Group from about 1990 up to 2012 when he became Chairman of the Region.  He was elected as the Region Representative to the General Assembly in 2016 and joined the Board in 2017.


Tony CrookCorporate Trustee

Tony Crook FRTPI (Rtd)

Contact Tony Crook

Tony Crook is former Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of Sheffield and Emeritus Professor of Town & Regional Planning.  He is Deputy Chair of the Orbit Housing Group; director of a regional house- builder, and chairs working groups of the Academy of Social Sciences.  Recent former roles include: member of Northern Housing Commission; independent chair of the review of governance in Rotherham;  chair of Shelter Trustee Board;; Coalfields Regeneration Trust trustee; Academy of Social Sciences council member; Sheffield Homes Ltd chair; and Lloyds Banking Group Housing Commission member. His current research includes private renting and planning obligations.  His latest books are 'Private rental housing: comparative perspective' (Edward Elgar) and 'Planning Gain: providing infrastructure and affordable housing' (Wiley Blackwell), the latter winning the 2016 RTPI Research Excellence Award.


Janet HeadshotCorporate Trustee

Janet Askew MRTPI

Contact Janet Askew

Janet Askew was the President of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2015.  Over a forty-year career, she has worked as a planner in the public and private sectors, and in academia, currently holding the post of Visiting Professor in Planning Law at Ulster University in Belfast. She is the 2018 chair of the RTPI's International Committee, and she represents the RTPI on the European Council of Spatial Planners. She holds the Honorary International Professorship in Planning Law at the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan, as well as being an invited member of the International Platform of Planning Law Experts.


John _Powell _edit

Independent Trustee

John Powell

Contact John Powell

John Powell is a commercially focused, Big 4 trained, Chartered Accountant with extensive back-office (IT, HR, logistics and company secretarial) financial and operational transformation experience, covering all phases of the business-cycle from start-up right through to managed closure. After spending roughly the first quarter of his professional career in "blue-chip" public practice (PwC and EY, audit and management consultancy) and the middle half in industry and commerce (largely international, customer-facing, consumer electronics) board-level roles, the last dozen or so years have been spent engaged in a range of positions in the not-for-profit sector (recognised by being awarded the ICAEW Diploma in Charity Accounting - DChA), predominantly at SMT level.

John FennaIndependent Trustee

John Fenna

Contact John Fenna

John Fenna is Head of Marketing, Communications & Digital at Tavistock Relationships, a social enterprise with academic status, internationally renowned for delivering and developing advanced practice, training, policy and research in therapeutic (and psycho-educational) relationship support. His previous roles include being Head of Marketing & Service Development at Action for Children and Marketing Director at Clarion Events, where he spent nearly 10 years working on large international exhibitions in fields as diverse as Gaming, Antiques, Defence and Security. John holds the Advanced Certificate in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and recently passed the Google Squared digital marketing qualification with distinction.

Stefano SmithTrustee for Scotland

Stefano Smith

Contact Stefano Smith

Stefano is a commercial and pragmatic development planner with a strong customer focus.  He has over 30 years of UK professional experience of managing multi-disciplinary teams within a planning, environmental, design and engineering consultancy, including Barton Willmore, Spawforths, RPS, Halcrow, Amec, Peter Brett Asscociates and WYG.  He is currently an Independent Planning Consultant - Stefano Smith Planning.  He has extensive experience in providing development planning, development management and project management services in the environment, infrastructure, energy, commercial, industrial, housing and mixed-use sectors.  He has specific experience in statutory planning (including approvals & consents and expert witness), sustainability, regeneration, master planning & urban design, consultation & engagement strategies & tools and development economics.  He is a Chartered Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute (FRTPI) and an active member of the Institute, including RTPI Board Trustee for Scotland; RTPI General Assembly Corporate Member; Chairman RTPI Education & Lifelong Learning Committee; RTPI Scotland Past Convenor; RTPI Scottish Executive Committee Member and RTPI Future Planners Ambassador.  He has also been an external practitioner on Heriot-Watt University's Final Year Planning & Property undergraduate degree course, participated on judging panels for various national planning awards, speaks/facilitates at conferences and is a regular contributor to publications and journals.  Stefano is a strong and consistent advocate of inter-professional and disciplinary collaboration and working, and the positive promotion of planning.

Meeta KaurCorporate Trustee

Meeta Kaur

Contact Meeta Kaur

Meeta is a chartered town planner and a UK qualified planning solicitor.  She is a founding partner of Town Legal LLP, the boutique planning law firm, and before joining Town, Meeta was a planning solicitor at city law firm King and Wood Mallesons (formerly SJ Berwin) and prior to that a planning officer at Westminister Council.  She has experience of dealing with a wide range of development schemes of all types and scale, up to and including urban extensions.  However, her specialism is large scale mixed-use redevelopment and regeneration schemes, both in London and across the country.  She regularly advises on all aspects of planning and associated issues such as highways, compulsory purchase, CIL, heritage, affordable housing and scheme viability, development plans, judicial review, planning appeals. 

Meeta has been involved with the RTPI at both a regional and national level for over 20 years and is a past chair of RTPI London.  She is also currently chair of the Membership and Ethics Committee, one of the RPTI's standing committees.