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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. 

2019 Meeting dates: 4 December

2020 Meeting dates: 5 February, 22 April, 13 May, 8 July, 16 September, 2 December.


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 has 40 years' experience in a wide range of planning matters.

Ian was elected to the RTPI General Assembly for 2014-15 and to the Board from 2016. He is the President for 2019.

Ian lives in Wokingham, Berkshire.  He is married and has two grown-up sons.


Sue MannsVice President

Sue Manns FRTPI

Contact Sue Manns

Having studied Town and Country Planning as a Postgraduate at Manchester University, Sue started her career at Birmingham City Council.  She then moved to academia as a senior lecturer in planning law and practice at the University of Central England, before returning to the public sector as Head of Planning and Transport at Advantage West Midlands.  In 2005 Sue joined Arup where she led their Midlands Planning, Policy and Economics Business, followed in 2009 by a move to become National Planner for the RTPI Planning Aid England.  In 2011 Sue moved to the Pegasus Group as a Regional Director and since 2018 has run her own practice which specialises in strategic advice on community engagement and consultation in relation to development projects.  She is a visiting lecturer at Birmingham University, a Fellow of the RSA and RGS and will be RTPI President 2020.


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 TaylorHonorary 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. Countryside focus on delivering landscape led urban extensions and new settlements and urban regeneration schemes.

Before joining Countryside, Andrew 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 took the role of Hon. Treasurer in January 2017 and continues as a Trustee and on the RTPI's General Assembly.

Andrew Chairs the Leeds Beckett University Partnership Board and is also Chair of the National Planning Forum's Management Committee, championing planning and inspiring all those involved in the planning process and in delivering the new planning agenda.


Bernadette HillmanHonorary Secretary and Solicitor

Bernadette Hillman LARTPI

Contact Bernadette Hillman

Bernadette is a Planning Solicitor and 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 a member of the Law Society's Planning and Environmental Committee and was voted  a "Women of Influence" in "The Planner" for 2017 and 2018.

Bernadette offers specialist advice and representation on all aspects of planning, environmental and licensing law.  She has a wide ranging planning practice, contentious and non contentious including planning and enforcement appeals, judicial reviews and planning agreements.




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 was Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of Sheffield and now Emeritus Professor of Town & Regional Planning.  He  Chairs the Conservation Volunteers and the Construction Industry Council's Housing Panel;  is a Privy Council appointee to the Architects Registration Board, a director of the Kensington & Chelsea TMO Ltd, an Academy of Social Sciences council member.  Former roles include: Deputy Chair of Orbit Housing and Construction Industry Council; chair of Rotherham MBC governance review, Shelter Trustee Board and Sheffield Homes Ltd; and member of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Lloyds Banking Group Housing Commission and the Housing Commission for Northern England.

His reserach covers private rented housing and planning obligations.  His latest book 'Planning Gain' (Wiley Blackwell) won the RTPI Research Excellence Award in 2016.  In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was appointed CBE in the 2014 New Years Honours.

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 Chartered Fellow of the RTPI with over 30 years UK professional experience leading planning teams in national, multidisciplinary, design, engineering and environmental consultancies.  He is now the Founding Director of Stefano Smith Planning specialising in development planning, development management, EIA, specialist assessment tools and stakeholder and community engagement.  He is an RTPI Board Trustee, Chair of the RTPI's Education and Lifelong Learning Committee and RTPI Future Planners Ambassador.  He is also a Member of the RTPI Scotland Executive Committee and former RTPI Scotland Convenor.  Stefano is a strong and consistent advocate of inter-professional and inter-disciplinary collaboration and working, and the positive promotion of planning.  He has pro-actively collaborated and participated in shaping and influencing planning reform in Scotland, including leading research on infrastructure charging mechanisms for Scottish Government, culminating in an enabling power for the Infrastructure Levy in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.


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.