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Scottish Young Planners' Conference 2023

20 Years of SYPN - Past, Present & Future
27 April 2023 at 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM / Scotland / Conference

27 April 2023 at 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
The Barracks Conference Centre, Forthside Way, Stirling, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom, FK8 1QZ

2023 is a landmark year for planning in Scotland. Since13 of February, the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) has been formally adopted by Scottish Ministers forming part of the statutory development plan in Scotland for the next 10 years. Now we look forward to implementation and delivery of the Framework alongside other provisions set out in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. However this is not the only significant milestone of the year as we are celebrating 20 years of the Scottish Young Planners Network!

We will use this important moment in time to reflect on the past and present of the SYPN, and of course look to our new planning system with focus on topics such as the climate and biodiversity crisis, creating healthy neighbourhoods, community engagement and regeneration. This is a fantastic opportunity to build important networks with other young professionals and develop the critical skills needed to support you in your career.


9.00AM           Registration and refreshments

9.40AM           Chair's Welcome and Introduction

  • Kirsty Macari, RTPI Scotland Convenor

9.50AM            Ministerial Address

  • Joe FitzPatrick MSP, Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning

Session One – New context, new issues?

10.05AM         Facing Up to the Climate Emergency

  • Alex Irwin, Member, Climate Emergency Response Group and Board Trustee, 2050 Climate Group

10.25AM         Nature and Biodiversity

  • Cara Davidson, Head of Environment and Energy, Scottish Government Planning, Architecture and Regeneration Division
  • Simon Brooks, Strategic Planning Manager, NatureScot

10.45AM         Q & A

10.55AM         Refreshments

11.25AM         Modern Heritage

  • Dawn MccDowell, Deputy Head of Designations (Listing), Historic Environment Scotland 

12.05PM         Shaping Places for Well-being

  • Irene Beautyman, Place & Wellbeing Partnership Lead, Public Health Scotland and the Improvement Service

12.30PM         Q & A

12.40PM         Lunch 

Session Two – Achieving outcomes

1.30PM           20 Years of the SYPN: Past, Present and Future

Panel session with: 

  • Sepideh Hajisoltani, Chair, Scottish Young Planners Network
  • Andrew Trigger, Associate, Justin Lamb Associates
  • Stuart Salter, Director, Geddes Consulting
  • Fiona Clandillon, Head of Development, Midlothian Council

2.00PM           Workshops: Skills for Managing Transition

a. Local Place Plans and community engagement

  • Susan Brooks, Communities & Place Planning Manager, Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park

b. Design Future Neighbourhoods

  • Heather Claridge, Director of Design, Architecture + Design Scotland

c. Planning for Renewables

  • Fraser Mitchell, Partner, Shepherd and Wedderburn

3.00PM           Refreshments  

3.30PM           Workshop 2 (repeated as above)

Session Three – Moving Forward

4.30PM           Past, Present and Future

  • Bob Salter, Director, Geddes Consulting

4.50PM           Conclusions and Summing Up

  • Kirsty Macari, Convenor, RTPI Scotland

5.00PM           Close and Post Conference Drinks

at The Corn Exchange, 11 - 13 Corn Exchange Road, Stirling sponsored by Geddes Consulting

Headline sponsor:



Supporting sponsors: