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Speaker biographies 2019

Keynote speaker
Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive, Minerals Products Association

Larger _Nigel Jackson2Nigel Jackson graduated in Geology from King's College, University of London in 1974 and has 45 years' experience working in the mining, quarrying, construction, and waste industries in a variety of differing but predominantly senior management roles.

He is currently Chief Executive of the Mineral Products Association, Chairman of the CBI Minerals Group a founding member of the UK Minerals Forum and Vice President of the European Aggregates Association.

He is a Chartered Geologist and Scientist and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

John Acres MRTPI, Past President, Royal Town Planning Institute

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.

Victoria Fletcher, Environment and Heritage Manager, Oxfordshire County Council

V Fletcher Photo 2017Victoria leads a number of specialist environment services at Oxfordshire County Council, including natural environment, access, heritage and sustainability teams. With over 20 years' experience in the environmental sector, Victoria started her working career helping to restore open cast coal mine sites in East Ayrshire for the benefit of biodiversity and people. She has been working at Oxfordshire County Council since 2010, developing policy and evidence on biodiversity and natural capital.

Chris France MRTPI, Director of Planning, North York Moors National Park

Chris FranceChris has been Director of Planning at the North York Moors National Park for 9 years. He has over 30 years' experience of planning in National Parks, including posts held at Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks.

He is currently working on a new Local Plan for the National Park up to 2035 and also a Joint Minerals and Waste Local Plan with the City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council which, amongst other things addresses the controversial issue of Fracking.




Paul Haggin, Development Control and Countryside Management, Cumbria County Council

Paul HagginPaul joined Cumbria County Council in August 2017 as a Manager for the Development Control, Countryside and Access; Historic Environment and Commons Registration teams.

Previously he worked for the Lake District National Park Authority for over 25 years in a variety of roles in development management from area planner to area manager; manager and team leader.

Prior to that he worked for Bury Metropolitan Borough Council , Central Regional Council based in Stirling; Cumbria County Council and at Northumberland County Council.

Victoria Hills MRTPI, FICE, Chief Executive, Royal Town Planning Institute

Victoria Hills MRTPI RTPI Chief Executive ResizeVictoria joined the RTPI in April 2018 and utilises her 21 years' experience and expertise in the fields of planning, transport and organisational leadership and development to drive forward the vision and strategic priorities for the 25,000 member strong RTPI. At a time when the profile of town planning and placemaking has never been higher, Victoria is enjoyed to playing her part in making the case for investing in planning and planners, to deliver and preserve quality places and the environment for future generations to come, putting planning centre stage.

Victoria is passionate about planning great 'liveable' places for people, with an unrivalled insight into London's governance; having worked for all three Mayors of London. Prior to the RTPI, Victoria was Chief Executive Officer of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, where she established the UK's second Mayoral development corporation. Prior to this she was Head of Transport for the Greater London Authority, and before that held a variety of roles in Transport Consultancy and Local Government. In 2017 Victoria was made a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and in 2018 joined the Council of the National Infrastructure Planning Association. An experienced public speaker, Victoria recently judged the 2018 Construction News Awards, the 2019 New Civil Engineer Awards and is a judge for the 2019 European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards. In March 2019 Victoria was delighted to join the new Board of The Construction Innovation Hub to help shape the work of the new £72 million Construction Innovation Hub, which seeks to transform the UK construction industry.

Dai Larner, Executive Director, Regeneration, High Peak Borough Council/Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

Dai Larner SelfieDai is on the leadership team of a ground-breaking and successful strategic alliance between two Councils. He leads on planning and regeneration including the delivery of a £116m heritage programme in High Peak and the regeneration of town centres in Leek and Glossop. He is the director of an innovative housing joint-venture which has built 270 affordable homes in Staffordshire Moorlands. He is also a director of Hebden Bridge Town Hall the most successful community asset transfer in the country.


David Lowe, Ecology, Historic Environment & Landscape Team Leader, Warwickshire County Council
Dave _LoweDavid manages 12 Ecological, 4 Historic Environment and 3 Landscape Officers. The Ecology Unit provides Development Management and Strategic Planning advice to both County and District Local Authorities. He is the Biodiversity Offsetting lead officer for Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull since 2012. The County pioneers Ecosystem Services and 'Connectivity Mapping' to place Landscape Ecology and Biodiversity Net Gain at the heart of sub-regional and national Green Infrastructure Strategies.

Rob Murfin MRTPI, Director of Planning, Northumberland County Council

Rob MurfinRob is Director of Planning at Northumberland County Council, the largest planning authority in England. Previously positions have included Chief Planner at Sheffield City Council and at Derbyshire County Council. Rob is a former director of the Planning Officers Society and has a long history of involvement in minerals planning. He has contributed to the development of planning policy and practice in the UK, regional government and Germany.

Nina Pindham, Barrister, No5 Barristers' Chambers

Nina -Pindham -2018-250x 249.jpg -v2Nina Pindham is a specialist planning and environmental law practitioner. She regularly advises a wide range of clients including developer clients, energy providers, local authorities, parish councils and private clients at all stages from pre-application advice, through any appeal processes and to the Court of Appeal. Specialisms include residential development, minerals and waste, environmental prosecutions, planning enforcement and High Court Litigation.

Hugh Richards, Barrister, No5 Barristers' Chambers

Hugh Richards -1860-WEBHugh specialises in all areas of planning and environmental law acting for developers, local authorities and third parties. He has a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the planning process, as well as experience of advising upon the commercial aspects of land development, and frequently appears at Public Inquiries and in the Appellate Courts. He is widely recognised as a leading practitioner at the Bar for residential work, minerals and waste, energy and infrastructure proposals and enforcement proceedings.