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Bringing planners to the top table

Highlights from The Planning Convention 2018

Take a look a some pictures from the event here.

On Thursday 21 June, over 350 delegates attended The Planning Convention 2018 to hear our expert speakers from around the world coming together to talk about 'resilient planning for our future'.

Kerslake ConventionDuring the day we heard from some inspiring speakers, including a keynote address from former Civil Service Head, Lord Kerslake (pictured right) who made an impassioned case for planning, calling on government to stop devaluing it.

A similar theme also came through in the 'Ask the Chief Planners' session, where RTPI Chief Executive Victoria Hills discussed the importance of having planners at the 'top table'. Victoria used the opportunity to launch the RTPI's latest research paper, 'Chief Planning Officers', which showed that in an analysis of 212 local authorities, only 23% surveyed in the UK and Ireland had a head of planning service that reported directly to the local authority Chief Executive.  

The Convention also enjoyed a lively discussion between panelists on using innovative models to meet housing demand. From Grainger CEO, Helen Gordon's passionate pitch for build to rent, through to Richard Bacon MP's  entertaining thoughts on self-build, the session was one of the highlights of the conference.

There were also some thought provoking breakout sessions. In one, we heard about how the National Grid interacts with planners on issues ranging from protecting pipelines, though to connecting renewable power sources to the grid. In another, we heard from an animated panel about the importance of encouraging diversity in the profession, and how things are changing but not quickly enough. 

Speaking after the event, RTPI President John Acres said: "It was really great to see so many committed professional planners at last week's Planning Convention. There was a real buzz around the hall and a renewed confidence about the profile of planning".

There was also quite a buzz on Twitter, with the Convention trending as the seventh most popular topic nationwide, not quite beating Love Island, but not far off.  

Finally,  we'd just like to say thanks to our great sponsors who helped make the event possible. Speaking after the event, Jane Manning, Director of headline sponsor Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners said: "I thought the Convention went really well and had a really uplifting feel about it. The appetite for reviving national and regional spatial planning was a strong thread through many of the sessions and wider discussions."

If you are interested in sponsoring the Planning Convention 2019, please contact


We will be emailing delegates a link to the presentations in due course. 

The Planning Convention 2019

If you'd like to register you interest for the 2019 Convention please email