This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best possible experience. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this. You can find out more about how we use cookies here. If you would like to know more about cookies, or how you can delete them, click here.

Meet the Speakers

Lucie Bailey, Associate Director, Lichfields

Lucie BaileyLucie is an Associate Director based in the Lichfields economics team. She is a highly experienced economist who advises on economic growth, strategy and appraisal. Her clients, from both private and public sectors, include commercial developers, house builders and local authorities. Lucie joined Lichfields in 2011 from a specialist economic development consultancy, having graduated from Newcastle University with a BA in Geography and MA in Local and Regional Development.


Gavin Barr, Director of Development and Infrastructure, Orkney Council

Gavin BarrFollowing completion of my undergraduate Geography degree from Glasgow University, and then Postgraduate masters in Town Planning from Heriot Watt, I have gained 16 years experience in both private and public sector employment. My professional experience lies in the planning, heritage and development industry firstly in private planning consultancy in Central Scotland and Northern England and then as Manager of Orkney Islands Council's Development Planning and Regeneration team covering development planning, conservation, listed buildings, access, archaeology, regeneration and environmental responsibilities. I was promoted to the role of Executive Director of the Council's new Development and Infrastructure Service in 2012. The Service is very diverse encompassing a wide range of statutory and non-statutory services including Economic Development, Planning, Building Standards, Trading Standards, European Liaison, Airfields, Engineering, Roads, Waste, Property, Marine Services, Orkney Ferries, Transportation and Strategic Projects.


Dr Colin Black, Transportation Business Director, Arcadis

Colin BlackColin is responsible for the Arcadis UK Transport Planning business. He is passionate about improving quality of life through the efficient and effective delivery of sustainable mobility. He is leading global future mobility and insight initiatives which are rapidly changing the way in which we plan, design, build and operate our urban areas.


Phil Dyke, Coast and Marine Adviser, National Trust

Phil Dyke Water BackgroundI have worked for the National Trust for 37yrs on coastal and marine issues. In 2007 I was appointed as National Trust Coast and Marine Adviser working across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, supporting colleagues dealing with coastal change issues and working with external partners and government to promote sustainable approaches to coastal and marine management. 

I maintain my academic interests through teaching coastal and marine management at a number of universities, and collaborating on research projects to further our understanding of climate change driven coastal change, and impacts upon the natural environment and culture heritage.  I am a Research Associate at the University of York.


Professor David Kirk, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Head of Open Lab, Newcastle University

David KirkProf. David Kirk is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Head of Open Lab, in the School of Computing at Newcastle University. He is Principle Investigator for Newcastle's EPSRC funded Digital Economy Research Centre and Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics. He is particularly interested in 'Human-Building Interaction' and 'Digital Living', and has worked on a number of projects considering the role of digital tech in matters of public consultation and participatory planning.


Keith Mitchell, Director, Community Development & Infrastructure, PBA, now part of Stantec

Keith MitchellHe joined Peter Brett Associates in 1984, was invited into partnership in 1994, and was elected chairman of PBA in 2010, with responsibility for the strategic development of the Practice. PBA joined forces with Stantec in 2018, and Keith now leads the strategic development and delivery of PBA's Community Development & Infrastructure services to clients.


Steve Quartermain MRTPI, Chief Planner, MHCLG

Steve QuartermainI began my career as a trainee planner having studied geography at Durham. I took a postgraduate qualification and became an RTPI member in 1982. My early career was mostly in Development management in Epping Forest and Dartford. I moved to Yorkshire to be Head of Development Control. In 1988 I was made Head of Planning covering DM, Local Plans and economic development and tourism.In 1996 I was appointed as Director of Planning and Environmental services, which included all front line services except for housing benefits. This put me in a good position to place planning at the heart of "making the district better" and the council was awarded Beacon Council status for the work we did in linking planning and communities together. We adopted "neighbourhood planning" before it was invented and even had a version of CIL before it was thought of. We were also one of the first to get a sound plan in place following the 2004 Act. It was a great job delivering planning objectives on the ground and seeing the positive changes happen. The opportunity to take up the role as Chief Planner at DCLG proved to be one I could not resist and I have manned the defence of planning ever since. In this role I am Head of Profession and we have done significant work to promote and champion the role of planning in the civil service.


Nissa Shahid MRTPI, Urbanist, Connected Cities Catapult

Nissa ShahidNissa is an Urbanist at Connected Places Catapult having specialised in Planning, Technology, Data and Cities. She has most recently been using her wide-ranging expertise in engaging with the planning process to develop concepts and prototype new tools and innovations that work to disrupt the wider industry as part of the trailblazing Future of Planning Programme. Her previous experience has been as a planning consultant for the private sector.


John Sparkes MRTPI, Head of Regeneration, North Tyneside Council

John SparkesFor over 25 years, John has been working in Planning and Regeneration. Until 2011, he tackled housing market failure as the Head of Development at Bridging NewcastleGateshead, one of nine pathfinders set up across the North and Midlands.

Subsequently, John spent the last 8 years at South Tyneside Council where he led the successful regeneration of South Shields town centre as the Head of Regeneration.

John is now working for North Tyneside Council as the Head of Regeneration and Economic Development, managing a broad portfolio of projects.


James Stevens MRTPI, Director for Cities, Home Builders Federation

James StevensJames Stevens is the Home Builders Federation's Director for Cities. James is responsible within the Federation for all matters relating to devolution in England where this relates to housebuilding. This includes skills, spatial plans, questions of housing quality, design and construction standards. James is a town planner by profession and over the last year he has been involved in commenting on the published or emerging spatial development strategies for Greater London, Greater Manchester, the West of England, Liverpool City Region and Oxfordshire. He has also participated in the work associated with the proposals for a Plan for the North, as well as Transport for the North's strategic investment plan, and the current work of the Affordable Housing Commission.


Ian Tant MRTPI, President, Royal Town Planning Institute
Ian _tant _v 2_250x 281Ian 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.


Jennifer Wallace, Head of Policy, Carnegie UK Trust
Jennifer WallaceJennifer Wallace is Head of Policy at the Carnegie UK Trust, where she leads the Wellbeing and Towns team. An experienced manager and public policy researcher and analyst, her work in the public and voluntary sector has led to positive change in legislation, policy and practice. A prolific writer she has authored more than 40 reports and 3 books and is a recognised expert on wellbeing, public sector reform and community empowerment









Join the RTPI

Both planners and non-planners can benefit from membership of the RTPI. Find out which level is right for you.

Use the membership wizard
Knowledge and best practice

Find the RTPI's latest policy and practice information, publications and core issues

Learn more
Get involved

Contribute to your Institute. Join a network, become a Mentor, volunteer for Planning Aid England, stand for an RTPI committee … and more

See what you can do