RTPI Cymru Annual ReviewA look back at RTPI Cymru's activities during 2021
The RTPI Cymru Annual Review for 2021 has been published, giving the highlights for activities across the year.
We responded to the following Welsh Government consultations:
- Corporate Joint Committee (General) (Wales) Regulations 2022 (December)
- Local taxes for second homes and self-catering accommodation (November)
- Using national milestones and indicators to measure our nation’s progress (October)
- Developing the Hydrogen Energy Sector (April)
- Heritage Partnership Agreements (March)
- Safer Buildings in Wales (March)
- Agriculture (Wales) Bill (March)
- Electric Vehicle (EV) charging strategy (February)
- Llwybr Newydd: a new Wales transport strategy (January)
- Reforms to the Compulsory Purchase Process (January)
- Regulations to Establish Corporate Joint Committees (January)
- Establishing the Town and Country Planning (Strategic Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2021 (January)
Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament
We submitted the following evidence to the Committees:
- Welsh Government Draft Budget (November)
- Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee Priorities (September)
- Priorities for the Local Government and Housing Committee (September)
- Priorities for the Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee (September) Both written and oral evidence.
The Director also gave oral evidence to the Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee on 16th September on their Priorities.
Senedd Cymru Elections
In December 2020, RTPI Cymru published Asks of the Welsh Government following the May 2021 Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament elections. These were promoted at a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Construction in January and published on the Positif (PR / political campaigning company for Wales) website. We also joined with Community Housing Cymru on a hustings in April to discuss housing
The Director is a member of the IWA’s Welsh Places Influencing Group. Its role was to develop a charter of recommendations on Welsh places (towns) for the Senedd Cymru elections.
The Policy Officer sits on the Scrutiny Group – Development Plans Community Guide – Draft Guide for Engagement. The group have met twice virtually this year. The guide is expected to be finalised in early 2022.
The Director is a member of a panel, chaired by the former Archbishop of Wales, to advise on the new approach Housing Justice Cymru are taking with their Faith in Affordable Housing programme, which helps to bring churches, with derelict land and buildings, together with housing associations to increase the supply of affordable homes in Wales.
RTPI Cymru published a policy position paper on Holiday Homes in Wales, which explores the issues and potential solutions with specific relevance to planning. This is a complex matter and as such will require multi-faceted solutions, many of which will not be planning such as taxation and licensing. www.rtpi.org.uk/holidayhomesinwales/
We supported the Future Generations BEAC event in January – Towards Zero Carbon in Wales by 2050 – Mark Farrar, Chair of the RTPI Cymru Policy and Research Forum, spoke on the panel. In March, Joe Ayoubkhani, RTPI Cymru Junior Vice Chair, spoke on the panel of the Construction Quality BEAC event.
Welsh Planner Live was held on-line in June, taking forward the theme of Plan the Wales We Need and picking up many of the issues in the Senedd Cymru election asks. 105 The Minister for Climate Change provided a keynote speech which spoke to Plan the Wales We Need.
In September we held an on-line event on Planning and Holiday Homes, supported by Snowdonia National Park Authority. The event was held in Welsh with simultaneous translation into English.
In November, we were pleased to hold our first face to face event since 2019, with the RTPI Cymru Awards Celebration event at the Holland House Hotel, Cardiff, with over 100 guests attending.
Young Planners Cymru
Young Planners Cymru started the year off with online yoga in February. They held webinars on reducing car dependency (March) and the Well-being of Future Generations (June).
In July they published a series of walking tours to provide a socially distanced / self-guided covid context social activity: www.rtpi.org.uk/ypcwalkingtours and in October they were able to hold a social Wine-tasting event, sponsored by Simply Planning.
In March RTPI Cymru supported a School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University discussion on International Women’s Day. A number of alumni (all RTPI members) were invited to be panelists – including RTPI Cymru Chair, Jane Jones, and Wales Young Planner of the Year, Emmeline Reynish, to share their experiences with students at the University.
In July the Director gave the keynote speech at Policy Forum for Wales on-line seminar: The future for planning policy in Wales – the proposed strategy, supporting clean economic growth, and serving the changing needs of work and communities.
In October the Director chaired the RSAW’s webinar on the Future of Town Centres as part of the RSAW Design Week and also chaired Waterfront’s on-line Wales Infrastructure Conference.
The Director was part of a delegation to COP 26 in Glasgow in November. She attended a number of sessions and raised the profile of planning and Wales and met with the Future Generations Commissioner to discuss potential joint work.
The Director was a judge for the CIH Cymru Welsh Housing Awards, judging the Delivering High Quality Homes and Excellence in Housing Innovation categories.
RTPI Cymru Award for Planning Excellence
Sponsored by Tetra Tech and announced at our celebration event in November, the RTPI Cymru Awards for Planning Excellence were announced as:
Winner: Merthyr Tydfil Transport Interchange
Highly commended: Conwy Green Infrastructure Assessment and Zip World Tower
Commended: St Paul's, Penarth
Full details of the Awards can be viewed here.
We continue to spread key messages through our Twitter channel. The @RTPICymru twitter account has over 1,150 followers.
Four editions of the RTPI Cymru journal Cynllunio have been published in 2021 and distributed online. These have looked at placemaking, children and town planning, the value of engagement, town centre regeneration, holiday homes, phosphates, TAN 15 and flooding, digital planning and COP 26. We have also sent members more regular updates in our e-bulletin.
In 2021 we issued news releases covering the need for apprenticeships to diversify the profession in Wales and the publication of Future Wales by Welsh Government.
In February the Director was interviewed by BBC Wales on affordable housing targets and whether more can be delivered if planning authorities were better resourced and in April the Director spoke on BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement alongside Vicky Pryce (economist), talking about towns, cities and villages after the pandemic and again in August she spoke on the topic of the future of towns and cities in Wales after the pandemic. Also in August the Director reviewed the papers on BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement covering stories on the impact of second / holiday homes, COP26, and rural broadband.
We have seen continued coverage of Wales’ issues and RTPI Cymru activity in The Planner magazine.
We have presented to students at Cardiff University on the RTPI APC process to promote professional membership of the Institute and careers in planning.
In November, we held a Meet the President event for students at Cardiff University, with 30 students attending an engaging session with President Wei Yang.
The RTPI Cymru Prize for Academic Excellence 2021 was awarded for excellence in examinations and coursework in the first year of the BSc. in Urban Planning and Development to Joseph Parsons and in the BSc. in Human Geography and Planning to Tia Fishlock, at the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.
New Chartered Members
We are delighted to welcome new members to RTPI Cymru and now have around 1,300 across Wales working across sectors, organisations and roles.
Congratulations to the following who became Chartered Members of RTPI in the year:
- Nia Borsey
- Kate Coventry
- Emily Currie
- Alexandra Egge
- Bradley Ferguson
- Owain George
- Lowri Hughson-Smith
- Thomas Jacob
- Elkie Lam
- Alexander Melling
- Ellie Mitchell
- Ruth Potts
- Adam Provoost
- Sion Roberts
- Kym Lauren Scott
- Gwen Rhys Thomas
- Sian Thomas
- Georgina Thompson
- Rhodri Williams
Geraint Blayney and Imogen Holgate were also elected to Associates of the RTPI.
As part Apprenticeships Week, the Director wrote to the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales to discuss degree level apprenticeships in Wales. In response a meeting was held with the Welsh Government’s Senior Apprenticeship Policy Manager and discussions continue.
The RTPI Cymru Executive Committee is represented on the RTPI's General Assembly, committees and panels. The people who sat on the Committee in 2021 are:
- Jane Jones, Chair (pictured right)
- Rob Chichester, Senior Vice Chair
- Joe Ayoubkhani, Junior Vice Chair
- Simon Power, Immediate Past Chair
- Charlotte Ames
- Neil Harris
- Aneurin Mon Parry
- Alan Pitt
- Cath Ranson
- Will Ryan
Student/ Licentiate Representatives
- Kate Coventry
- Thom Simnett
RTPI General Assembly Members
- Gavin Lewis
- Sean Taylor
The RTPI Cymru Executive Committee has a Policy and Research Sub-Forum which has met regularly across the year.
- Director: Roisin Willmott
- Policy Officer: Rhian Brimble
- Administrator: Georgina Roberts