RTPI Cymru Annual ReviewA look back at RTPI Cymru's activities during 2023
The RTPI Cymru Annual Review for 2023 has been published, giving the highlights for activities across the year.
We responded to the following Welsh Government consultations:
- TAN11: Revised planning guidance in relation to air quality, noise and soundscape
- The future of Welsh-speaking Communities: call for evidence
- A Just Transition to Net Zero: A consultation on the development of Wales’ decarbonisation pathway to Net Zero and the development of a Just Transition Framework for Wales.
- Technical Advice Note 15: A consultation on draft further revisions to planning guidance on flooding and coastal erosion.
- Statutory Licensing Scheme for all Visitor Accommodation Providers: A consultation on the establishment of a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation providers in Wales.
- Planning Policy Wales: Net Benefit for Biodiversity and Ecosystems' Resilience: A consultation on draft policy changes to Planning Policy Wales on net benefit for biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.
- Review of Wales’ Renewable Energy Targets: A consultation on proposed new renewable energy targets.
- Noise and Soundscape Plan for Wales 2023 to 2028: A consultation on a national soundscape strategy.
- Revised Planning Guidance in Relation to Air Quality, Noise and Soundscape: A consultation on the draft of revised planning guidance 'Technical Advice Note 11: Air Quality, Noise and Soundscape' and 'Supporting Document 1: Soundscape Design'.
Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament
We submitted evidence to the following:
- Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) Bill
- The Right to Adequate Housing
- Director gave oral evidence to Senedd Cymru’s Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee on 12 January on electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Infrastructure (Wales) Bill
RTPI Cymru provided written evidence to Senedd Cymru’s Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee’s consideration of the general principles (Stage 1) of the infrastructure (Wales) Bill. The Director gave oral evidence in September. In advance of this session, we held a roundtable with the National Infrastructure Commission Wales (NICW) to seek views.
RTPI Cymru worked with the National Infrastructure Commission Wales (NICW) to consider the impact of devolution on delivering good places and placemaking in Wales. Roundtable events were held in Deganwy and Cardiff to get a wide perspective to input into the research. The final report has been submitted to the Commission.
The Big Conversation
Responding to a request by the Minister for Climate Change to understand the well-being of planners in Wales operating under challenging circumstances, RTPI Cymru published its report of the findings of the Big Conversation. This explored the issues, impacts, causes and potential solutions to support the profession deliver the planning system. The aim of this is to better understand the pressures being faced and undertake a health check of the profession in Wales. It will also provide indicators of action which could be taken, not just by the RTPI, but also Welsh Government and other parties.
Making the most efficient and effective use of existing planning resources in Wales
RTPI Cymru commissioned Neil Harris (Cardiff University) to facilitate and write up roundtable discussions on the efficient use of existing planning resources.
Through roundtables and discussion, we explored ways in which existing resources in the planning system can be used as efficiently and effectively as possible. The project will supplement other recent projects that make a case for improved resourcing of the planning system in Wales.
The context for the project is set by previous studies that identify the need for more resources to be invested in order to deliver the planning system effectively – especially in local planning authorities, but also in other organisations. Resources are however constrained and there is competing demand for available public funding and other resources. This project recognises that while there is a continuing need for improved resourcing of the planning system there is also a demand for more effective planning services. The project therefore explored if and how public sector planning organisations are being driven to innovate and examine their efforts to make more efficient use of existing resources.
A Planning Law webinar was held on St David’s Day (1st March), supported by FTB.
At this year’s Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, we joined up with Cyngor Gwynedd for a panel discussion on the Council’s proposals (open for consultation at the time) for an Article 4 Direction to support the work to manage holiday homes (second holiday homes and short term lets).
The panel was chaired by Owain Wyn MRTPI and started with a presentation by Gareth Jones of Cyngor Gwynedd, setting out the proposals and Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Cyngor Gwynedd Cabinet Member and panellists Rhys Davies, Director at Cadnant Planning and Sian Pennant-Jones, Tourism, Marketing and Events Manager, Cyngor Gwynedd.
Our Spring Conference in 2023, was a day of presentations and discussions in Llandudno on the theme of Delivering Vibrant High Streets.
The Wales Planning Conference was held on 22 June 2023 in Cardiff, sponsored by FTB and Savills.
This year’s Wales Planning Conference supported the shift of climate change discussions on to what planners should and can do to address the issues.
As part of RTPI’s Coastal week RTPI Cymru held a webinar on the 5 July on “Exploring the relationship between Shoreline Management Plans and Local Development Plans”.
RTPI Cymru held our Summer Party in Morgan Arcade on 6 July 2023. It was an opportunity for members to network in a unique and informal setting and to announce winners of the RTPI Cymru Awards for Planning Excellence 2023.
The Inaugural Professor Tony Hall lecture was held on 2nd November. Catherine Mealing-Jones, Chief Executive Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority delivered a lecture on "Saving the world through planning – a perspective from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park".
The Wales Enforcement Conference was held in November, supported by POSW (Planning Officers Society Wales).
Chief Planning Officers of Tomorrow
In September, RTPI Cymru Director - Roisin Willmott - hosted Gayle Lister under the RTPI's Chief Planning Officers of Tomorrow initiative. Offering the day to shadow a senior planner.
Young Planners Cymru
Young Planners Cymru have been very active during 2023.
A social barbecue event was held with RICS and Women in Property in the summer. A small wine tasting event sponsored by Apex was held in September, and a further event held on Beaujolais Day. A presentation was organised at the newly refurbished Newport Market was also held and in December a National Mince Pie day event was held.
RTPI Cymru Award for Planning Excellence
The Awards were launched in January and closing in March 2023.
The Wales Awards winners were announced at the RTPI Cymru Summer Party on 6th July:
- Wales Small Planning Consultancy of The Year - Winner - Kew Planning
- Award for Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing - Winner - The Grange University Hospital entered by BDP
- Award for Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing - Commended - Maindee Triangle entered by Maindee Unlimited
- Award for Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture - Winner - Caernarfon Island Site entered by Purcell
The following were RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2023 winners in a ceremony held in London in November:
- Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing - The Grange University Hospital entered by BDP
A full list of winners can be found here.
We continue to spread key messages through our X (formerly known as twitter) channel. The @RTPICymru X account has over 1,220 followers.
Four editions of the RTPI Cymru journal Cynllunio have been published in 2023 and distributed online. More regular updates, via our e-bulletin are sent to members on a regular basis.
We have seen continued coverage of Wales’ issues and RTPI Cymru activity in The Planner magazine.
Winners of the RTPI Cymru Prize for Academic Excellence were presented with their Awards by RTPI Chair, Joe Ayoubkhani and RTPI President, Sue Bridge, in October:
- Nadia Ishmael for the BSc in Urban Planning and Development
- Sam Whitehead for the BSc in Geography and Planning.
In April, the Director gave presentations to three groups at Cardiff University on the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) process, for them to have a taster whilst on placement and making career choices.
The Policy Officer attended the first year student talks in October.
The Director spoke on a Panel at the Royal Welsh Show in July on rural housing. The event was organised by RICS Wales and hosted by CLA Wales. Also on the panel were representatives of CIH Cymru and CIOB.
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:
Clodagh Meehan Macken
James Harry Scarborough
In October 2023, we held a Welcome Event to celebrate the newly Chartered Members in Wales.
We are continuing to explore the option for introducing a Level 4 Town Planning Apprenticeship.
Wales Planning Consultants Forum
During 2023 we supported the establishment of the Wales Planning Consultants Forum, providing a forum for planning consultants in Wales to come together and share experiences and provide support.
Promoting Planning as a career
A pilot session in partnership with Techniquest was held in June with a school from Cardiff attending, with over 60 pupils. The morning involved activities coordinated by Techniquest with RTPI, meet the planner and ONS.
We have also attended careers fairs in schools in Cardiff.
Our work is overseen through the RTPI Cymru Executive Committee and implemented by the Director and staff team based in Wales. The Executive Committee is represented on the RTPI's General Assembly, committees and panels.
- Joe Ayoubkhani MRTPI, Chair (pictured right)
- Allan Archer MRTPI, Senior Vice Chair
- Aneurin Mon Parry MRTPI, Junior Vice Chair
- Rob Chichester MRTPI, Immediate Past Chair
- Charlotte Ames MRTPI
- Chris Clarke MRTPI
- Emma Fortune MRTPI
- Simon Power MRTPI
- Allan Pitt MRTPI
- Sean Taylor MRTPI
General Assembly representatives
- Neil Harris MRTPI
- Emma Watkins MRTPI
Student and Licentiate Representatives
- Sarah Smith
- Gabriel de Bacco
- Ffion Middleton
- Director: Roisin Willmott FRTPI
- Policy Officer: Rhian Brimble MRTPI
- Member Services Officer: Dorine Chantepie
- Planning Assistant: Ben Reader
- Planning Assistant: Sion Mainwaring