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25 April 2024, Technology and Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Complete the Delegate Feedback Survey 

It was a pleasure to host you all at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow for this year's Scottish Young Planners' Conference.

There was a fantastic atmosphere and a great buzz of enthusiasm as our excellent speakers shared their valuable knowledge and experience on a range of topics throughout the day.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.   

The SYPN Steering Group are already turning their minds to next year's conference. 

To support the Steering Group in this task, it would be great to get your feedback on this year's conference - including what you liked, what could be improved, what you hope to see included in next year's programme etc. The SYPN Steering Group will use this to inform the planning of the conference in 2025.

The Survey will be open until 31 May 2024


Planning in Scotland is in the midst of exciting changes. The implementation of NPF4 is well underway, Local Planning Authorities are embarking on the preparation of their new style Local Development Plans, and we’re having important conversations around the regulations for Masterplan Consent Areas, processes for amending LDPs and our National Planning Framework, and resourcing the planning system.

Young planners are crucial for delivering on our future aspirations for the planning system and the profession. This year’s conference seeks to reflect on the importance of our young planning professionals and highlight the opportunities available to them to shape the future of the profession. This is a fantastic opportunity to build important networks with other young professionals and develop the critical skills needed to support young planners in their career.


9.00AM           Registration and refreshments

9.40AM           Chair's Welcome and Introduction

  • Laura Robertson, RTPI Scotland Senior Vice Convenor

9.50AM            Ministerial Address

  • Joe FitzPatrick MSP, Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning

Session One 

10.05AM         Carbon Literacy

  • Cheyne Hamm, Sustainability and Climate Change Officer, East Lothian Council
  • Chaired by Amy Bristow, SYPN Steering Group member and Planning Officer, East Ayrshire Council

10.25AM         Community Benefit

  • Lesley McVeigh, Taylor Wimpey
  • Chaired by James Hewitt, SYPN Chair 2024 and Senior Planner, Aberdeenshire Council

10.45AM         Q & A

  • Laura Robertson, RTPI Scotland Senior Vice Convenor

10.55AM         Refreshments

11.25AM         Where do Planners end up?

Panel session with:

  • Duncan Smart, Senior Planning and Environmental Policy Analyst, Scottish Power Renewables
  • Nikola Miller, Scottish Government
  • Tony Aitken, Head of Planning, Colliers
  • Erin Fulton, Community Development Manager, Planning Aid Scotland
  • Chaired by Laura Robertson, RTPI Scotland Senior Vice Convenor

12.25PM         Q & A

  • Laura Robertson, RTPI Scotland Senior Vice Convenor

12.40PM         Lunch 

Session Two 

1.30PM           Celebrating 30 Years of Planning Aid Scotland

  • Jo Elston, Volunteer Coordinator, Planning Aid Scotland
  • Erin Fulton, Community Development Manager, Planning Aid Scotland
  • Chaired by Anne Krippler, SYPN Steering Group member and Housing Strategy Officer, East Lothian Council

2.00PM           Workshops: Practical Skills

a. Recruitment

  • Laura Padgett, Managing Director, Authentic Talent
  • Sarah Shaw, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Authentic Talent

b. Effective Communication

  • Neil Collar, Partner/Head of Planning Law, Brodies LLP Solicitors

c. Digital Mapping Skills

  • Gillian Dick, Spatial Planning Manager - Research & Development, Glasgow City Council 
  • Etive Currie, Senior Planning Officer, Glasgow City Council & WHO Place Advisor 

d. West End Walking Tour

This walking tour will be for a maximum duration of 2 hours, with delegates returning to the conference venue by 4pm for refreshments.

  • Led by Glasgow City Council and the University of Glasgow

3.00PM           Workshop 2 (repeated as above, except the walking tour)

4.00PM           Refreshments  

Session Three 

4.30PM           Measuring Performance and Skills

  • Craig McLaren, National Planning Improvement Champion, Improvement Service
  • Chaired by Sepi Hajisoltani, SYPN Past Chair and Planner (Conservation), Aberdeen City Council

4.50PM           Conclusions and Summing Up

  • Laura Robertson, RTPI Scotland Senior Vice Convenor

5.00PM           Close and Post Conference Drinks until 7pm

at The University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre