Understanding Scotland's New Planning Act: What do you need to know about the new planning system?
Director, Playfair Scotland - Conference Chair
Prior to setting up Playfair Scotland last year, Donald worked as Director of the PPS Scotland Office for nine and a half years, as a company with specific expertise in inward investment, government and public service issues. Donald has worked on projects with an investment value more than £4billion in recent years. His work has covered most of Scotland working in 28 of the 32 local authority areas.
Donald was a councillor for over 20 years, working extensively on delivering economic development and investment and was one of the key public sector figures who helped Edinburgh become the strongest city economy in the UK outside London. Donald helped the city’s Festivals to thrive and conceived and created Edinburgh’s Christmas Festival which brings nearly £200million into the city each year. Donald was unashamedly pro-development during his period in office.
Partner - Planning, Addleshaw Goddard
Sarah is a Partner with international business law firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP and is part of their award winning and market leading UK Transport practice. Her clients include transport operators, developers, central & local government, transport & planning authorities and funders. She is uniquely dual qualified as a Law Society of Scotland Accredited Specialist in Planning Law & as a qualified chartered planner (MRTPI). She is a consenting specialist particularly known to guide major infrastructure projects from their early conceptual stage, through the complex consenting process to their delivery & beyond. She has been a lead adviser on a number of national infrastructure projects in Scotland includingfour heavy railways, which sought authorisation through the Scottish Parliament, such as Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway & Borders Railway. Further afield, she was the lead advisor on transport matters to the Olympic Delivery Authority and on the transport improvements necessary for the delivery of the Olympic Park and the wider regeneration of Stratford City. Sarah is also a Scottish Legal Award Winner and is an elected member of a number of planning & development committees which scrutinise legislation and policy including the Law Society of Scotland, Scottish Property Federation and Construction Scotland.
Director, Independent Planning Consultant
Stefano is a commercial and pragmatic development planner with a strong customer focus. Stefano has nearly 30 years of UK professional experience of managing multi-disciplinary teams within a planning, environmental, design and engineering consultancy.
He has extensive experience in providing development planning and project management services in the environment, infrastructure, energy, commercial, industrial, housing and mixed-use sectors. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute (FRTPI) with experience in statutory planning (including approvals & consents and expert witness), sustainability, regeneration, master planning & urban design, consultation & engagement strategies and tools & development economics. He is a seasoned practitioner in stakeholder engagement and the development of communication strategies, as well as the use of appraisal and assessment tools.
Stefano has successfully advised, negotiated, and delivered complex land development and infrastructure projects of ranging sizes. He has worked in both the private and public sectors, particularly pertaining to the principles and practice of the economics of urban regeneration, land development, sustainability, urban design, complex environmental assessment, and project management.
Chief Executive, PAS
Petra Biberbach is Chief Executive of award-winning national charity, PAS. With a career spanning public, private and third sector, Petra brings a wealth of expertise to the post in the fields of planning, sustainable development, renewable energy, community engagement and research.
Petra is serving her second term as a board member of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority and was elected as Convenor of the Planning Committee. She is the Vice Chair of LINK Group and a non-executive director at Zero Waste Scotland. Petra served on the Independent Review of the Scottish Planning System.
Petra has one daughter and one son. She enjoys golf, gardening, cycling, art and still singing along to Leonard Cohen!
Director of Place, Architecture and Design Scotland
Diarmaid is Head of Urbanism with Architecture and Design Scotland. An urbanist, with a multi disciplinary background, he has worked on projects involving the shaping and implementation of change for clients in Ireland, the UK and Europe, for the public, private and tertiary sectors. He has almost 20 years' experience of helping clients make well informed decisions about complex, connected urban policy and investment challenges. He is an educator, communicator and collaborator who writes and speaks on creative approaches to making better places.
Chief Executive, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
Anne Donaghy was appointed Chief Executive of the newly formed Mid & East Antrim Borough Council in 2015, having been Chief Executive of the former Ballymena Borough Council since 2009.
With over 15 years’ experience in leadership roles in local government, Anne leads the strategic direction of the Council, working closely with elected members to ensure the highly efficient and effective running of council business.
Since its formation in 2015 following local government reform in Northern Ireland, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council has won numerous awards and has consistently led the way in Northern Ireland for its delivery of services – including planning, recycling, the protection and enhancement of the natural environment, and a wide range of other frontline provisions.
Anne is passionate and ambitious about growing the economy in the Borough and wider Northern Ireland, with planning processes prioritised as a key factor in attracting inward investment and business development. She is a key figure and Board Member of The Gallaher Trust – a charitable fund to support job creation and skills development in Mid & East Antrim.
Anne sits on a number of regional and UK steering bodies and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Institute of Public Health and the Institute of Directors (IoD). She was appointed the first female Chair of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) in 2016-2017 and is the lead on disability strategy. She is also a mentor on the Chief Executives’ Forum in Northern Ireland.
As the mother of a child with special needs, Anne is a strong advocate and campaigner for children and adults living with disability and/or complex needs in Northern Ireland. She is a Governor at Castle Tower School in Ballymena and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Niamh Louise Foundation, a charity which provides prevention, intervention and postvention services to anyone affected by mental illness, self-harm and/or suicide.
June Gilles is a Partner in CMS’ Planning and Environment team, based in the firm's Edinburgh office. She has over 30 years' experience in planning law and practice in Scotland, in both the public and private sectors, including extensive experience of major commercial and infrastructure development.
She is dual qualified in Scotland and England and Wales and advises a broad range of landowners, public bodies, statutory undertakers and commercial organisations involved in large scale, complex developments throughout mainland UK, including renewable energy, retail, residential, student accommodation, leisure and mixed-use developments.
Acting Policy and Practice Officer, Royal Town Planning Institute - RTPI
Robbie Calvert is the Policy and Practice Officer at RTPI Scotland. Having recently completed his MSc in urban and regional planning at Heriot- Watt university he also undertook a role as Project Intern Officer at RTPI Scotland, helping them influence and inform the earlier stages of the Scottish planning reform. Since then he has worked in the Policy, Practice and Research team at RTPI as their Policy and Networks adviser before returning to his Scottish role helping influence the Planning (Bill) Scotland through stage 3 to Royal Assent of the bill.
Adviser on Regional Economies, Scottish Government
Strengthening Scotland's economic narrative and offer through the enablement and encouragement of Regional Economic Partnerships to design, develop and deliver Inclusive Growth, by better aligning their fiscal, legislative and regulatory contexts, e.g. through the fusion of the capital based interventions of City & other Growth Deals with the reforming revenue potential now being realised through implementation of the Enterprise & Skills Review and the promise of Planning Reform.
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The conference had a wide range of speakers covering different aspects of likely new planning legislative procedures. I took something from all the speakers. It was a very interesting conference - both beneficial and informative. All speakers spoke well and contributed to a whole range of matters from different perspectives with their specific fields of expertise. My main interests were presented and debated well.