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Advisory Board

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Alice Lester MBE

Alice Lester MBE is Brent’s Operational Director for Regeneration, Growth and Employment, having previously been Brent’s Head of Planning. Prior to joining Brent she led the Planning Advisory Service, at the LGA, where she worked on a variety of projects to support ongoing improvement in local authority planning services, and in implementing the government’s planning agenda, working with Councils all over England. Alice had previously worked at Westminster, Camden and Islington Councils. Alice has been a Trustee of the TCPA, an external examiner for planning courses, and is a LGA Planning Peer.


Andrew Taylor

Andrew is Group Planning Director at Countryside and leads the company’s planning function. He provides the professional planning lead for the company across all divisions. Countryside focus on urban regeneration schemes and delivering landscape led developments and new settlements.

Before joining Countryside, Andrew spent over 18 years in planning authorities in the south east of England. He has experience of both urban and rural planning from small scale exception needs housing to master planning new settlements, major town centre redevelopments and international airport expansion.

Andrew chaired the Royal Town Planning Institute Board of Trustees for 4 years to December 2016 and took on the role of Hon. Treasurer in January 2017, continuing as a Trustee and on the RTPI’s General Assembly.

Andrew Chairs the Leeds Beckett University Partnership Board and is also Chair of the National Planning Forum’s Management Committee, championing planning and inspiring all those involved in the planning process and in delivering the new planning agenda.

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Aran Singh Gawera

Aran is an urban planner at Leicester City Council. He helps write policies which will shape his home city in the interest of the diverse communities he grew up with. He is currently a Trustee of the Town and Country Planning Association and a Non-Executive Director of Public Practice. More widely, he continues to encourage young people to engage with the planning system and consider working in the public sector, as well as finding other opportunities to make the profession more inclusive and diverse.

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CJ Obi

CJ is a London born consultant with significant experience advising planners, surveyors and other built environment professionals on important career moves, while supporting companies with busi-ness expansion decisions.

With a background in Urban Planning, Design and Management; CJ has a passion for improving the intersection between cities and people. He set up Urbanist Platform with the aim of attracting more young people into the Built Environment and empowering those currently in the industry to create inclusive cities, through an inclusive sector.

CJ’s long-term goal is to help create a more ethnically diverse industry, while providing a platform for ‘changemakers’ to be recognised and to subsequently inspire future generations.

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David Jackson

A son of the City of Portsmouth and keen Pompey fan.  Grew up on a farm in Somerset and schooled in Cheddar; famous for the gorge and its cheese.  After completing a geography degree, he gained a Masters in Environmental Planning at Nottingham University. First planning job was in consultancy at Terence O’Rouke plc before moving to Savills.  He has undertaken a number of roles during 22 years at Savills heading up offices in Oxford, Milton Keynes and Reading and is now Head of Planning, responsible for a team of 300 colleagues.


Hannah David

Housing and Planning issues have been at the heart of Hannah’s Career for two decades. Hannah’s experience straddles both the public and private sectors. As a former local Councillor, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning and Chair of a Local Borough Planning Committee Hannah understands the challenges faced by Local Authorities in developing planning policies that work for the community. As a former Property Solicitor, she also has key insights into the housing market from a commercial perspective.
Hannah has an MSc in Spatial Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL. In 2015, Hannah became a founding director of planning futures. She is passionate about improving the planning system and promoting planning as means of delivering positive social change.


Helen Fadipe

Helen Fadipe, BA(Hons), DipTP, MA(Merit), MRTPI. Director FPP Associates Ltd. Helen is an accomplished Chartered Town Planner and Management Consultant with 30 years’ experience working in different capacities both within the public and private sectors in the UK and abroad.

Helen is a Member of the RTPI General Assembly; Membership and Ethics Committee and member International Strategy Working Group. She was a Judge in the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2020.  

Helen is committed to championing diversity and inclusion in planning. She is the founder of BAME Planners Network and she is actively involved in mentoring and coaching young planners.


Joanne Dennis Jones

A chartered town planner with a passion for people and place.
The majority of Jo’s working career has been in the private sector, starting in Manchester and the North West and latterly across London and the southeast.  In becoming a RTPI Committee Member Jo has seen some of the barriers planning professionals encounter as well as observing the progressive work across the sector to create a more diverse and forward thinking industry.
Jo is delighted to join the Women in Planning Advisory Board, alongside a great team at such a prominent time for planning.        
Never happier than being outside in all weathers or hiking up a mountain – well as far and high as a 3 and 5 year old allow; that and sharing laughs, food, wine and kitchen discos with loved ones.

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Meeta Kaur

Meeta Kaur is a chartered town planner and a UK qualified planning solicitor. She is a founding partner of Town Legal, a specialist planning law firm. Before Town, Meeta was a planning solicitor at King and Wood Mallesons (formerly SJ Berwin) and prior to that a planning officer at Westminster Council.

She has many years’ experience in advising on a wide range of development schemes of all types and scale, including urban extensions in London and across the country. She advises on all aspects of planning and associated areas, on both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Meeta is a trustee on the board of trustees of the RTPI and chair of its Membership and Ethics Committee.


Steve Quartermain

Following a degree in geography from Durham I joined Epping Forest DC as a trainee and completed my post graduate planning qualification at what was then Chelmer Institute. I spent until 2008 in Local Government joining the civil service as Chief Planner from Hambleton District Council where I had been a Director of Planning and Environmental services for 12 years.

As Chief Planner I have advised on various programmes for planning reform most notably the revision of the NPPF and guidance as well as establishing a new emphasis on design. My aim in this role was always to be open and accessible to the profession . Since stepping down from this role in March this year I have taken on a portfolio of activity which includes working for Town Legal, Cratus. and HGH consulting. Being on the board of Populo housing and AoU and supporting MOBIE. I am also an honorary Professor at the University of kent.

Awarded CBE for services to planning in 2014.


Sara Parkinson

Sara is Head of Planning at Vistry Partnerships a hybrid contractor and top 5 UK house builder and a member of their London Development’s Board. Sara has over 16 years’ experience in the planning sector having worked in planning consultancy at CBRE, DTZ and Lichfield’s and three years as Director for Planning and Development Policy at London First.

Sara has a strong background in volunteering with the RTPI including the Young Planners and London Region Activities Committee; a term on the RTPI Board of Trustees; RTPI APC mentor and Assessor; and England Policy Panel. Sara is also the trustee of a local homeless charity in Southend on Sea.

Sara is an advocate for planners and planning particularly the diversity agenda and women in planning.

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