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Conference agenda and synopsis .

Join us for a jam-packed agenda at the two-day National Planning Conference, full of expert presentations, panel discussions, and both relaxed and formal networking opportunities.
Taking place on 9-10 November, at Birmingham Conference and Events Centre.
Find out more about what will be happening on each day of the conference.
Follow the Planning Portal blog for the latest updates and announcements.

Thursday 9 November .

09:00 – 09:45  Registration and breakfast  

09:45 – 10:00  Welcome and introductions
Lindsey Richards, RTPI
Sarah Chilcott, Planning Portal

10:00 – 10:15  Keynote speech
Rachel Maclean, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

10:15 – 10:30  Headline sponsor keynote – Levelling up your plan
Rafael Garcia, Objective
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill comes with aspirational goals that are shared by many, but not short of uncertainties. One theme remains clear following numerous revisions: technology is a key enabler to the UK’s plan-led system, with a new style of local plans upon us. What is the role of digital in supporting ambitious planning targets and the overall benefits to our communities? Can the vision of digital planning become a reality, one local plan at a time?

10:30 – 11:30  Delivering homes
Chair: Paul Morrison, Planning Inspectorate
Neal Hudson, Residential Analysts
Alex Notay, PFP Capital
Tom Stannard, Salford City Council
Vicky Savage, L&Q
The UK Government has committed to delivering 300,000 homes a year, but the numbers actually being approved and built remain far below this. Is this number achievable and what is the value of fixing this target? Is there a better way to ensure we are delivering the high-quality, affordable and sustainable homes that are so desperately needed?  

11:30 – 12:00  Break

12:00 – 13:00  Session choice
In this session, delegates can choose from one of two tracks:

Track one – Delivering sustainable infrastructure, in partnership with the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development 
Chair: Grant Findlay, Sir Robert McAlpine
Iain Jenkinson, CBRE
Jason Longhurst, Prologis
Patrick Robinson, Burgess Salmon
Sarah Scannell, Birmingham City Council
The UK Government is committed to delivering sustainable development goals and in particular achieving net zero by 2050, but there is still an enormous amount to do to realise these ambitions. In this session, we’ll look at the critical, but often overlooked, topic of sustainable infrastructure. How can we deliver the infrastructure needed to enable economic growth through the planning system? 

Track two – Planning Portal, delivering a digital future
Scott Alford, Planning Portal
James Garrett, Planning Portal
Chantelle Hallett, TerraQuest
Earl Hamilton, TerraQuest
Piotr Laczny, TerraQuest
Eddy Boorsma, Software Improvement Group (SIG)
Michael Hallin, Software Development Group (SIG)
The future of digital planning is happening right now. This track will explore the Planning Portal’s commitments to the ongoing transformation of the planning and building control process. Hear from the team and partners about current and future work to make the process more efficient, data-driven and joined up for the benefit of all.  

13:00 – 14:00  Lunch

14:00 – 14:20  Keynote & Q&A
Corrin Wendall, Youth Engagement Planning
Corrin will share her experience of engaging with over 7,000 young people across the USA and make the case as to why investing in youth engagement is an essential part of the planning process. She will include experiences of bringing young peoples’ perspectives into planning – creating opportunities for them to engage, developing customized tools to involve them in local planning, and using their input to help craft plans.

14:20 – 15:15  Delivering with communities
Chair: Simeon Shtebunaev, Urban Imaginarium
Amir Hussain, Yeme Tech
Immy Kaur, Civic Square
Clare Jones, Grasshopper
Nick Wright, Nick Wright Planning
All too often planning can become a battleground, with proposed development challenged by local communities. In this session, we hear about some different approaches being trialled across the UK and lessons being learned about how working with communities within the current planning system can deliver real benefits. 

15:15 – 15:45  Break

15.45 – 16.45: Session choice
In this session, delegates can choose from one of two tracks:

Track one – What has the RTPI been delivering?
Chair: Caroline Brown, RTPI
Richard Blyth, RTPI
Nicky Linihan
Dr David Mountain, RTPI
In this session, we look at the priorities for the Institute and its members. What has been delivered over the last 12 months and what is next.

Track  two – Delivering on digital and data
Jim Fretwell, Objective
Jessica Oates, Objective
Oliver Lewis, Joe’s Blooms
Alexa Culver, Environment Bank
There is a general consensus that digital technologies have the potential to transform the planning process, but the path from A to B is less clear.
In this session, we’ll hear from some real examples of digital planning in action and some lessons learnt along the way. This session will include an update on implementing Biodiversity Net Gain in the planning process.

16:45 – 16:55  Closing remarks

16:55 – 17:30 Drinks reception in exhibition space
With dinner speaker, James Cracknell MPhil OBE

19:00 – 23:00  Gala dinner (bookings only)

Friday 10 November .

09:00 – 09:30  Registration, and breakfast in the exhibition space

09:30 – 09:45  Welcome
Sarah Chilcott, Planning Portal

09:45 – 10:15  Keynote speech

10:15 – 11:15  Chief Planners – Delivering on planning reforms
Chair: Victoria Hills, RTPI
Joanna Averley, DLUHC
Alastair Beggs, Dept of Infrastructure, Northern Ireland
Neil Hemington, Welsh Government
Claragh Mulhern, Republic of Ireland
Fiona Simpson, Scottish Government
The Chief Planners from the UK and Ireland will discuss updates on the different approaches to planning reform taken in their nations. A critical policy area for all the administrations, this discussion facilitated by Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI, will give a candid view of the different approaches to the challenges and opportunities of reform. 

11:15 – 11:45  Delivering for 2070 – Young planners’ perspective
Chair: Pooja Agrawal, Public Practice
Bethany Rance, East Suffolk Council
Jo Rogers, Ethical Partnerships
Joshua Singh, Sandwell Council
Fast forward nearly 50 years, the Young Planners from across the UK nations provide their perspectives on planning reforms in their future careers.

11:45 – 12:15  Break

12:15 – 13:15  Session choice
In this session, delegates can choose from one of two tracks:

Track one – Delivering planning around the world
Chair: Wei Yang, Wei Yang & Partners
Angela Brooks, American Planning Association
Niall Cussen, Office of the Planning Regulator
Sabina Dimitriu, ISOCARP
Will Steel, Commonwealth Association of Planners
Our international panel discuss the priorities for planning in their countries and regions. Are the challenges the same or different? And what can we learn from their experiences and lessons learned along the way?

Track two – How storytelling can increase engagement, counter misinformation and raise the status of planning
Rachel Brisley, Ipsos
Jennie Savage
Simon Wicks, The Planner
Simon Creer, RTPI

Planning is at a reputational crossroads: publicly maligned and misunderstood, subject to misrepresentation and misinformation, it needs to find new ways to assert its public benefits. In this session, we’ll show how by employing storytelling and focusing on the relatable tales that underpin planning, its practitioners can win over sceptics and make a powerful case for planning as an indispensable public good. 

13:15 – 14:00  Lunch

14:00 – 15:00  Delivering with politicians
Chair: Jason Longhurst, Prologis/UKBCSD
Jenifer Jackson, London Borough of Richmond and Wandsworth
Cllr Jonathan Nunn, West Northamptonshire Council
Sunil Sahadevan, Luton Borough Council
When it comes to local planning, working with politicians is critical
In this session, we bring together a variety of perspectives on how this can be done effectively to deliver local plans and places that communities and businesses need to thrive.

15:00 – 15:15  Closing remarks and thanks

Sponsors and exhibitors .

Introducing the conference supporters...