We have a superb panel coming together for this conference, including many of the leading figures in UK Planning.


Roger Hepher

Director, HGH Consulting

Roger Hepher is one of the co-founders at hgh Consulting

He holds a Degree in Town & Country Planning a Masters in Town Planning; and is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism.

After successfully heading Hepher Dixon from the mid 1990s, Roger was Savills’ national Head of Planning, leading a team of nearly 200 planners, from 1988 to 2014, and sat on the Board of Savills UK. He co-founded the company that is now hgh Consulting in 2016.

He is active in the affairs of the British Property Federation and London First. He was a member of the coalition Government’s Planning Sounding Board; was appointed by Nick Boles (then Planning Minister) as a Red Tape Challenge Champion; and was a member of the expert panel advising Bridget Rosewell OBE’s review of Planning Appeal Inquiries.

Roger is an experienced planning strategist and leader of professional teams. He also has considerable experience as an expert witness at public inquiries, planning hearings, development plan examinations, Upper Tribunal (formerly Lands Tribunal) hearings, CPO inquiries, High Court proceedings and Select Committee hearings.

Joanna Averley

Chief Planner, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Joanna Averley took up the role of Chief Planner at MHCLG in September 2020. She is a town planner with 30 years’ experience working across government, major projects and with local authorities. She has been involved in all aspect of planning research, policy, practice and project delivery. Prior to this role she was at HS2 where she led on how the railway interfaces with its context with plan making and consenting processes. Until taking up the role of Chief Planner she was a London Mayor’s Design Advocate and Chair of the London Borough of Wandsworth’s Design Review Panel. Joanna has worked on major regeneration and masterplanning projects from Manchester City Centre to the London Olympics. Joanna has held a number of senior roles as Senior Manager for Growth and Development for Crossrail 2 at TfL, Deputy CEO and Director of Design and Planning Advice of CABE, CEO of Centre for Cities, CEO of LandAid and Director of Design for the Olympic Delivery Authority. Joanna has held a number of non-executive roles including Trustee of MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology).

Ian Anderson

Executive Director, Iceni Projects

Ian is always seeking to identify opportunities to add value for his clients, and to further the growth of Iceni.

Having previously been a director at Town Planning Consultancy and subsequently
RPS, Ian has experienced working for both private-run and PLC planning firms. In turn, Ian worked for a private property company, led by two entrepreneurs, where he both acquired sites and managed them through the planning process.

Ian has taken the key ingredients that made those businesses successful and instilled them into the fabric of Iceni: A business mindset characterised by hard work, strategic vision, common sense, topical awareness, and speed of thought.

Ian relishes working with clients, be that on site identification, business planning or project strategy.

Ian currently works on a range of strategic, retail, and residential projects, and also serves in an advisory capacity to a number of property companies.

Lisa Fairmaner

Head of London Plan & Growth Strategies, Greater London Authority

Lisa Fairmaner is Head of the London Plan and Growth Strategies at the Greater London Authority. Her responsibilities include the Mayor’s London Plan, establishing the statutory planning framework for development; ensuring the 35 London borough’ planning authorities conform with the London Plan; and developing spatial strategies for London’s future evolution including key regeneration and Opportunity Areas. She has previously led planning teams in Central and suburban London, including responsibility for some of the city’s most iconic locations such as the West End and Houses of Parliament. She worked on local planning policies for Newham in the lead up to hosting the 2012 Olympics and has also been responsible for delivering major environmental projects and cycle infrastructure. She began her planning career in her native New Zealand.

Sarah Parsons

Head of Place and Design, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Iain Gilbey

Partner – Head of Planning, Pinsent Masons

Iain specialises in all aspects of the law relating to town and country planning and related environmental issues. He is a senior partner with Pinsent Masons’ market leading planning law team, and leads the firm’s Residential Sector. His primary focus is on large scale mixed use and residential led projects in London, urban extensions and large scale settlement, garden villages and commercial and sporting stadia projects. His practice encompasses advice on all non-contentious and contentious planning matters, including Court challenges, public inquiries and other tribunals. Iain is recognised as a leading planning lawyer by the Legal 500, Chambers Guide and Planning Magazine’s Annual Legal Survey.

Claire Petricca-Riding

Partner and National Head of Planning & Environmental Law, Irwin Mitchell

Claire is a partner in our Real Estate Department and is the National Head of Planning and Environment. She has considerable experience in all aspects of planning and environmental matters relating to a range of sectors. Most notably, in the development (commercial, PRS and PBSA), retail, maritime, manufacturing and waste management sectors. This gives her an incredible insight on a broad range of issues that our clients are facing from Section 106 Obligations to biodiversity net gain and Net Zero, she recognises that all clients, irrespective of which sector they are in, are facing similar issues and choices about future development activity.

Earlier this year, Claire was delighted to be named in the ENDS Power List as one of the top 100 most influential environmental practitioners in the UK.

"Claire is enormously dedicated to her work and her clients. "She is well respected, very straight-talking, easy to get on with and forward-thinking in her approach." - Chambers & Partners, 2021

Rebecca Phillips

Group Manager, Planning Inspectorate

Rebecca Phillips has over 13 years’ experience as a Planning Inspector at the most senior level. She has been the Professional Lead for Planning Appeals at The Planning Inspectorate for over 3 years, responsible for the support and professional development of Inspector teams undertaking S78 appeals, including specialist case work. She has extensive experience of undertaking a variety of S78 and enforcement appeals as well as development plan and CIL examinations.
She is qualified in Town & Country Planning and Marketing and has a background in economic development, regeneration, development finance, strategic marketing management and policy development.
Previous roles include Planning Policy advisor at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), business development consultant at Strategic Marketing Ltd as well as roles in economic development and regeneration at the Welsh Development Agency and Cardiff Bay Development Corporation.
She is the RTPI representative and Chair of the RTPI-Joint Distance Learning Consortium Board to oversee the delivery of planning education in accordance with RTPI standards, maintaining RTPI accreditation status and accrediting new courses. She has just stepped down as the Chair of the RTPI-Plymouth University Board after 5 years in the role. She was previously external examiner at Cardiff University Planning School.

Clare Fielding

Partner, Town Legal

Clare is leading our team through its next phase of growth.

Clare’s legal practice has been focused on substantial London projects. She regularly advises on complex planning strategy, viability issues, Community Infrastructure Levy, JR risk, and on property-related corporate transactions.

Her style is collaborative, problem-solving and people-centred. She regularly speaks on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Legal 500 2021 said: “Clare is very pragmatic, and her work is a very good example of the public and private sector working together. She’s very good on strategy.”

Clare is currently working toward accreditation as a business coach.

Andrew Taylor

Head of Planning, Countryside Properties

Andrew is Group Planning Director at Countryside and leads the company’s planning function. Countryside develops private, affordable and privately rented homes through partnerships with landowners, registered providers, institutional investors and local authorities, with a focus on urban regeneration schemes and delivering landscape led developments and new settlements.

Before joining Countryside, Andrew was Head of Planning for a developer in the Eastern Counties and prior to that 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, is a member of the Women in Planning Advisory board and 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.

Nick Cuff

Chief Commercial Officer, Pocket Living

Fiona Milden

Group Planning Director, Vistry Group

Fiona is Group Planning Director for Vistry Group, comprising Vistry Partnerships and the Vistry Housebuilding businesses (Bovis Homes and Linden Homes brands). The business was named ‘Large Housebuilder of the Year’ at the 2021 Housebuilder Awards. Fiona directs the planning related activities of the group, supporting Vistry’s purpose to develop sustainable new homes and communities across all sectors of the UK housing market. In her previous role as Strategic Planning Director for Vistry she was responsible for the promotion of the strategic land portfolio with the aim of achieving planning permission for major residential developments across the operating area. Fiona sits on Vistry’s Sustainability Committee and was named as one of The Planner’s Women of Influence, 2020. Prior to joining Bovis Homes in 2013 she worked in planning consultancy.

Wyn Evans

Managing Director, Forty Shillings

Wyn Evans is the Founder and Managing Director of Forty Shillings, a leader in property and planning communications. He has almost thirty years’ experience of working in political campaigning and corporate communications, predominantly on high profile property, planning and large infrastructure projects.

He works on a range of projects covering urban regeneration, mixed use development, strategic land and aviation projects for a variety of private and public sector clients. He is also one of the founders of Just Build Homes, a platform that aims to connect supporters of housebuilding with the planning process.

Robert Fourt

Partner, Gerald Eve

I am a partner in the Planning & Development team, specialising in development viability,
valuation, and risk analysis. My key responsibilities include project co-ordination, strategic
planning, financial analysis, feasibility studies and the funding of a wide range of schemes. I
devise practical solutions to complex property issues and the structuring and negotiation of
associated documentation dealing with major acquisitions and disposals of real estate, joint
ventures, land assembly as well as providing viability advice on large mixed-use developments.

Anthony Lee

Senior Director, BNP Paribas Real Estate

Anthony Lee BSc (Hons) MSc (Econ) MA (TP) PhD MRTPI MRICS is Head of UK Development Viability at BNP Paribas Real Estate. He is a chartered surveyor and chartered town planner specialising in development economics, financial modelling and valuation, and advises clients in the public and private sectors on a range of affordable housing issues. His team has recently advised local authority and developer clients on major strategic residential developments in London (Stag Brewery, Westferry Printworks, North Quay, Battersea Power Station, Chelsea Barracks, Leamouth Peninsula, Greenwich Millennium Village, New Wembley, Stratford City, Silvertown Quays, Tideway Wharf, Tottenham Hale, Creekside Village and Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club).

Andy Leahy

Managing Director, Bespoke Property Group

Andy began his 13 year career with Wimpey, starting out as a trainee engineer, rising to Development Director for their Eastern Counties operations based in Witham. His next appointment was as Managing Director of the southern housing operations for Raine Industries. Following the sale of the Raine Industries housebuilding business to Balfour Beatty, Andy became a consultant to Admiral Homes working on the sale of the company to Bryant Homes
Andy was then Development Director for Ballymore Properties Ltd from 1996 to 2004, working on major mixed-use schemes in London and across the country following the purchase of Railtrack
Property. Whilst at Ballymore Andy worked with the Irish Homebuilder’s Association and the Irish Government and funding institutions on the introduction of Affordable Housing policies.
In 2004 Andy set up Bespoke Property Consultants which specialises in providing consultancy services on financial viability of developments, Build to Rent projects, S.106 Agreements and Affordable Housing for developers, Registered Providers and local authorities. Bespoke is a niche practice with eight consultants and administrative staff.
Bespoke Property Consultants provides one of the country’s leading consultancy services on affordable housing and development viability. In 2005 Andy together with Stuart Morley of GVA Grimley, authored the Economic Assessment Tool for the Homes & Communities Agency, which is now in use throughout the country in support of planning applications. BPC works for a wide variety of councils and developers carrying out site specific financial viability assessments, affordable housing advice and infrastructure assessments. In relation to this Andy provides expert witness advice at planning appeals. Currently Andy with his colleagues is advising on schemes of up to 6,000 units each in the growth areas of Ashford and Cambridgeshire, as well as high density mixed use schemes in London and the South east.
Through his work with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Andy has advised on policy around Build to Rent, affordable housing and financial viability models. He has written guidance to assist fellow practitioners and is a consultee on regulation and development valuation for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. In 2019 Andy did a speaking tour in New South Wales, Australia on the elements needed to encourage a new Build to Rent Sector. Following that tour the NSW Government engaged with Stakeholders lead by Andy’s hosts the Committee for Sydney and ECF which lead to changes in taxation and planning policy in February 2021.
Andy was formerly Chair of A2 Dominion Enterprises (now called “Fabrica”) which is the development arm of A2 Dominion Housing Group a Registered Provider, targeting the key worker and open sale / rental markets. Andy is currently a non-executive Director of Orchard and Shipman Homes which is a new management only Registered Provider targeting the delivery of schemes in association with Local Authorities and Developers. Andy chaired the CLG working group on the financial viability of Build to Rent in planning which informed government policy advice for this emerging market.

Jenifer Jackson

Assistant Director for Planning & Transport Strategy, Richmond & Wandsworth Councils

Jeni has worked as a town planner in local government for over 25 years, covering Berkshire, Surrey and London authorities. Currently Jeni is the Chief Planner for the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond upon Thames, a role she has held since 2019. Both boroughs are currently working to progress new Local Plans and have a number of large scale development schemes including the redevelopment of the Stag Brewery site in Mortlake, the regeneration of the Winstanley and York Road estate in Battersea and the Alton Estate in Roehampton together with leading the team working on the regeneration of the Wandsworth portion of the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area, including the recently opened Northern Line Extension. In 2021 Jeni was on ‘The Planner’ Women of Influence list for her work with the teams during the COVID pandemic. In July the RTPI London Region recognised Jeni’s achievements leading two very distinctive Council’s planning functions through the ‘Head Planner of the Year’ Award. Jeni is also a member of the Town and Country Planning Association Policy Council and volunteers for Girlguiding UK as a Brownie Leader.

Raj Gupta

Partner, Town Legal

Raj is a partner at Town Legal and leads Town’s compulsory purchase and compensation team.

Raj’s is currently acting for promoters of large regeneration and housing renewal schemes in Kent, Birmingham and Berkshire and for objectors to various schemes in London. He has previously acted in the promotion of a number of major projects including the London Olympics, Crossrail, Silvertown Tunnel, the East London Line extension and various estate renewal schemes. Raj is particularly well known for his expertise in land compensation disputes, having acted for the successful parties in a number of well-known cases including Spirerose, Urban Edge and Curzon Park and is currently acting on a number of high value compensation claims against High Speed 2 Ltd and National Highways.

Frances Summers

Principal Planning Consultant, Capita

Principal Consultant at Capita / Part time Lecturer at The University of Gloucestershire / RTPI South West Hon. Secretary / Co-Chair of RTPI Dorset Young Planners
A late bloomer to planning, beginning her planning career at 32, Frances has worked in both policy and academia. Frances is passionate about social equality and uses this appetite in her work. In practice, she leads on topics such as housing supply, affordable housing, housing for care, and climate change. She uses her enthusiasm to create digital solutions and marketing that enables the public to not only understand planning but also be interested enough to engage with consultation. Her ideas for culture change has resulted in her playing a part in planning transformation work at Dorset Council and exploring how apprenticeships could help retain the talent in Dorset and strengthen the planning department. She always makes time to support colleagues and inspire them to think outside of the box, due to this, she was selected as a Woman of Influence 2021 and won the RTPI’s South West Young Planner of the Year 2021. When not at work, Frances spends time walking, paddleboarding, reading and listening to music.

Jerome Geoghegan

Group Land and Planning Director, Telford Homes

Jerome Geoghegan joined Telford Homes in January 2018. Jerome has been working in residential development for over 30 years and for 20 years was at L&Q group, most recently as the Executive Director of Development and Sales. Prior to that he was at East Thames Housing Group. Jerome led the significant and successful growth of L&Q, delivering substantial volumes of new homes through regeneration and placemaking. He also led on creating their own construction arm and acquiring and overseeing a strategic land business. He is responsible for the Groups land buying and planning strategy, land acquisition, major planning applications, development management service and maintain key partnerships.