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Young Planner of the Year

Fran Dance Image - Credit Arup

Fran Dance

Planner, Arup, Integrated City Planning team

Fran passionately promotes planning to students and the public. Her outstanding analytical and facilitation skills have already given her experience in Melbourne and the Seychelles. Her highest profile contribution to-date was contributing to the production of a strategic plan for the Seychelles. She is now the lead in finalising consent, on behalf of LB Enfield Regeneration Department, for a 725 home scheme within Meridian Water Phase 1. Beyond project work, Fran has demonstrated an active interest in the issues facing today's planners, including green belts, airport expansion and London's skyline. She is passionate about promoting planning and the built environment, and is a regular volunteer as part of Heritage Open Days in Oxford.


Jo Ellingham

Jo Ellingham

Senior Planner (Now Associate), HTA Design LLP

Jo passionately promotes the role of good planning and planners, working collaboratively across design disciplines to support the delivery of good homes and creative uses. Since 2014 she has been the lead planning consultant for a mixed-use hybrid masterplan in Woking. With HTA's support, she led one of its Priority Research and Innovation Projects for 2015/16 securing the use of Louise House, a Grade II listed building, and its grounds as a community arts facility for V22, a multi-faceted arts organisation. Jo also delivers internal training sessions to other design disciplines and supports architectural and landscape colleagues with their understanding of the planning system when seeking to become chartered or accredited professionals.


Kim Boal

Kim Boal

Planning Officer, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council

Kim has set a shining example of pursuing a planning career, maximising benefits from opportunities during a period of significant change. She launched her career just at the time when the legislation was being introduced in Northern Ireland. Since the new structure was introduced, Kim has worked in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council's Policy Team. There are few people in Northern Ireland, with experience of delivering Local Development Plans (LDP) and Kim has been at the forefront of this new function. In 2015, Kim became the Young Planner lead on the RTPI Northern Ireland Committee and reinvigorated the dormant Northern Ireland Young Planners. She provided genuine leadership in delivering the 2016 Young Planners' Conference in Belfast.

Duncan Smart

Duncan Smart

Senior Planner at Peter Brett Associates

Duncan is a lead planning, socio-economics and EIA author who provides inputs to projects across the UK. He has an in-depth understanding of the interaction between planning and other environmental policy frameworks. With his detailed knowledge, skillset and commercial awareness Duncan provides strategy advice and a range of technical inputs, as well as undertaking business development activities. Duncan's roles as Convenor of the RTPI West of Scotland Chapter and a member of RTPI Scotland's Scottish Executive Committee and Policy Subcommittee have enabled him to contribute to high level decision making within the Scottish planning profession at both regional and national level.


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Liam Jones

Area Team Leader, City & County of Swansea Council

Liam has an active role in planning in Wales and has a desire for creating quality places through effective Development Management. His work extends to Planning Enforcement where he has held a key role in the review of enforcement indicators. Liam is currently the NAPE representative for Wales. At the CCS he heads up a team of professional officers dealing with planning applications, appeals and enforcement matters. His work as part of the team has contributed to the Council becoming a top quartile performing Authority in Wales in recent Development Management quarterly Surveys. In 2016 he commenced an ILM Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management. 

Luke Coffey

Luke Coffey

Senior Planning Consultant, Mott MacDonald

Luke is a motivated and versatile Town Planner with a commitment to supporting and developing Young Planners, and raising awareness of the positive contribution of the profession. He has secured approvals for clients across a range of sectors including, sports and recreation, infrastructure, education, health, housing, employment, mixed-use regeneration, and waste to energy schemes. He has contributed significantly to developing a Planning Team in the Birmingham Office at Mott MacDonald, and has developed new internal and external facing networks that have resulted in a greater level of independent working and managerial responsibility for junior staff within the practice. Luke has been an active member on the committee for the RTPI West Midlands' Young Planners Network for over 5 years. He also guest lectures at Birmingham City University.

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