Job title: Chief Executive
Fiona joined the TCPA as chief executive in February 2019 and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation. Prior to joining the TCPA she ran the Campaign for National Parks for almost four years during which time she acted as a spokesperson for the organisation, led their influencing work around making the Parks even more beautiful, put in place a new five-year strategic plan and supported the board of trustees through a governance review.
Between 2007 and 2013 she worked at Campaign to Protect Rural England, for the majority of that time as Head of Planning. Key work during that time included leading work to influence the Localism Bill and National Planning Policy Framework and managing a major partnership project with the National Association of Local Councils, which was funded by the government’s Supporting Neighbourhoods and Communities in Planning. Other past roles have included working in the public affairs team of Macmillan Cancer Support. She has a geography degree from University College London and a masters degree in biodiversity, conservation and management from the University of Oxford.
While much of her professional career has been focused on rural policy she has lived and worked in London for the majority of the last 20 years so has a keen interest in the quality of urban environments.
Job title: Director of Policy
Hugh’s responsibilities as TCPA Policy Director include leading on policy development, briefings and engagement with central government and politicians. In 2018 he led the secretariat for the Raynsford Review, setting out a blue print for a new planning system in England. Since 2015 Hugh has co-authored three books, including ‘Rebuilding Britain’ and ‘Town Planning in Crisis’ with Kate Henderson, and ‘The Art of Building a Garden City’ with Katy Lock and Kate Henderson. Hugh was closely involved in the passage of the 2004 and 2008 Planning Acts, including providing evidence to public bill committees and working closely with parliamentarians on both Commons and Lords committee stages of subsequent planning legislation. Hugh has given oral evidence to the House of Commons Select Committees on various planning inquiries. He has led on TCPA campaign work on ‘planning out poverty’ and planning for people, and he is a strong critic of policies such as Permitted Development. Hugh sits on the UK Government Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Planning Sounding Board.
Hugh regularly delivers workshops to local authorities, including with Oxfordshire County Council on place-shaping, in Warrington as part of the North West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership climate change skills programme, in Wales on climate change adaptation, and with the TCPA New Communities Group on issues such as strategic planning. Hugh has also delivered a number of local training sessions and local conversations on the invitation of Elected Members on planning committees, such as in Derbyshire, Oxfordshire and Sheffield. He is also the MC for the TCPA’s music event ‘Land of Promise’.
Prior to joining TCPA in March 2009, Hugh was the National Planning Advisor to Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, before which he spent a number of years working for the Coalfield Planning Cooperative on community planning projects. He has a Doctorate in Land Use Planning from the University of Sheffield, and he is an Honorary Professor at Queens University, Belfast.
Job title: Director, Healthier Place-making
Julia Thrift joined the TCPA in May 2013 and manages projects concerning planning and public health, green infrastructure, and planning and social justice. Throughout her career she has been interested in the links between the design of the built environment and the quality of people’s lives. She worked for CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, where she was the founding director of CABE Space, the government’s adviser on policy and practice regarding England’s urban parks and public spaces. She began her career as a journalist, writing about design, architecture and art. She has a degree in philosophy from University College London.
Job title: Director, Communities & Project Delivery (FJ Osborn Fellow)
As Director of Communities and FJ Osborn Fellow Katy oversees TCPA’s work on new and renewed communities and leads on the TCPA’s campaigns and promotion of garden city principles in policy, legislation, education and the arts. This involves working at all levels of government and with a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations and individuals, at all stages of planning, design and delivery. Katy is also responsible for overseeing Project Delivery at the TCPA.
Katy leads the TCPA’s ongoing research on transferable lessons from the post-war new towns, and work supporting new town authorities through the New Towns Network and All-Party Parliamentary Group. She is currently writing a book on the ‘Rise, Fall and Rebirth’ of New Towns with Hugh Ellis (RIBA Publishing, Forthcoming – March 2020). In 2017 Katy co-authored ‘The Art of Building a Garden City: Designing New Communities for the C21st’ with Hugh Ellis and Kate Henderson.
Katy is a Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI) and has a background in planning, urban design and sustainability. Before joining the TCPA in 2011, she worked for several years in the private sector as an environmental planning consultant. Katy is currently a trustee for Planning Aid for London, and a Design Review panellist for Design South East.
Job title: Editor-in-Chief
Nick joined the TCPA as Editor in December 1988, from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, where he was Editor of a number of software and engineering journals. As well as acting as Editor of Town & Country Planning, he has also overseen the production of a wide range of TCPA publications. He has a BSc in Physics.
Job title: Projects and Policy Manager
Alex House is Projects and Policy Manager at the TCPA and a Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI). She is responsible for managing the TCPA’s New Communities Group which consists of local authorities and development corporations bringing forward new large-scale communities. The group collectively helps to develop plans, provide political support and encourage a sharing of knowledge and best practice through seminars, study visits and parliamentary meetings.
Alex joined the TCPA in 2006, and has been involved in policy and project work across a diverse range of planning issues, including housing, transport, green infrastructure, energy and climate change. Alex has worked on several European projects; she was Energy Planner for Leadership for Energy Action and Planning (LEAP), and coordinated the Intelligent Energy Europe project Spatial Planning and Energy for Communities In All Landscapes (SPECIAL).
Alex managed the Planning and Climate Change Coalition (PCCC), which was led by the TCPA and Friends of the Earth. The PCCC influenced Government to ensure climate change was enshrined in planning policy, whilst maintaining a large cross sector of support. The PCCC was influential in bringing about the draft PPS Planning for a Low Carbon Future in a Changing Climate in March 2010, and published planning guidance and model policies on climate change for local authorities in England. The Coalition won a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Award for Contribution to Planning in 2010.
Job title: Finance and Membership Officer
David joined the TCPA in September 2016 and provides financial and database support and is the first point of contact for queries relating to TCPA membership.
Previously he has worked in a range of finance, grants management and membership roles with the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute, the Big Lottery Fund and the British Council.
David has a degree in Politics with Sociology from the University of Plymouth and Master’s degrees in Database Systems and Social Research Methods from the University of Westminster and Nottingham Trent University respectively.
Job title: Projects and Policy Manager
Denean joined the TCPA as a Project Manager in February 2022. In collaboration with Planning Aid for London, she manages the support service for communities to influence planning decisions and engage in the planning process.
Prior to this, Denean was the Development Manager for Centre for London. She managed the partnerships for research and events. She also developed research projects on the future of active travel and community engagement.
Job title: Events and Premises Officer
Michael joined the TCPA in February 2004 on a part-time basis, overseeing membership recruitment, particularly local authorities. He set up new databases and worked on promotions, conferences and seminars. Michael also sought out potential advertisers for the Journal. Since March 2010 Michael has been responsible for conference and seminar organisation and delivery – including supporting the TCPA fringe events at the party conferences, the FJO lecture and the Annual Reception.
Previously, Michael worked for Planning Aid for London, as volunteer officer, recruiting and retaining volunteer planning professionals. Michael has extensive experience as a LA housing manager in the LB Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham. Michael helped set up the Black Planners Network, a group concerned with the scarcity of black planners, and their lack of advancement. He has also worked for the Commission for Racial Equality as an Investigation Officer looking at local authority practices, particularly education and recruitment services.
At the TCPA Michael has project managed the Rayne Foundation ‘Planning Community Needs’ project, the logistics, funding, delivery and attendance of the Planning for Inclusion and CSPT regional seminar series and statistical analysis for the Stakeholder Involvement in Regional Planning.
Job title: Projects and Policy Manager
Daniel joined the TCPA in January 2020 to work as a Policy and Projects Manager. Before this he worked at the Royal Town Planning Institute, where he led their research programme on climate change, and the Institute for Government, where he authored a series of reports on effective decision making for major infrastructure projects. He has a PhD and Masters in Civil Design from the University of Liverpool.
Job title: Project and Policy Officer for Healthier Places
Gemma joined the TCPA in October 2021 to take up the role of Project and Policy Officer for Healthier Places. The focus of her work is supporting local authorities and other organisations to create healthier, active environments in collaboration with Sport England. This includes promoting and supporting implementation of the TCPA’s 20-Minute Neighbourhood Guide and the TCPA’s wider work on ‘Reuniting health with planning’.
Gemma has an MSc in Urban and Rural Planning, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health from the University of the West of England. Prior to joining the TCPA Gemma worked as a Planner in a private planning consultancy and has experience working for local government and non-governmental organisations in planning and public health, including the National Childbirth Trust.
Job title: Communications Officer
Isaac joined the TCPA in January 2020. He works on communications for the organisation.
Before starting with the TCPA, he worked in Brussels managing the media of a Member of the European Parliament. There, much of his work focused on communicating about the European Green New Deal. He has a degree in American Studies from the University of East Anglia, having specialised his studies on the sociopolitical impacts of climate change on literature.
Cova Cervilla Bordiu
Job title: Projects and Policy Officer
Cova joined the TCPA in September 2019 as a Projects Assistant. She supports the delivery of our Garden Cities and New Towns projects.
Cova has a MSc in Urban Studies from University College London and a BSc in Geography, Politics and International Relations from Royal Holloway University of London. She previously worked as an External Relations Officer a membership organisation of further education colleges.
Job title: Osborn Research Assistant
Prior to joining the TCPA, Becky was studying for the MSc Spatial Planning at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning, completing a dissertation exploring how far infrastructure determines active travel behaviours.
Before this, Becky worked in events in the charity sector after completing a BA History of Art, Fine Art and Cultural Studies at Leeds University.
Job title: Projects Assistant
Sally joined the TCPA in April 2022 to work as a Project Assistant. She supports the delivery of the TCPA’s Healthy Homes campaign and work on climate change.
Prior to joining the TCPA, Sally worked in sustainability consulting for the built environment and homebuilding industry. She holds a Master’s degree in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London, and preceding that she studied geography, sustainability and geology at Hofstra University in New York. As a part of her studies, Sally completed an internship at Nature Connect in Cape Town that focused on conservation and environmental education.