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TCPA Staff

TCPA Staff Team

  Kate Henderson
  Chief Executive 
  Email:  Kate.Henderson@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903

Kate is Chief Executive of Britain's oldest charity concerned with planning, housing and the environment, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). She is responsible for leading the Association's efforts to shape and advocate planning policies that put social justice and the environment at the heart of the debate.

Kate joined the TCPA in early 2007 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2010. She has raised the TCPA's profile through a range of campaigns and policy initiatives, including chairing the TCPA-led Garden Cities and Suburbs Expert Group and the New Communities Group. In 2013 she co-wrote Planning out Poverty, a year-long research project with the Webb Memorial Trust which explored the overarching question 'how can we re-focus planning to be more effective in dealing with social exclusion?'

Kate is a member of the Government's 2016 Taskforce and Neighbourhood Planning Sounding Board, she has been on the Energy Institute London and Home Counties Committee since 2006 and in 2012 she was a commissioner on the Independent Commission on the Future of Council Housing in Southwark. Kate regularly speaks at conferences and writes for trade publications and journals. She has a first class honours degree in Geology from University College London and a masters degree in Environmental Technology from Imperial College. 


  Diane Smith
  Head of European Affairs
  Email:  Diane.Smith@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903

Since 2008 Diane has been the TCPA's European and Corporate Affairs Manager, leading the GRaBS project which finished in August 2011 and the TCPA-led project, LEAP, which finished in November 2013. More recently she is running the Intelligent Energy Europe funded project on spatial planning and energy (SPECIAL). In addition to running European projects Diane has focused on Corporate Affairs, conferences, events, sponsorship, European Bid development, and study tour development and delivery. In 2013 she oversaw the delivery of the IFHP Centenary Congress in London.

Diane was a consultant to the TCPA for almost 20 years (1990-2008) responsible for conferences, events, setting up and developing Corporate Fellows, European bid development and media work.

Diane represents the TCPA on the HCA Skills Directorate; EA Adaptation Futures; DEFRA Built Environment/Adaptation Group; ESPON UK; IFHP and ISOCARP. 

Diane Smith was appointed Interim Chief Executive from December 2013 - July 2014 during Kate Henderson's maternity leave.

  Dr Hugh Ellis
  Head of Policy 
  Email:  Hugh.Ellis@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903


Hugh joined the TCPA as senior planner in April 2009. Before taking the post he had been senior planning advisor to Friends of the Earth for 10 years and had previously worked as a lecturer in the University of Sheffield planning school. Hugh's key responsibilities are to provide expert planning advice to the organisation.

Since joining TCPA Hugh has led the Planning and Climate Change Coalition which published a major policy document in April 2012. He has been involved in providing expert advice and analysis of the NPPF and Localism Act and the more recently the Growth and Infrastructure Act. In 2013 he co-wrote Planning out Poverty, a year-long research project with the Webb Memorial Trust which explored the overarching question 'how can we re-focus planning to be more effective in dealing with social exclusion?'

Hugh was closely involved in a number of TCPA-led European projects on climate change adaptation and mitigation, including the GRaBS project which finished in August 2011 and the LEAP project, which finished in November 2013. He is now working on the TCPA-led European project on spatial planning and energy (SPECIAL) as well as delivering officer and elected members training. Hugh has a BA in town and regional planning, a Diploma in Town planning and a PhD. 

Nick Matthews
  Email:  Nick.Matthews@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903

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.


  Julia Thrift
  Head of Projects and Events
  Email:  Julia.Thrift@tcpa.org.uk   
  Tel:  0207 930 8903

Julia joined the TCPA in May 2013 and is overseeing a range of projects and events. Earlier in her career 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. Prior to that she worked at the Civic Trust, where she ran the Civic Trust Awards for Architecture among other things.

Julia has experience of working with both Whitehall and Westminster; and putting together and leading collaborative projects involving a wide range of partners. She started her career as a journalist and has had work published in numerous newspapers, magazines and specialist journals. She is particularly interested in the way that a high quality green and built environment can improve people's quality of life. 

 Katy Lock
 Garden Cities and New Towns Advocate
 Email: Katy.Lock@tcpa.org.uk
 Tel:  0207 930 8903

Katy Lock works on the TCPA’s campaigns and promotion of garden city principles in policy, education and the arts. She manages the organisation’s policy strand, Creating garden cities and suburbs today, including facilitating and reporting on cross-sector workshops and seminars, creating guidance and campaign documents, and promoting the garden city model through seminars, events and lectures. She has worked closely with international organisations concerned with the garden city movement, including the International Federation for Housing and Planning (a 1913 offspring of the TCPA established to promote the garden city model worldwide), co-organising their centenary congress in London 2013. She managed the production of the TCPA’s ‘Love, Life and Liberty’ album, a performance of the history of the land rights and planning movement, which the TCPA recorded in 2012.  Katy is currently working on a ‘Good practice guide to long-term stewardship models’, a ‘community guide to garden cities’ and a project re-examining the New Towns Act.

 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 six years as an environmental planner at the consultancy LUC. 



Nneka Opara
Communications Officer
 Email: Nneka.Opara@tcpa.org.uk
 Tel:  0207 930 8903

Nneka joined the TCPA as Communications Officer in April 2014. Nneka works across a range of projects, and is responsible for amplifying the TCPA’s public profile, using events, conferences, traditonal and digital media and campaigning work to promote the Association's objectives.  She is additionally responsible for coordinating the TCPA's annual party conference programme. 

Prior to joining the TCPA, Nneka worked with a number of PR consultancies, and specialised in planning, community consultation and community engagement.  Over the years she has sucessfully managed media relations, events, public affairs and stakeholder relations for a number of high profile private and public sector organisations across the housing, planning and property development sectors. 

Earlier in her career Nneka worked as a freelance journalist and has written articles for a range of local, trade and national publications.



 Michael Chang
 Project and Policy Manager
 Email: Michael.Chang@tcpa.org.uk
 Tel:  0207 930 8903

Michael joined the TCPA in 2007 with a Bachelor of Planning and Master of Science in Urban Regeneration, and is an Associate member of the RTPI.  

Michael’s responsibilities include policy development and research report to Head of Policy such as for government policy consultations and select committee inquiries, and preparing policy briefings on various consultation proposals and initiatives . He is also responsible for delivering on project work. Previous work on projects including joint research on eco-towns, high speed rail, and transport corridors for KRIHS (Korea), climate change adaptation in planning for the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, leading on the development of the Culture and Sport Planning Toolkit for Living Places and a planning guide in 2013, and managing training for planners including the East of England Climate Change Skills programme for planners, and the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Change Skills Training for Elected Members. In early 2015 he was involved in training for elected members in Belfast CIty Council on the new Northern Ireland planning system.  

He leads on the Association's health and planning work and recently completed a Reuniting Planning and Health for Belfast Healthy Cities and the Planning Healthy Weight Environments publication and workshops in 2014 with Public Health England. Further work is planned in 2015 on this topic including workshops in collaboration with councils and a research project on housing, planning and health for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. He is also responsible for hosting foreign delegations visiting the TCPA to learn about UK planning and in 2014 travelled to Beijing as part of a TCPA-led delegation of experts on low carbon urbanisation for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Beijing. 

He has previously worked as the Assistant to the Planning Technician at a large metropolitan council in New Zealand responsible for assisting with the administration and logistics of publicising local plan revisions, and as a Planning Assistant in a planning consultancy and responsible for preparing householder planning applications, and carrying out planning assessments and preparing assessments of environmental effect, due diligence, and neighbourhood consultation requirements.

  Alex House (on maternity leave - January 2016)

  Projects and Policy Officer
  Email:  Alex.House@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903


Alex is involved in policy and project work across a diverse range of planning issues, including housing, green infrastructure, energy and climate change. She manages the TCPA's New Communities Group (NCG) which consists of local authorities, key delivery bodies and other groups bringing forward new large scale developments. The group helps to develop their proposals, embed ambitious sustainability standards and encourage a sharing of knowledge and best practice between the different sites.

Alex also manages the Planning and Climate Change Coalition, which is led by the TCPA and Friends of the Earth and includes over 40 cross-sector organisations and individuals. The Coalition aims to ensure that the planning system makes a full contribution to meeting the climate change challenge. It was influential in bringing about the draft PPS Planning for a Low Carbon Future in a Changing Climate in March 2010 and has published planning guidance and model policies on climate change for local authorities in England. The Coalition won an RTPI Award for Contribution to Planning in 2010.

Alex is Energy Planner on the TCPA led European project Leadership for Energy Action and Planning (LEAP). The LEAP project has been established to facilitate a network of pan-European municipalities to plan and deliver local sustainable energy solutions in line with the Covenant of Mayors. Alex also coordinates the TCPA's European project Spatial Planning and Energy for Communities In All Landscapes (SPECIAL), which aims to train planners in the integration of energy and spatial planning. Alex is experienced at organising stakeholder events, external seminars and Policy Task Team meetings. 

Alex is a Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI), has an MSc Spatial Planning from the Bartlett, University College London and a BSc in Geography and Anthropology, University College London. 

  Brian Moffat
  Membership Officer
  Email:  Brian.Moffat@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903

Brian has been the TCPA’s Membership Officer since October 2007. His responsibilities include maintaining TCPA membership records and database development & administration.

Brian joined TCPA from Crisis UK, the national homelessness charity where he had worked for almost 10 years in finance & data administration. His previous employment history has included working in disabled & community transport as driver and administrator, a period as a delivery driver and as an Executive Officer in the DHSS. 

Michael McLean
  Projects and Promotions Officer
  Email:  Michael.Mclean@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903


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.

  Isobel Bruun-Kiaer
  European and Projects Officer 
  Email:  Isobel.Bruun-Kiaer@tcpa.org.uk  
  Tel:  0207 930 8903


Isobel is European and Projects Officer.  She initially joined the Association as European Projects Assistant for the Intelligent Energy Europe LEAP project, and was responsible for coordinating the work of nine partners over one year as a maternity cover. Her role includes organising international mentoring visits and seminars, engaging with stakeholders, coordinating finances, and conducting project progress reports.

Prior to joining the team, Isobel worked as Assistant Planner at Planning Design Solutions and regularly volunteered at the TCPA while completing her undergraduate degree. She has a First Class Honours degree in Geography from University of Edinburgh and expects to graduate with MSc Spatial Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning.

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