Introducing the IPI's Policy & Research Committee

Amy Hastings MIPI

Established in 2012, the purpose of the IPI’s Policy and Research Committee (IPI PRC) is to shape the direction of planning policy in Ireland through advocacy and to enhance the research capacity of the Institute and of the profession as a whole through independent and joint research. The key responsibilities of the IPI Policy and Research Group are as follows:

  1. Journals and Publications – the IPI PRC enjoys responsibility for all new and existing IPI publications including Pleanáil (the annual journal of the Irish Planning Institute) and Student Pleanáil and the Gerry Walker Prize (a special initiative and annual online journal comprising articles chosen by the Planning Schools).
  2. Academic research – the IPI has always sought to facilitate accredited Planning Schools in the dissemination of research that is being carried out in the schools to members of the planning profession in Ireland.  The IPI PRC aims to continue this work through a Planning Research Portal on the IPI website with links to relevant research carried out at the UCC, UCD and DIT Planning Schools.
  3. Independent and joint research – the IPI PRC undertakes to coordinate appropriate independent research projects. In April 2016, the IPI published Position Papers for the Institute, an initiative coordinated by the IPI PRC in keeping with Objective 6 of the Corporate Plan to advance planning and the profession. It is also an objective of the Institute, through the PRC, to seek funding to undertake major joint research projects with other relevant bodies and organisations. 
  4. Policy & Submissions – the IPI PRC has assumed responsibility for the organisation and research of submissions (in coordination with the Special Interest Fora and in consultation with the membership of the Institute) for approval by Council. One of the key activities of the Institute is representing the planning profession and responding on its behalf in relation to upcoming legislative changes and policy guidance that emanate from Government. In general, submissions are prepared in consultation with the membership of the Institute and with the direct input of the relevant Special Interest Fora. Full and active participation by members in the drafting of submissions is utterly essential to ensure that representations made by the Institute capture a true and accurate picture of the views of members and the profession as a whole.  For that reason, the Institute is sincerely grateful to all members who participated in the drafting of submissions in any way.

The Committee, which is convened by IPI Council Member, Dr. Linda Fox-Rogers, and chaired by Amy Hastings, has 8 members:

  • Angela Brereton B.SocSc, MRUP MIPI MRTPI is a professional Planner and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Master’s Degree in Regional and Urban Planning. More recently, she also obtained diplomas in EIA and SEA Management, all from UCD. She has worked as a Planner for many years, both in the Irish and English Planning systems. Her working experience has mainly been in the public system and she is now working as a Planning Inspector in An Bord Pleanala. She is a Corporate member of the IPI and a Chartered member of the RTPI. In more recent years, she have been actively involved in the IPI both as a former Council member and, subsequently, as a committee member on the Policy and Resource and Education Committees.
  • Dr. Linda Fox-Rogers B.A. (Mod) MRUP PhD MIPI is a qualified planner who has recently been appointed as a lecturer in spatial planning at Queen’s University Belfast. Linda holds a PhD in planning and environmental policy from UCD where she has worked for the past number of years as a postdoctoral research fellow and occasional lecturer. Linda’s research is guided by her interest in exploring how the uneven power dynamics in the planning system play out to produce substantive social, economic and environmental outcomes which often negate sound planning practice. Her work has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals such as Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design; Cities; Planning Theory, Geoforum, Town Planning Review, and Growth and Change. Her work has been commended at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Research Excellence Awards 2015 and has been financially supported through prestigious and highly competitive awards from the Irish Research Council. Linda currently sits on the IPI Council as Convener of the Policy and Research Committee.
  • Paula Galvin MSc BA Dip.EIA Mgt MIPI holds an MSc in Spatial Planning from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), an M.A. in Geography and a Diploma in EIA and SEA management from University College Dublin (UCD). Over the past 15 years, Paula has worked in the private sector both as a consultant and in the role of developer. Her experience includes development planning advice, directing EIAs, AAs and EPA licences. She has lead major energy, waste, housing, road and mineral resource schemes through the development consenting process. Many of these projects have involved complex issues, the co-ordination of large, multidisciplinary teams and the creation and management of consultation programmes. In her current role, she advises on renewable energy projects including solar and bioenergy proposals. Paula is a member of the IPI, IEMA and is a working group member for the forthcoming ISEAs Best Practice Planning Guidelines for Solar Development.
  • Amy Hastings BCL BL MSc (Spatial Planning) MIPI works as a planning consultant in a private multi-disciplinary practice providing specialist planning advice on issues relating to architectural heritage, visibility and visual amenity, and sunlight and daylight access. She is an occasional lecturer on sunlight and daylight access assessment in the School of Planning, University College Dublin. Amy is a board member of the Irish Georgian Foundation and chairs the Irish Georgian Society’s Architectural, Conservation and Planning Committee. She is also secretary of ICOMOS Ireland National Scientific Committee on Legal, Financial and Administrative Issues. A former Honorary Secretary (2011-2013) and Vice President (2013-2015) of the Irish Planning Institute, Amy has chaired the IPI Policy and Research Committee since its inception in 2012.
  • John Martin MA, Dip.T.P. MIPI, is a Former Deputy Dublin City Planner (1994-2001) and former Principal Planning Adviser in the DECLG (2002-2011). In 2012, he was appointed as a Member of the Mater Review (Dolphin) Group and has worked as a Board member of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board since 2013. In 2013, John has acted as Planning adviser to the Enablers Task Force on marine spatial planning. He is currently a member of the Waterford / Kilkenny and Carlow / Laois Boundary Review Committees. John also works as a planning consultant and is Principal at Martinplan Consulting.
  • Sarah Newell has over 10 years experience in the built environment industry, having qualifications in both planning and architecture. After working as a researcher in the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands, she returned to Belfast where she worked as an assistant architect in private practice and a part-time research associate in the Department of Architecture at Queens University Belfast, where she was involved in EU funded projects relating to Cultural Heritage and the development of a virtual school of Architecture. In addition, she was a part-time tutor specialising in environmental and thermal analysis to postgraduate Architectural students. Before joining the Housing Agency as a planner (currently seconded to Limerick City and County Council to work on the Limerick Regeneration programme), Sarah worked with the National Building Agency, Cunnane Stratton Reynolds and TP Bennett Architects in London. She has a particular interest in housing and planning related public policy and is currently undertaking an MA in Public Management at UCD, Dublin.
  • Aislinn O’Brien MSc MCD MIPI MRTPI is a professional Town Planner, with over ten years post qualification experience, and a Member of the Irish Planning Institute since 2010. She is an Associate with SLR Consulting Ireland and has previously held positions within Colin Buchanan & Partners, Liverpool City Council and Stafford Borough Council. Her background is in forward planning having been involved in the preparation of a range of statutory and non-statutory plans. Her experience to date includes policy development as part of the Liverpool Local Development Framework, the preparation of Local Area Plans and projects such as the Paisley Town Centre Asset Strategy, the review of the Belfast City Masterplan 2013 and ‘Sustainable Design Guide for Northern Ireland – SPG to PPS21’.
  • Mark Scott BSc Dip TP PhD MIPI is Professor and Associate Dean in the School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, University College Dublin. Prior to his appointment to UCD in 2002, Mark worked in Queen’s University Belfast, University of Ulster and as a planner in the public sector in Northern Ireland. Mark’s current research is focused on three areas: (1) rural planning and rural development; (2) built heritage and sustainable historic urban cores; and (3) green infrastructure and greenspace. He has published extensively in these areas with over 100 scientific journal papers, books and book chapters, conference papers and reports. He has received research funding awards of approximately €6m Euro with grants from the EU, the Irish Research Council, the Royal Irish Academy, the Environmental Protection Agency's ERDTI and STRIVE Programmes, the Heritage Council, Teagasc, and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. He has also acted as an advisor/consultant on spatial and environmental planning to the OECD, the Joint Oireachtas Committee for the Environment, the Northern Ireland Assembly Environment Committee, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and various local planning authorities. He has over 20 years teaching experience on professional planning programmes.

A major initiative of the IPI Policy and Research Committee in 2014 was the establishment of Special Interest Fora, which comprise networks of distinguished members with expertise in a range of sectoral issues including regional and local government; environment and ecology; economic planning; development management; legal issues and the Northern Ireland planning process. The IPI PRC relies heavily on the extraordinary willingness of members of the IPI PRC and Special Interest Fora to give their time and expertise to inform the formulation of policy for the Institute. The Institute owes a debt of gratitude to these members, as, without their input, the work of the IPI Policy and Research Committee would, quite simply, not be possible. On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all members who contributed to the work of the IPI PRC since its inception in 2012 – I very much look forward to working with you all in 2016 and beyond!

Amy Hastings MIPI
Chair, Policy & Research Committee