Management Board

Planning Aid Wales is governed by a Management Board made up of fifteen trustee Directors. The Board meets formally four times each year and is accountable in charity and company law for making sure we keep to our charitable objectives, and that our finances are effectively managed.

Board Directors represent a wide range of planning and related interests and are drawn from a number of different sectors, including local government, consultancy, academia and affiliated planning and environmental organisations. Directors participate in committees and working groups.

Directors serve on the Management Board as individuals in their own right; they do not represent the interests of the organisations for which they work.

Planning Aid Wales is interested in recruiting Directors from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of different skills to offer. Directors do not have to be professional planners or involved with the planning sector. For further information please download the Director application pack or contact us directly.

Management Board Members

Derek Hobbs - ChairIan StevensMartin BuckleIan HorsburghGraham WaltersDerek HobbsKate MilesDr Francesca SartorioShane WettonJonathan ParsonsRobert Chichester

Derek Hobbs – Chair

Derek is a freelance consultant at Digital Transformation Relationships Ltd. working for clients such as The Automobile Association, Business in Focus and Oracle and has recently completed two years as Interim Digital Transformation Director at Careers Wales.

He joined DWP as Head of Digital Services six years ago becoming Head of Digital Efficiencies and Channels introducing, amongst other things, robotics and disability friendly channels.

Before that he was Head of Strategic Marketing at The Pensions Regulator (responsible for rolling out Automatic Enrolment to every employer in the UK), Head of Insight & Marketing at DVLA (responsible for rolling out Online Car Tax, Driving Licenses and Personal Registration Marketing), Motoring Franchise Director at DirectGov (responsible for the biggest volume franchise on DirectGov site) and CEO of Valleys Arts Marketing (responsible for marketing support for venues in 10 Local Authorities).  Prior to that he ran his own Mail Order Furniture Company for 20 years.

He is a Fellow of both the CIM and the IDM.

Ian Stevens

Joined Management Board – 2014

Ian is a chartered Town Planner. He has public and private sector experience having previously worked in consultancy and local authority across England and Wales. He has worked on a range of planning projects which included planning appraisals, land promotion, local development plans and neighbourhood planning and appearing at local plan examinations. He has experience in providing advice to a range of stakeholders and undertaking community engagement events. Ian has also prepared and submitted planning applications including residential development, changes of use, lawful development certificates and schemes through permitted development rights.

A fluent Welsh speaker, Ian lives in North Wales. He has volunteered with Planning Aid Wales for over seven years, having dealt with helpline calls on a range of planning matters from members of the public. More recently he has served as a member of the board of Directors, providing strategic advice to the Chief Executive and ensuring effective governance.

Martin Buckle

Independent Planning, Transport and Regeneration Consultant

Joined Management Board – 2016

Following an initial planning role with Oxford City Council in the 1970s, Martin moved to Cardiff in 1975. He has subsequently spent most of his career working in local government in Wales, mainly in planning, transport, regeneration, tourism and countryside services. In the 1980s and 1990s, Martin was also a Planning Aid Wales volunteer.

In 2006, he commenced working as an independent consultant, mainly in South Wales and South West England. In 2010 he returned to local government, acting until 2014 as lead officer with Sewta, the former regional transport consortium for South East Wales. Through 2014 and 2015, he returned to work in England, this time as Project Manager on the Somerset Flood Action Plan.

Over the period 2006 to 2016, he was also a Member of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, appointed by the Welsh Government, progressing in 2012 to become Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee and Member Champion for Heritage.

Since 2006, Martin has also been a member of the Management Board of RTPI Cymru, fulfilling the role of Honorary Treasurer, and has been a member of the RTPI Cymru Policy & Research Forum since 2009.

Martin’s academic background includes qualifications in economics, town planning, urban design, and business management.

Ian Horsburgh

Chartered Planner (retired)

Joined Management Board – 1995

Ian Horsburgh was a Planner with Cardiff Council in various guises between 1972 and 2009. He is now ‘retired’ but has been involved with community groups and also helping gypsies and travellers. He has been involved with Planning Aid since 1976 and was instrumental in making South Wales Planning Aid, the precursor of Planning Aid Wales, an independent charity. He has previously served as Chair of the organisation and is a Board member.

Ian has been heavily involved with community groups in South Wales and has founded two other charities. Over the winter months, he migrates south to the Alps to indulge his passion in off-piste skiing.

Graham Walters

Graham is a recently retired barrister. He was in practice in Cardiff for 30 years and a founder member of Civitas Law, civil and public law barristers, and remains there as a door tenant. he specialised in administrative and public law generally with a particular emphasis of planning and public inquiry work for developers and public bodies.

He maintains his interest in the planning and development process in Wales and seeking to widen understanding of it.

Kate Miles

Kate is the Charity Manager of the DPJ Foundation, a charity that supports mental health in the agricultural community, by providing a helpline and access to Counselling as well as training and awareness raising.  Before taking on this role, she worked with a range of voluntary and community groups and volunteers in the Neath Port Talbot area supporting and advising them to ensure strong governance practices.  Kate is a non-practising solicitor and specialised in Employment Law and HR during her legal career where she advised a range of public sector bodies and businesses.

Kate grew up on a beef and sheep farm in South Wales and farms with her partner in Gower.  She is a trustee of Wales Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and is a volunteer mentor for the Prince’s Trust.  Kate is training to be a Counsellor and in her downtime enjoys playing netball, walking with her dog and travelling.

Dr Francesca Sartorio

Francesca has been working as a Lecturer in Planning at Cardiff University since 2004.  Prior to her move to Cardiff, she worked in practice and in academia in Scotland, Germany and Italy. Her research agenda maps the areas she worked in whilst a (planning) practitioner and focuses on strategic planning practices, citizens engagement in planning processes and urban design cultures – with the occasional detour onto pedagogical issues (having turned into an educational practitioner).

Since coming to the UK, Francesca has designed, lead and delivered over 15 modules and been part of interdisciplinary teaching teams developing new UG and PGT programmes. Her teaching covers planning systems, comparative planning studies, urban design, participation and engagement in planning, research methods and she has experience in designing non-conventional teaching environment such as charrettes, flipped classroom, learning-by-doing settings. She has also been fortunate to supervise seven talented PhD students, with both internal and external funding. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She has been a Director and Trustee for Planning Aid Wales between 2009 and 2017 and again since 2019. She has been part of the Civic Trust Cymru Policy Advisory Group between 2014 and 2016. She covered the role of UK representative to the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) between 2014 and 2020, sitting in the Council of Representatives.

She lives with two boys: a 12 years old human and a 3 year old canine, both pretty spirited and curious. If she had time she would indulge in a variety of crafty and culinary activities, but she does not have any spare time so her craftiest endeavour at present is making time – with poor results.

Shane Wetton

Joined Management Board – 2019

Shane is Strategic Engagement and Place Plan Officer at Conwy County Borough Council and has been involved in Place Plans since their inception.  Based within the Strategic Planning team Shane assists communities to influence the Planning Process and encourages them to take an active role to provide local intelligence and information .  A Community Engagement officer for 17 years Shane has worked on a number of Welsh Government, European and local initiatives his previous role as Principal Community Development Officer saw him providing traditional community development support to groups and individuals encouraging them to become active in their communities through providing capacity building mentoring and assisting with engagement techniques, fund raising and applications as well as project development and management.

Shane also worked on the Bay Life Regeneration programme in Colwyn Bay encouraging local communities to engage with the regeneration initiatives going on in their town and to have an influence in the developments.

Having lived in North Wales all his life Shane is a member of various Community Funding panels and is passionate about both the history and the future of the area.  Away from work Shane has a number of interests and other activities, he is a Community Councillor in his local Village and a coach of a local junior football team.  He’s a keen collector of music memorabilia and vinyl records and enjoys going to concerts when possible.

Jonathan Parsons

Jonathan is currently the lead officer for Planning and Strategic Transportation at Bridgend County Borough Council.  He joined a local council planning team straight from School in 1985 and has since worked for a number of South Wales planning authorities in various capacities whilst also undergoing part time study before becoming a chartered town planner in 1996.

His experience covers all aspects of planning work including development control, policy, appeals, enforcement and policy.  This has included working on large scale infrastructure, regeneration and residential projects. More recently he has been involved in regional planning and transportation initiatives. Jonathan’s involvement with Planning Aid Wales started as a volunteer in 1998 taking on a variety of case work and community engagement events.

Jonathan remains committed to promoting the work of the planning profession as the key driver to delivering good quality, healthy  and sustainable places.

Robert Chichester

Robert is a Chartered Town Planner with over 15 years’ experience in both the Public and Private Sector.  He is a Director and Owner of C2J Architects & Town Planners and principally responsible for the planning sector of the Cardiff and London offices. He specialises in spatial planning, development management and residential development.

Robert has been a member of the RTPI Cymru Executive Committee since 2015, and is currently serving as the Junior Vice Chair. He lives in Cardiff and outside of work is a keen golfer, rugby enthusiast and enjoys spending time with his young family.

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