2012 NAPE Conference held for the first time in Wales

Wales' environment minister praised enforcement officers at event, reports Marie-Louise Gray.

NAPE, the RTPI's network for planning enforcement, held its 2012 annual meeting and conference at Cardiff University on 5 November. This free annual event, held for the first time in Wales, saw more than 70 delegates in attendance from across all RTPI regions.

Following the annual general meeting formalities, during which NAPE chair Dave Westhead outlined what the network had achieved over the past 12 months, RTPI president Colin Haylock welcomed delegates, emphasising that the RTPI sees planning enforcement as an integral part of the planning system.

Haylock then thanked NAPE for its work in leading or contributing to consultations, noting that it was partly through the representations of the network that enforcement was included in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Haylock said: "It was great to spend a day with a group of enforcement officers who are committed to sharing and improving practice in this challenging area."

Wales' environment and sustainable development minister, John Griffiths, then gave the keynote address, which outlined the future of planning in Wales. The minister invited NAPE members in Wales to fully contribute to all consultations, as well as asking members from all regions to contribute.

Additionally, the minister thanked NAPE members, acknowledging the difficult role they undertake in maintaining the integrity of the planning system.

Following the introductory session, presentations from our event sponsors, 12 College Place Southampton, Francis Taylor Building and Landmark Chambers, covered topics ranging from current case law to retrospective planning permissions.

After lunch, delegates chose from workshops on prosecutions, drafting enforcement notices, obtaining injunctions and producing proofs of evidence for planning inquiries.

The event closed with Westhead offering thanks to the sponsors and to Cardiff University for hosting the event in the Glamorgan Building. Feedback from members shows that once again the conference was successful and that delegates found the presentations topical and informative.

The success and smooth running of the day was thanks in no small part to our generous sponsors. NAPE would therefore like to thank 12 College Place Southampton, Landmark Chambers and Francis Taylor Building. It would also like to thank Westhead for his efforts in coordinating the speakers. Lastly, special thanks go to Neil Harris and Cardiff University for providing such a splendid venue for the event.

Members can view the presentations and workshop materials on the RTPI website.

Marie-Louise Gray is NAPE network manager. RTPI members can join the network for free. To find out more about it, visit www.rtpi.org.uk/nape

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