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Graduate finalist in prestigious town planning awards

Congratulations to Town Planning graduate Laura Hemsley for reaching the finals of the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Research Excellence (Student Award).

Now in their ninth year, the awards continue to recognise and promote high quality, impactful spatial planning research. Laura was nominated for her masters dissertation, ‘The Effectiveness of Strategic Planning Arrangements in Mineral Planning’.

We caught up with her to find out more about her dissertation, the support from her lecturers and what it meant to be nominated for the award.

Laura Hemsley headshot

The Town Planning MSc course offered a placement module which gave me the opportunity of working for a minerals and waste planning consultancy for a few months. This opportunity allowed me to understand how mineral and waste planning operates, the planning policy legislation behind the processes and in how it works in practice.

The University also had a specialised minerals and waste speaker, Ian Blake from BPP Consultancy, (minerals and waste planning consultancy where I did my placement), this lecture fascinated me further about the policy and best practice methods for minerals and waste planning.

The aim of my thesis was to increase the awareness of the ‘Mineral Planning World’ in which planning for minerals supply is an essential but often overlooked area of planning. A coherent link between minerals (aggregates and soft sand) is imperative for development of future houses and infrastructure. Unless there is a sufficient supply of minerals, the Government’s aspirations for housing and economic growth will not be achieved!

I undertook semi structure interviews with mineral planning authority, governmental bodies, the department of levelling up housing and communities, private sector.

My supervisor for my dissertation was Andrew Coleman, who was absolute excellent throughout the whole process, he constantly supported me by setting up regular meetings to discuss the dissertation and answered any queries I had. Andrew is an absolute asset and credit to the University of Brighton Town Planning team. Not only were his lectures engaging but he made them very fun as well, cracking a few jokes now and then!

Being nominated as a finalist for the RTPI Award 2023 is a massive achievement and milestone in my career as a Town Planner. I put an incredible amount of hard work, effort, and dedication into my dissertation and for mineral planning to be recognised is a fantastic achievement as without minerals the world simply cannot operate on a day-to-day basis.

Find out more about Laura’s time as a student at Brighton.

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