Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s head planner took up a prestigious role as Chair of the Planning Officers Society for Wales last week, at its annual conference in Gwbert.

The event saw the Authority’s Head of Development Management, Vicki Hirst elected Chair of the society, which comprises of chief planning officers from Wales’ 25 planning authorities.

The conference also saw the planners embark on a walk along a stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail at Moylegrove, where they were welcomed by National Park Authority Chairman Cllr Mike James.

Vicki said: “The society is in the privileged position of meeting regularly with senior officials in the Welsh Government which provides a unique opportunity to discuss current and emerging proposals and issues which impact on the way that local authorities deliver their planning functions.

“The planning system is under intense scrutiny at present with an emerging Planning Bill for Wales; the first time that Wales has had its own planning framework. I hope to continue the good working relationship that POSW has with the Welsh Government and to have a positive input to the changes to the forthcoming planning system.”

The Coast Path walk was organised as part of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s centenary celebrations, which includes an attempt to have every step of the Wales Coast Path walked by RTPI members from across Wales.

Current RTPI president Cath Ranson of Pembrokeshire County Council was one of those to join the walk as part of the effort. The Wales Coast Path, which is currently celebrating its second birthday, was the overall winner of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence in 2013.