The HSPG Core Team

Lucy Owen

Lucy Owen is Executive Director of the Heathrow Strategic Planning Group (HSPG). She is responsible for delivering the agreed outcomes of the group, by working proactively to shape proposals for Heathrow expansion. She agrees the strategic direction for the group with its members, and ensures the resources are in place to ensure delivery.

Prior to this role she was Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment at the Greater London Authority. She was responsible for leading the delivery and implementation of Mayoral priorities and strategies across a wide portfolio of areas. These included the London Plan, the operation of the Mayor’s planning powers, the Economic Development Strategy, the London Economic Action Partnership, environment and climate change and transport.

Lucy has worked in a variety of Assistant Director and Programme Director roles in the GLA, the LDA and HM Treasury. For example, she led delivery of the Mayor’s housing priorities. She was responsible for managing the strategic relationships with all South London boroughs, housing associations and other partners, working with them to increase housing delivery in London and to maximise genuinely affordable homes. She also managed a portfolio of major development projects on GLA land. Prior to this she worked for 10 years as a senior management consultant across a range of sectors including retail, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.


Alan Hesketh

Alan is an experienced practitioner in regeneration, town planning, development and project management, working within local government and private sector in and around London for over 20 years to deliver infrastructure projects, development schemes, environmental schemes and strategies, local plans, masterplans and economic development strategies. Alan is a Chartered Town Planner, and is in an independent consultant.

Alan oversees and co-ordinates the work of HSPG and the HSPG Core Team, ensuring that the resources are in place for HSPG to carry out is functions in shaping airport expansion promotors’ proposals, and that all technical workstreams are covered and delivered to as high a standard as possible.He provides strong technical knowledge in the spatial planning, economic development, regeneration, governance and project management aspects of HSPG’s work.Alan works strategically across HSPG membership, airport expansion promoters and other key bodies and stakeholders including Government.

Alan has been with HSPG since inception, having been central to its creation in 2015 while providing services for the London Borough of Hounslow, and has strived to ensure that HSPG operates as effectively as possible to ensure that, if airport expansion does occur, it does so in a sustainable and well planned way, balancing environmental, social and economic factors, ensuring that impacts are minimised and benefits maximised.


Julie Christakis

Julie Christakis is responsible for Project Controls for HSPG, working within the core team.

This role essentially requires project managing the flow of information between HSPG members and Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) (and other airport expansion promotors/developers as appropriate) as part of HSPG’s role in shaping expansion proposals as they develop as part of the Development Consent Order (DCO) process. Julie ensures on a day to day basis that information requests (sometimes called ‘Work Requests’ or ‘Task Orders’) are adequately programmed, resourced and addressed. The role also involves a number of other key elements such as stakeholder engagement and helping to ensure HSPG processes are efficient and effective.

Julie’s previous experience includes 5 years’ experience working on major projects, including the Northern Line Extension. Julie is a consultant working through Mace Group.


Shaun Fisher

Shaun is a town planner with strong experience working on infrastructure projects.

Shaun provides technical work, advice and guidance to HSPG in shaping airport expansion, and in responding and inter-acting with airport expansion promoters/developers. He plays a key role also in the production of HSPG’s Joint Spatial Planning Framework (JSPF) and also chairs the Public Health Sub-Group relating to environmental issues including noise and air quality.

Shaun works for Jacobs and is seconded to the HSPG Core Team.


Michael Thornton

Michael is the lead spatial planning advisor to HSPG. He is a Chartered Town Planner and qualified manager with over 27 years in councils in and outside of London, and eight years now as an independent consultant at Merit Thornton Planning and Community Consultants Ltd.

Michael provides technical expertise on spatial planning and airport operation matters to HSPG part-time, and chairs the Spatial Planning Sub-Group, and is a representative on HAL’s Noise Envelope Design Group. Michael was central in establishing the Group while providing interim management and project services to LB Hounslow 2014-17.

He has extensive experience in all aspects of town planning: from routine development control and compliance through to major new roads and rail infrastructure projects; urban regeneration and improvements projects; conservation and design services; and development plan making in many shapes and forms, in London, county / districts, joint authority strategies, and at neighbourhood plan level.

As well as town planning advice and technical support to public, private and third sector clients, Merit Thornton Planning Ltd provide strategic advice, training and capacity building to other clients including neighbourhood planning groups, a major London housing association, window manufacturers, small businesses and householder clients.


Alison Derrick

Alison provides key business administration, secretariat services and support part time for HSPG and the Core Team. Alison also works for Slough Borough Council supporting Major Infrastructure Projects teams.

Alison has 30 years’ experience in various public sector organisations and charities working in multi-disciplinary teams on community safety, local engagement and highways/transport.


Laura Asnong

Having recently graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Geography with Study Abroad from the University of Exeter, Laura now works for Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, as a Graduate Sustainability Consultant. Currently, she provides part-time digital support for the HSPG core team but assists HSPG and Atkins colleagues on environmental aspects of the proposed expansion.

Prior to joining Atkins, Laura worked for Ofgem, where she was responsible for ensuring that the regulatory framework for energy is fit for purpose in all Brexit scenarios. Laura has also worked for a local council in Adelaide, suggesting mitigative action the council can take to manage the future risks of climate.


Andrew Tucker

Andrew is the HSPG core team lead for transport matters. His role involves providing expert advice and commentary to HSPG members on the surface access requirements of an expanded airport, ensuring that these can both meet the needs of the local community as well as airport users and workers. Andrew is seconded part-time from Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, where he is a transport planner in their transportation team.

Prior to joining Atkins, Andrew worked at the Department for Transport and at High Speed 2 Ltd, where he was responsible for developing the HS2 business case. He has extensive experience of working within and across government on major transport projects.


Daniel O'Kelly

Daniel is the HSPG core team lead for environment. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and expert in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). His role involves providing expert advice and commentary to HSPG members on the environmental implications of an expanded airport, including issues related to the emerging design, and EIA and planning processes.

Daniel is seconded part-time from Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, where he manages the Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment team for the London and South East region. He has extensive experience of working on major infrastructure projects including, most recently, Tilbury Port, High Speed 2, Gatwick airport and several major junction improvements for Highways England.


Alex Back

Alex is the Water Environment and Flood Lead for HSPG and HSPG Core Team, specifically covering all sources of flooding and all matters relating to rivers.He is seconded part-time from Bucks County Council.

Alex is an experienced Senior Strategic Flood Risk Management Officer working within local government/Government. He is skilled in Flood Risk, ArcGIS, Hydrology, Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Water Resources. He is a strong professional with a Master of Science (MSc) focused in Flood Risk Management from University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.