Mark is a chartered town planner with previous professional experience in local government (Durham County Council) and two different Government Offices (GO-NE and GO-NW) as well as that of a lecturer at Newcastle and Manchester Universities. He has well-developed research interests in regional and strategic planning; central-local relations and the plan-making process; and development plan and development control procedures. His recent research activities include work on stakeholder involvement in the RPG process (sponsored by ODPM / TCPA), the use of environmental and sustainability appraisal within development plans (sponsored by ESRC) and the future of sub-regional planning in England (for CPRE). He was the project manager and co-director of a recent DETR sponsored research project on the operation and effectiveness of the English structure planning process and led the University of Manchester contribution to the CLG funded project on Spatial Plans in Practice (SPiP). He has been involved in a number of other research projects, sponsored by a range of organisations including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the North West Regional Association, the Town and Country Planning Association, NHPAU, North West Development Agency and DTLR. He has been Chair of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA)'s Regional Planning Task Team and a member of TCPA's Policy Council and a co-opted member of the Regional Studies Association (RSA)'s Board.