Event Review: Layers of London

On 4 July, RTPI London ran an inter-professional event with the Chartered Institute for Archaeology (CIfA), kindly hosted by Jones Lang LaSalle on heritage, planning and development. This event focused on the heritage challenges and opportunities in London development projects and the benefits of considering heritage aspects at the outset of a project and consulting experts in heritage.

Tim Howard who is CIfA’s Senior Policy Advisor and is responsible for advising on the development of CIfA policy introduced and chaired the event. He outlined the potential challenges in managing heritage assets, particularly a lack of resources to deal with complex applications, deregulation and site designations that do not adequately consider any potential archaeological remains. He stressed the need for these issues to be considered at the outset of a development project and recommended caveats are attached to prevent any important historic resources from being lost.

Our first speaker for the evening was David McDonald who is a heritage consultant and is President of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). He was previously the Conservation and Design Team Leader at the Royal Borough Kensington (RBKC) where he worked for over twenty years. David spoke about the harmful loss of non-designated heritage assets, which have significance (such as being associated with a historic figurehead) and/or character (where a building forms part of the quality of a place), making specific reference to some pub appeals he was successful in winning whilst working at RBKC. He also touched on the difference between the obligations within the NPPF and the statutory tests contained within the legislation, he said it is important for practitioners to consider the requirements of both when dealing with an application involving heritage assets.

The second speaker was Sandy Kidd who is principal archaeologist at the Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service at Historic England. Sandy outlined the special challenges of working within London where a substantial proportion of land is or archaeological interest.  He stressed the importance of engaging communities in heritage, as an example by opening up sites of interest to members of the public during the construction period. He said this had been particularly successful at the Curtain Theatre site in London where the archaeological remains form a key component of the identity and offering of this development site.

Our third speaker of the evening was Josie Murray, heritage consultant for High Speed One, who and has been closely involved in the redevelopment of St Pancras International Station. Josie said that the heritage significance of this station was instrumental in delivering a rail station of international importance. She discussed the complex legislation that governed the re-development of this station, which include the 1996 Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act. She said continuous collaborative working with Camden Council has been essential in delivering this project in a timely manner and highlighted the benefits of engaging key stakeholders early on in the process.

The final speaker from the evening was Janet Miller, ‎CEO of the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA). Janet highlighted how heritage assets can enrich place design and add identity and value. She discussed some of the ways that MOLA has been engaging and inciting interest in heritage assets within communities which include a ‘time truck’ and recruiting local volunteers. She said that heritage assets need not be viewed as a defining constraint and can be used positively in a proposal, as an example at Guildhall, London where the archaeology is reflected in the surface treatment and forms part of the streetscape.

Drinks, nibbles and networking provided by our host followed the talks. RTPI London and CIfA would like to thank JLL for sponsoring this event.

Sponsored by:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RTPI London Event Review: Planning for the Smarter City – Seminar One

On the 17th of May 2017 we kicked off our ‘Planning for the Smarter City’ series with our first seminar, on Planning, Technology and Innovation, kindly hosted by Space Syntax.

The series as a whole will look into the evolution of what we today call ‘smart cities’ and will explore the impact that advancements in technology, data and digital services has had on our industry. We will hear from a wide range of speakers over the course of the season, from academics to practitioners and from start-ups to corporate companies and from public to private sector.

The first seminar covered digital services and engagement; exploring how technology has given birth to new techniques and methodologies that are revolutionising our relationship with the built environment.

Our first speaker of the evening was Tim Stonor from Space Syntax, who is also a trustee of Design Council Cabe. Space Syntax analyses the science of human behaviour and uses this methodology to improve, extend and create places that optimise the movement of people. Tim gave an overview of the work Space Syntax have been involved in which notably includes the redevelopment of Trafalgar Square including a major new staircase and the removal of a listed wall that they made a compelling case for.

Daniel Mohammed CEO of Urban Intelligence developed a desktop GIS-based software that created a one-stop-shop for planning policy. The program his team developed, named ‘Howard’ after Ebeneezer Howard, creating a simplified search engine for planning policy to enable practitioners to quickly understand site constraints and parameters. The team are continuing to explore the use of this technology to revolutionise the way we research sites.

Michelle Warbis (who has recently made the move from the GLA to Future Cities Catapult) is a leading community engagement specialist, her research and work covers public participation. She spoke about the ways we can use technology and smartphones to engage with local communities and spark interest in the planning system. This included a ‘Tinder’ for development ideas and a video game that made planning fun for younger members of the community.

The presentations were followed by a discussion on how we can embrace science and technology in order to work smarter and more efficiently. The event was well attended by over 40 people across a range of built environment disciplines and was followed by drinks, nibbles and networking, kindly provided by the host.

The next Planning for the Smarter City event will be held on the 24th of July 2017 and is being hosted by ARUP. Our second seminar will further investigate the use of data and how we are currently using this to design smarter cities. Our speaker line-up includes, ARUP, TfL and the GLA (see our events page for more details). We look forward to welcoming you to future seminars and hope you will get involved in current discussions and debates on this topic.

Sponsored by:

Space Syntax Logo

Seminar two takes place on Monday 24 July!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RTPI London Summer Social – 17 August 2017

Did you know, RTPI London, with deverellsmith, have just organised THE BEST evening of networking, fun and laughter!  All taking place on the Battersea Barge, the boat is ours for the whole evening!

The evening includes:

  • The most wonderful views for sun-downers
  • Complimentary drinks (bar open thereafter)
  • Raffles, prizes and competitions (should you wish to take part)

RTPI London Summer Social

Book your place now – we have a limited number of tickets so don’t miss out!

There will be a small fee of £5 – which deverellsmith would like to donate to the families of Greenfell Towers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thomas Moore Tour: 500 Years of Masterplanning – 7 August 2017

Guided Walk with Lester Hillman 

This year marks 500 years of the publication of ‘Utopia’. In twelve pages of his book famous Londoner Thomas Moore set out his blueprint for an ideal town plan.

Guided by Lester Hillman a retired member, former Visiting Professor, accredited guide and World Town Planning Day leader the colourful dramas and personalities will be explored in a walk concluding at Guildhall. In the aftermath of the Great Fire 1666 (the theme for walks last year) More’s blueprints were influencing the masterplanning of London exactly 350 years ago. The walk will also  celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 1947 Act and 50 years of Conservation Areas.


  • 10.30 – The David Fryer Room for a short introduction
  • 11.00 – Depart from RTPI Botolph Lane
  • 13.00 – Tour ends

RTPI London is very grateful for facilities made available by RTPI Botolph Lane.

Booking line is open

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Planning in the Park – 3 August 2017

RTPI London and Osborne Richardson would like to invite you to ‘Planning in the Regents parkPark 2017’ on Thursday 3rd of August from 5pm onwards, for a chilled summer event, involving plenty of free drinks & food, music and networking.

ThPlanning in the park flyere event will take place in Regents Park, with the exact location to be emailed closer to the time. Please note, should bad weather be forecasted, then we will look to move the event to the following Thursday.

Free tickets are available on the RTPI London website

We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RTPI London Event Review: Nine Elms Construction Logistics

On the 21st June, a delegation of 30 planners visited Nine Elms to explore the work that is ongoing around managing construction logistics in the Opportunity Area. Commencing with a talk at Battersea Power Station’s The View, the event explored the strategies that have been implemented and some of the opportunities and challenges of multiple sites and projects coming forward together. Andrew Dorrian, reviewed the scale of the challenge and some of the issues being grappled with in the area. This includes congestion, managing hotspots and improving conditions for pedestrians and vulnerable road users. Andrew further introduced some of the planned measures which have been implemented including a CLP coordination function, road safety schemes, signage and booking systems. Help is available from TfL in the shape of the revised Construction Logistics Guidance and a free training course. For more information please email freight@tfl,gov.uk.

Nick Rabin (Infrastructure Project Director at Battersea), introduced the enormous Battersea project and the strategy for managing multiple contractors across the scheme, maintaining their access as well as catering for new residents moving in as the project develops. It was clear that the strategy has been based on ongoing collaboration with stakeholders including the council surrounding developers and TfL. Their current focus is on commencing muck away by barge after finding innovative solutions to get this muck to the river, working closely with contractors and hauliers to instil best practice around road safety and efficiencies and constant reviews of performance. Good communication on planned works that could be noisy occurs in order to make sure residents and surrounding projects are aware which helps reduce complaints.

Sam Emmett (Project Manager, Wandsworth Council), focused in on the utilities strategy and close working between development partners and utility providers to deliver the utilities the area needs as governed by the utilities strategy. Significant achievements include the utilities corridor which will run through Nine Elms Park, relieving pressure on Nine Elms Lane and sharing utilities trenches. Delivering the construction coordination strategy and utilities plans has been made possible through the establishment of a Developer Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which provides funding for these tasks.

Focused on collaboration, the tour visited Riverlight where Nick Trollope (Operations Director, St James) gave his experience of resident views of living in the middle of a construction site. Nick noted that for St James one of the biggest challenges post build is the management of .com deliveries. The scheme  is reacting by building a larger post room to handle deliveries.

Finishing on a new section of the Thames Path the tour concluded by looking at the construction of the US Embassy and Covent garden Market. The traffic was horrendous largely as a result of the road closures for the Queen’s speech so it was perfect to demonstrate some of the problems we are battling with.

Thank you to Battersea Power Station for hosting us and to our speakers. All slides are available online.

Andrew Dorrian (RTPI London immediate past chair and Principal Planner at TfL)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RTPI London Football Tournament 2017!

The RTPI London Football Tournament, sponsored by Indigo, is taking place on the 21 July 2017.

This is a super fun annual tournament which you need to be involved in!  Last year’s winners were Quod were defending their title from the previous year… Will there be a change at the top???  Come, play and have fun!

All you need to do is to email Lucy Barton to book your team, or enquire for more details.

To play in the tournament, you’ll need one squad of seven players per organisation, who work or are seeking work in planning or a related built environment profession, such as architecture, surveying, GIS or development economics. At least three players in each squad should be members of RTPI London.

Each squad should include at least two female players.

Entry into the tournament is on a first come first serve basis because places are limited. The closing date is 14 July 2016. This is a free event but a charge of £100 will be payable by each squad in the case of the team dropping out after 15 July 2016.

Here are the results from last years compition.

Sponsored by:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RTPI London Event Review: Speed Networking

Speed Networking 2Planners and quantity surveyors were acquainted at the speed-networking evening jointly hosted by RTPI London and RICS Matrics. Held in a private room at The Counting House pub in the City, the event saw attendees swap seats after three minute conversations which were kept flowing with drinks and a break halfway through where food was provided.

In particular, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to meet people working across the built Speed Networking 4environment professions – including urban designers, planning lawyers, planners and surveyors. There was also great variety in the organisations represented, from those working for large established employers to those who had started their own businesses. This made for a lively evening where ideas, business cards and, inevitably, poor jokes about speed dating, were shared. The only complaints on the night were of sore throats from too much talking!

Speed Networking 1RTPI London would like to thank RICS Matrics for their joint organisation of this event. Following the success of the evening, we hope to organise more ‘inter-professional’ events -watch this space for information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RTPI London – Nine Elms, The Good the Bad and the Dirty: Managing construction impacts from multiple sites – 21 June 2017

Wednesday 21st June 2017,09.15-11.00am
The View, Battersea Power Station, Kirtling Street, London SW8 5BN

Presentations and Tour!

This CPD event will explore ‘Construction Logistics Plans’ including TfL’s soon to be refreshed guidance, the benefits of planning and how it is being applied in Nine Elms.

Come along and debate their merits and role in the planning system with leading industry professionals delivering major projects.

The event will begin at 09.30 at Battersea Power Station with four short presentations followed by a short tour of the area.


  • Andrew Dorrian – Principal Planner, Transport for London
  • Nick Rabin – Infrastructure Project Director Battersea Power Station Development Company.
  • Sam Emmett, Project Manager, Wandsworth Council.
  • More speakers TBC

Tickets ready to book now!

Nine Elms Picture
This event is free and open to all those who work or study in planning and related built environment professions. Places are strictly limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please be aware that the visitors’ entrance to Battersea Power Station is from Pump House Lane entrance located on Battersea Park Road. On your arrival please report to the security team at the Gatehouse on Pump House Lane who will direct you further.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RTPI London Event Review: Developing London’s Rail Infrastructure – Monday 15th May 2017

IMG_6704It is less than 18months until the start of Elizabeth line services in the capital. Ahead of the curve, 7 days before the BBC’s Fifteen Billion Pound Railway programme (like Top Gear for train fans) started, RTPI London in conjunction with WSP organised a seminar to look at some of the lessons learned from Crossrail. This was together with a review of

the Hybrid Bill process; DCO’s and a review of what projects are coming next.

Andrew Dorrian (immediate past chair at RTPI London and Principal Planner at TfL) reviewed the latest position on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Due for consultation post election, Andrew presented some of the emerging key themes including a focus on healthy streets, cycling Crossrail 2, Bakerloo Line extension and maximising existing assets including national rail services. The plan predicated on the continued future growth of London will potentially set even more ambitious mode share targets to manage demand in London. Andrew further summarised the Mayor’s priorities for the London Plan with a review of the City for All Londoners document. This starts to look at where potential new growth will be centred including within town centres and around our stations.

IMG_6705Julie Davis (Land Use Planning Manager at Crossrail), reviewed progress of the construction of the Elizabeth line and presented the consenting route with some of its advantages and challenges. Julie noted the Hybrid Bill whilst with a long lead in time enables a package of consents to be achieved for a scheme. It usually comes with a schedule of conditions and it is for the promoter working with the contractor to ensure these conditions are abided by. This can become quite challenging depending on the arrangement of contracts. Crossrail set up a delivery mechanism so that the contractors were responsible for preparing the detail for conditions / any variations and Crossrail themselves signed off any details prior to submission to the LPA. Julie noted that partnership working with Local authorities across the route has been achieved through a forum, whereby such matters have been achieved. In developing the project Crossrail have amassed a wealth of information as part of their learning library. This is available at. http://learninglegacy.crossrail.co.uk/.

Siobhan Wall a former project manager for Crossrail, explained the innovative approaches Crossrail used to recycle materials. Thinking of the excavated material from the tunnels as not waste but a vital resource they worked with the RSPB to identify a project at Wallasea Island in Essex to create a new Nature Reserve. Excavated material was transferred by train and trucks to three jetties along the Thames, Northfleet, Limmo Peninsula and Barking Riverside. From there material was loaded onto ships for the onward journey to Walllasea. Siobhan explained that early partnership with the RSPB was critical to the success for the project and understanding what the material could be best used for. This project was part of a wider strategy for reusing material excavated at a number of sites across London and the South east and contributed towards 98% of Crossrail’s material being beneficially reused. This has profound impacts for an Environmental Statement for a project and critically a plan which is deliverable as to how material will be sorted, transported and reused is necessary from the start. For more information, please see, http://www.crossrail.co.uk/sustainability/environmental-sustainability/materials-and-waste.

IMG_6706Colin Turnbull (Associate Director) at WSP, shared lessons learned for the delivery of major rail projects under Hybrid Bills. Some of the top tips shared included the recommendation to start conversations early and get cross political support with both houses. The duration of a Hybrid Bill process means that it can often cross one or two political cycles and there is a challenge that a project can be ‘derailed’ by a change in Government. The length of an Environmental Statement was called into question. Crossrail’s ES was significantly long with a number of volumes. HS2’s has eclipsed this at 50,000 pages. Ultimately there needs to be a call on the length of the assessment and how user friendly these documents are, without impacting on the necessary assessment. Working with the LPA’s and stakeholders from the off was a seen to be a key way of agreeing the scope of assessment and smoothing the delivery process.

It is clear that Crossrail has given us a vast amount of knowledge and key lessons learned around delivery of a major project through a Hybrid Bill process; this can be applied on major infrastructure projects going forward of which there will be many. Our thanks go to all of our speakers and to WSP for organising and for their kind hospitality.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment