After a successful 12 months building its offer, Planning Aid England (PAE) is looking to increase its services in the capital.  In order to shape what services are offered, the region is looking to bolster its Planning Aid England task group. We are looking for members to form this task group and report back to RTPI London’s committee.

This is a chance as a volunteer to help inform future activities, opportunities and training for volunteers in London. It will help to enhance the Region’s support for PAE and to contribute to the wider strategy and approach not only in London but throughout England.

It is likely that we will meet twice monthly for circa 1.5 hours (in central London). Tasks may include, inputting into the programme for PAE in London, organising training events for volunteers, putting forward proposals for projects PAE volunteers could support within the region and helping to raise the profile of PAE more widely. The task group will report directly to RTPI London’s Regional Management Board and Regional Activities Committee.

Any PAE or RTPI member is welcome to join and at this stage we are just looking to gather expressions of interest.

This meeting will take place at Windsor House, 50 Vitoria Street, London, SW1 on   26 September at 6pm

If you are interested in joining and can attend  (or have any questions) please do not hesitate to contact, Andrew Dorrian.

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London Planning Awards 2017/2018


You can still enter the London Planning Awards…the categories are:

Best New Place to Live
Best New Place to Work
Best Project Five Years On
Best New Iconic Building or Scheme
Best Mixed Use Scheme
Mayor’s Award for Innovation in Planning
Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Planning
Mayor’s Award for Planning Excellence

To enter the London Planning Awards 2017/18 competition,  simply download and complete the electronic entry form(s), for the categories you would like to participate in. Then save the form(s) as a word document and send to Georgia Long,  along with up to three high resolution digital photographs at 300dpi via WeTransfer.  Simple!

Please go to www.londonplanningawards.com for copies of the entry forms and judging criteria.

All completed entries must be submitted by 5pm Friday 22 September 2017.





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Event Review: Summer Social 2017 (on a Barge)

On Thursday 17th August over 150 young planners enjoyed an evening of sunshine, drinks, scenic views and good planning company on the Battersea Barge.

The event kicked-off at 6:30pm and a queue formed almost immediately. Our young planners were clearly in a hurry to get on board and this was evidenced by the beautiful upper deck soon becoming rather crowded! During the evening our generous sponsors, Deverell Smith, provided a business card raffle, with vouchers for Selfridges and a restaurant up for grabs.

The evening was a huge success and, not least judging by the many photos submitted for the photo competition, everyone had a great evening!

We would like to thank everyone who attended as well as our sponsors for the night, Deverell Smith. A further special mention to our sponsors who made a charitable donation to helping the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Some photos from the evening are included below.


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Event: City of London Walking Tour

Thursday 24th September 2017, 6:00pm – High Holborn, London WC1V 6DR, UK

Come along to our City of London Walking Tour.

The tour will explore the City of London to understand its architectural evolution and how new and old buildings can be successfully juxtaposed in a very dense environment whilst exploring back streets and hidden enclaves to understand its origins and history.

This event is free and open to all those who work or study in planning and related professions.  It has been kindly supported by Design Council CABE.

Book your place now!



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New Event: International Pub Quiz – 20 September 2017

Wednesday 20th September, 6:30pm Grand Union, Rolls Passage, London EC4A 1HL

Come along to our International Planning Pub Quiz!

The quiz will be held at the Grand Union (nearest tube is Chancery Lane). You are invited to join us from 6.30pm and the quiz will start at 7pm till about 8:30pm.

There is a £2 entry fee per person (payable on the door). Includes free drink and nibbles thanks to Mattison Partnership.
In the spirit of international collaboration, teams will be allocated on arrival.

Book your place now!

pub quiz

Sponsored by:

MP logo

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Event Review: Planning in the Park 2017

Thursday 3rd August 2017 saw the inaugural ‘Planning in the Park’ event at Regents Park, in association with sponsors Osborne Richardson. Despite the lack of summer sun and the very realistic threat of heavy downpours the event was extremely well attended. Just over 50 planning professionals took the opportunity to mingle in the setting of  temporary statues on display on the south east side of Regents Park.

‘Planning in the Park’ lived up to its billing on the flyer, as those who attended were treated to a chilled out evening (music provided by CJ from Osborne Richardson), excessive amounts of M&S canapes, chocolate and crisps, Pimms, wine and beer. Games of keepy-uppies and frisbee also added to the evening entertainment.

The event took a rather unexpected turn at around 10:30pm as the remaining 20 or so people discovered that they had been locked in the park!!! An easy climb over the waist high fence solved that problem and the evening was then able to continue in a nearby pub.

Thank you to everyone who attended and to sponsors Osborne Richardson and we hope to have ‘Planning in the Park’ back on the events calendar in 2018.


Planning in the park 4 pics in 1.png


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Walking into history

RTPI London marked the 70th anniversary of the Town & Country Planning Act 1947 with a presentation and walk through the City of London celebrating this and other glittering landmarks in planning history. Chiming with the anniversary of the Act, news bulletins earlier in the day announced new additions to the statutory lists of historic buildings.

The presentation at RTPI ‘s London office celebrated the 500th anniversary of Londoner Thomas More’s blueprint for urban living, set out in just twelve pages of his book ‘Utopia’. In the Church of St Lawrence-Jewry-next-the-Guildhall, adjacent to More’s birthplace and where he preached, there is a splendid stained glass window above the pulpit. The window design features his masterplan study, a distinction not afforded many town planners. The Wren Church which rose up after the Great Fire is a testament to ingenious handling of site constraints. Indeed many of the recovery masterplans emerging in 1667, exactly 350 years ago, drew inspiration from More’s Utopia.


Thomas More window in St Lawrence Jewry


The heritage themed walk explored where More was educated and lived. One home Crosby Hall still stands although it was moved from Bishopsgate in 1910 and now enjoys a splendid riverside setting next to Battersea Bridge where More had a Chelsea home.



Crosby Hall, Chelsea

From the grand portico of the Royal Exchange, next to Threadneedle Street  where Thomas More went to school, the now largely traffic-free Bank Junction could be savoured. Planners have been busy. Weekday traffic limitations were introduced 22nd May 2017, part of an eighteen month safety-led experiment and one enhancing the pedestrian experience and amenity. Across the junction on the 26th April 2017 a hotel and restaurant opened in the former Midland Bank. Its name ‘Ned’ alludes to Edwin Lutyens the architect. Meanwhile deep below £563m of works are in progress to transform the underground station.

Bank Conservation Area was the first and is today the largest in the City of London. A former President of the RTPI Michael Welbank MBE was until recently the Chief Commoner of the City and he continues to represent the area near the RTPI offices.

On the 27th July 1967 the Civic Amenities Act received Royal Assent. It was this that ushered in Conservation Areas. There are now around 10,000 in England and so the walk offered a timely opportunity to mark the 50th anniversary of yet another landmark in town planning heritage.


RTPI London in Milk Street, Thomas More’s birthplace

Lester Hillman

7th August 2017

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Event Review: Young Planners Treasure Hunt 2017

Last Thursday saw approximately 60 planners descend onto the streets of Soho for the annual RTPI London Treasure Hunt. Starting at Graphic Bar, in Golden Square, the teams assembled and were given their instructions, “Don’t get lost. The answers are all google-able!”. Of in search of noses, pubs, theatres, jazz clubs and much more, the teams headed out in what was also a race against the clock.

The first stage of the tour was an easy warm-up: from Golden Square to Carnaby Street. From there, the route took the planners through the bustling streets of Soho, past Britain’s favourite dish, the Masala restaurant, and towards the enemy of King Cholera – the John Snow pub. Whilst the teams could have slipped off to catch a show at this point, their focus remained firmly on the task at hand and the hunt continued past Rainbow Chickens and Dodos to Be at One. The friendly face of Kirsty from sponsors KDH Associates was there to greet them and kindly provided Singapore Slings, Painkillers and other exotic drink options to fuel the teams to the finish. Now suitably refreshed, the fairy lights guided the treasure hunters back to Graphic Bar and with it the chance to have a drink and some food.

This was a great event with an excellent turnout. Thanks to those responsible for organising, to everyone who came along and made it a fun evening and, of course, to our sponsors, KDH Associates.

The night’s prize winners and a few photos are included below.


The winners, surprising themselves in doing so, were Jose Reis & Team. Unfortunately they made a quick entrance and we didn’t get a team photo!

Runners up: DCLG


Cocktail Challenge winners (who clearly know their alcohol): Deloitte


Wooden spoon prize winners: Planniversary (Again, they ran off before we got a photo!)


Teams managed to track down the noses.


Briefed and ready to go!


A full house at Graphic Bar for some food and a drink after the Treasure Hunt.

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Event Review: RTPI London Football Tournament 2017

Last Friday, on a sunny evening, 14 teams from across the built environment profession arrived in Shoreditch to battle for the 2017 RTPI London football trophy!  Anticipation was high, and the teams were eager to get started.  Throughout the group stages it was clear that the teams were evenly matched.  With the supporters cheering their teams on, and other supporters from RB Kensington and Chelsea humourously jibing other teams, (as well as their own), the atmosphere was very enjoyable.

Following the group stages, the serious business of the knockout stages began.  Quod, tournament winners for the past two years, took on the tournaments sponsors, Indigo!  With no sentiment given to the sponsors, Quod were victorious and progressed to play Southwark in the semi finals.  On the other pitch, GVA took on and beat Savills, whilst  Carter Jonas narrowly lost to LITP.  Onto the semi’s and the tension was growing – Southwark ended Quod’s hopes of going for the hat-trick of titles and GVA beat LITP.  It was therefore a Southwark vs GVA final with top honours up for grabs.

In the plate round, the Kensington Queens beat Montague Evans and GL Hearn beat CBRE.  With Kensington in the Plate Final, the noise from the supporters rose a few notches, and was supported by running commentary by Powerleague (who should arguably rival Gary Linekar for pundit of the year!).  The Kensington Queens won the plate to rapturous applause and whooping from the supporting crowd.

IMG_1543So on to the final. The two teams, Southwark and GVA, emerged from the tunnel and the commentary team were in place. Time for kick off.  IMG_2939



It was a tense final that only ever had one team in front by a single goal, but it finished 2-2. The teams gathered for penalties.


It was tense, with the teams matching each other. That was until GVA missed their shot and Southwark scored!

After a quick shower, beer and burger – the presentations took place under a celebratory ‘beer- spray’ assisted by the RB Kensington and Chelsea supporters, who joyfully celebrated everyone’s win with the same cheerful disposition as their own.

So, all in all – a great night was had by all teams, supporters, organisers and sponsors!  Huge thanks, of course, go to Indigo who sponsored the tournament and made the event possible.

All the scores and fixtures – RTPI LONDON FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT 2017 FINAL

Photos below:

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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:


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