Message from the RTPI London Chair – Max Laverack

March 21, 2018

It gives me great pleasure as the Chair of RTPI London to welcome you to our new look RTPI London Calling blog. London Calling is the hub of RTPI London and the place to keep up-to-date with our events, activities and thoughts. The blog has undergone a comprehensive redesign, with a fresh new interface and the same rich and diverse content that our regular readers have grown accustomed to. We’d love to hear what you think of our new look!

The RTPI London team has also been hard at work behind the scenes packed programme of events and activities for 2018. We are shaping out programme around the simple mantra of “Planning for all, for all Planners” – this reflects the desire to showcase and celebrate the role of planners in shaping development that changes people’s lives for the better, whilst examining how we can make planning work better for all Londoners.

The examination of the Draft London Plan is likely to dominate the planning headlines in London throughout much of this year. RTPI London is at the forefront of the response. In early 2018 we held two Round Table discussions, attended by a broad cross-section of our London members, which helped to shape the RTPI’s formal response to the London Plan. The response was launched formally at an event hosted by AECOM on 19th March.

Our aim is to draw on the consultation and provide further opportunities to discuss and debate the content of the Plan, as well as its implications for planners across the capital. We are engaging with our RTPI colleagues in the East and South-East to organise a pan-regional debate on the implications of London’s continuous growth for its hinterlands, recognising that this is an issue which transcends London’s traditional governance boundaries. Our Summit, to be held in late 2018, will explore the role of Outer London in the future growth of London. We are also building on the successes of the London Plan Consultation by continuing to engage with our members on the ground around evolving policy. All RTPI members in London have been invited to a Round Table on the Draft NPPF and guidance on viability, to be held at AECOM on 16th April. Get in touch with our Regional Coordinator Lucy Barton as soon as possible to book your place.

On a different theme altogether, London is hosting the Commonwealth Summit this April and as a pre-cursor we will be joining with the Commonwealth Association of Planners to host an interactive seminar on Urban Challenges across the Commonwealth. The event take place on 12th April at UCL, featuring presentations from the RTPI Present John Acres and Peter Geraghty, former chair of the RTPI international Committee. I’d encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment!

We remain committed to providing RTPI’s London members with engaging, low-cost CPD events opportunities, as well as opportunities to network and meet other professionals. Our ever-popular drinks social is back on April 3rd, kindly sponsored by Macdonald & Company, and our annual Planning Law Update will take place on 28th June, kindly hosted once again by Pinsent Mason. Excitingly, for the first time in many years we will also be running a Mock Inquiry. Kings Chambers will run the session on 23rd May, which will provide realistic training in providing evidence at a public inquiry. Ultimately, our aim is to adapt to our members’ needs, so if there are any topics which you feel we should be covering through our CPD programme we’d love to hear from you.

This is just a flavour of what we have planned for 2018, so keep an eye on the London Calling Blog, sign-up for our monthly e-bulletins or follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on our plans for this year.

My aim as Chair is to make RTPI London more inclusive, transparent and engaging, but my work wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated team of volunteers around me. If you have an idea for an event, a suggestion as to how we could improve our offering, or just fancy coming along to see what we’re about we’d love to hear from you.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our events in 2018!

Max Laverack

RTPI London Chair

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