RTPI President, Phil Williams saw first-hand how planners are protecting heritage and regenerating cities in the East Midlands during his recent visit to members in region.
Phil met with senior built environment professionals at Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral to discuss how the city is protecting its rich heritage and reinterpreting it for future generations. The City of Lincoln Council has played an important role in providing advice, as well as co-ordinating the many projects taking place around the City. Phil also visited The Lawn, a Grade II* listed former asylum which is undergoing an extensive programme of works at the present time to convert it into a new Head Office for Stokes, a local family run company specialising in selling coffee and tea, who have been in Lincoln since 1892.
After visiting The Lawn, Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral, Phil said:
“Planners are central to preserving Lincoln’s past and ensuring new developments are sensitively integrated into the city. Lincoln’s heritage is a strong draw card for tourists so it’s critical that this source of economic activity is preserved and enhanced.”
Phil is pictured (below, right image) with Kieron Manning (City of Lincoln Council), Michael Braithwaite (Chair, RTPI East Midlands), Lynette Swinburne (Vice Chair of RTPI East Midlands) outside Lincoln Castle’s new Magna Carta Vault built as part of Lincoln Castle's £22m restoration programme.
Phil spoke to the Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Yvonne Bodger at lunch hosted by Globe Consultants at The Guildhall, Lincoln (pictured, below left image). Afterwards, Phil discussed the challenges and opportunities surrounding the regeneration of Lincoln’s City Centre with senior officers from the City of Lincoln Council. Phil was shown an example of this at a redevelopment of a 1960’s shopping arcade to restaurant by Kieron Manning , City of Lincoln Council (pictured, above right). He also visited a number of strategically important transport projects that are changing the way the city operates, including Lincoln Transport Hub, which includes major improvements to the railway station, bus station and the creation of a new and much needed visitor car park, accompanied by significant streetscape works.
In the evening Phil met with young planners from the region to discuss their concerns and how they see the future of planning. The event was well attended by young planners based in the county and raised issues including reciprocal arrangements with overseas town planning organisations and the balance between meeting Key Performance Indicators and delivering high quality developments.
Phil joined a panel discussion on the impact of Brexit on planning and briefed delegates on the RTPI’s concerns about skills shortages and uncertainty slowing construction of housing.
“Housing remains an acute challenge across the UK. We must not allow Brexit to slow urgently needed housing development. We have been calling on the government to value planning and provide certainty to developers”.
This is Phil’s final regional visit to members as President.
Get involved: RTPI East Midlands or RTPI East Midlands Young Planners