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President’s visit to South East: heritage, regeneration and Kent Young Planners launch

13 March 2017

Steven , Gareth Looking From Gillingham Waterside

Stephen Wilkinson, RTPI President has used his first official visit with members in the UK to see how planners are driving regeneration and protecting historic places in Thanet and Medway. During his visit last week, he was very impressed by how the two planning teams are delivering innovative regeneration schemes.


Stephen praised Medway for its efforts to regenerate the area and provide new homes and employment opportunities. He visited regeneration sites across Medway after being welcomed by local councillors and planning officers from the council. They showed him development sites in Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham.

Kent YP Launch

Stephen said:

“I have seen some great examples of how the planning team is working to deliver the council’s exciting vision for the area. There is a focus on delivering sustainable development across the Authority with regeneration projects delivered throughout the Medway towns.”

In the evening, Stephen helped to relaunch the RTPI Kent Young Planners Network.

Kent Planning Policy Forum

On Friday morning, he met with the Planning Policy Forum in Kent to share views on the Housing White Paper. He said:

“I attended the Kent Planning Policy Forum and enjoyed a feisty debate about the Housing White Paper and the role of the Institute in defending member's interests.”


In the afternoon Stephen was shown how the council’s planning team are making the most of their heritage assets in Margate and Ramsgate. He visited Thanet Council’s Dalby Square Townscape Heritage Initiative, which incorporates examples of intergenerational living, climate change adaptability and conservation enhancement. He also visited the historic seafront at Ramsgate. He then went on a tour of Gillingham waterfront development by Berkeley Homes.

Ramsgate Harbour SE Presidential Visit 2017

Stephen said:
“I saw several innovative examples of heritage -led regeneration schemes. The District Council is able to deliver these schemes whilst still finding sites to fulfil its housing growth agenda. This poses considerable challenges which I am confident they will address.”

Stephen next visits members in the West Midlands on 20 and 21 March.

Get involved: RTPI South East