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Forty years on – Grotton Papers now available to read online

01 April 2019

Grotton -papers SquareTo mark its fortieth anniversary, the satirical illustrated planning handbook The Grotton Papers has been published for all to enjoy on the RTPI website.

Co-authored by experienced local authority planners Stephen Ankers, David Kaiserman and former RTPI President Chris Shepley, The Grotton Papers has long been difficult to find, and has never previously been published online.

Originally launched to coincide with the ‘Planning in Crisis’ Conference at Central Grotton Polytechnic in 1979, the authors explain in their introduction that The Grotton Papers is actually intended for those who were not able to be there ‘but who may be intrigued that such interest is being generated in a place whose very existence came to light only in 1975’.

Chris Shepley said: “Forget Milton Keynes, the Buchanan Report, Parker Morris, that Statutory Instrument about graveyards, or the Government’s latest attempt to avoid dealing with the housing crisis - it was The Grotton Papers which changed the course of planning for a generation and which (some would argue) made John Prescott possible.

“The publication of The Grotton Papers on the RTPI website has been done in response to intense demand from several people, not just the authors, who have been unable to secure precious copies of this out-of-print oeuvre. It enables everyone in the world to read, laugh, learn and flourish in response to its wit, intelligence and remarkableness – and to rest assured that, if you think things are bad today...”

The Grotton Papers can be downloaded here


CHRIS SHEPLEY WRITES: Steve Ankers (1949-2019), one of the co-authors of the Grotton Papers and its sequel Grotton Revisited, sadly died recently at the age of 70. Steve, who did most of his serious planning work at Lancashire, Greater Manchester and East Sussex, was a fine planner and environmentalist, but also a great wit and raconteur, who will be sadly missed by many, many friends in the planning world. The Grotton Papers is published online in tribute to him.