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This page is your one stop spot for local RTPI News including Presidents Visits, Awards and Branchout. Branchout is your local newsletter keeping you up-to-date with RTPI South West news and planning issues and is published three times a year.

Please get in touch with any suggested articles.

Branchout -  Winter 2023

Articles include:

  • A Focus on Mental Health
  • Take Pride in Planning
    - Angharad Williams
    - Harrison Moore
  • Theory of Planning
  • Net Zero Carbon Homes at Rainbow Way, Minehead
  • Digital Engagement in Neighbourhood Planning in Practice
  • Planning the charge: a volte face?
  • Marine Planning - Isle of Scilly
  • RTPI South West Awards - where are they now?
    - Bath and NE Somerset Council, The WaterSpace Project
  • Your Branch update

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RTPI Presidents Visits 2023

3 July 2023 - Summer Reception, Taunton

On the 3rd July, hosted by our Chair Ian Perry, Head of Judges Graham Stephens and RTPI President Sue Bridge we held our annual Summer Reception. This event was about celebration and appreciation.  We therefore not only announced the regional winners in the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence but we also took time celebrate over 50 newly elected RTPI Members in the region and met many of those on the day (pictured centre and right). Its an important and valued milestone in all their careers to carry the mark of the profession and so we look forward to continuing these new member celebrations in the future.

Also as part of this event we took time to appreciate all our RTPI Volunteers in the South West. With over 70 members involved in helping us to raise the profile of the profession and organising activities for local members we were able to highlight the value of our volunteers. Pictured below left is some of our RTPI Volunteers in the region.

A key message of the day is to keep inspiring, create excellence and be proud of the difference you are making.



7-8 June 2023 - Teignbridge, Bath and Bristol 

The 7th and 8th June was RTPI President Sue Bridge's visit the South West of England, the second leg in her tour of Nations and Regions. 

On the first day Sue visited Teignbridge where she heard about their design code work as one of the pathfinders. Sue heard from their consultant from LDA Design as well as officers and members of our Citizen’s Panel; a group of volunteers who have an interest in their area and sit on a group to help create the design code. Sue was very complimentary of the approach to the work with such close ties to the community; suggestions of such an approach being used elsewhere in Development Management decision making was mooted.

Following a delicious lunch where Sue met with some local young planners and shared career stories, the visit continued. Teignbridge DC took Sue to three sites which form part of the Council’s South West Exeter allocation; a multi-use urban extension of 2000 homes. They visited one of the many developer’s sites as well as the Ridge Top Park, a SANGS which overlooks much of the allocation and provides recreation and ecological benefits. Sue was impressed by how much had been achieved with the Park in such a short time and saw the Park as a real multifunctional asset for the community that exists and is in the process of being created. The 1st day was concluded by calling in at the new Marsh Barton railway station; this was co-funded by various stakeholders  including Teignbridge District Council, Exeter City and Devon County. The station which opens on the 4th July will serve the large employment destination of Marsh Barton and significantly assist in a modal shift away from private motor vehicles.











Day 2 of Sue's visit began in Bath

The morning gave Sue the chance to meet Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Head of Planning and Regeneration Team and learn about the challenges and opportunities of development and regeneration within a World Heritage city. Sue heard about the Milsom Quarter Masterplan, a project which will see the development of a new Fashion museum and brownfield sites alongside public realm investment. A community led £2.8m project to improve Midsomer Norton Town Centre was also presented alongside a short film about the High Street made by local children. The visit was concluded by a walk around the Milsom Quarter with representatives of Bath & North East Somerset Council and RTPI volunteers.












Over lunch, Sue visited the University of the West of England which currently has four fully accredited RTPI Planning Programmes, where she met a number of current and past students as well as staff. She heard about UWE's current planning research portfolio, with a particular spotlight on recent work on post-consent planning processes and design quality (recipient of the RTPI's Sir Peter Hall Award for Research Excellence!). Sue participated in a lively debate about the value of academic research and how to improve the research-practice interface, which included contributions from students, and planners from both the public and private sectors.  She also visited the annual architecture showcase, which included work from students on the BA Architecture and Planning programme and met PhD student, Jenna Dutton, named as one of The Planner magazine's Women of Influence 2023.










During the afternoon Sue visited the Brabazon site, an ambitious arena development, former home to the hangars that saw the construction of the UK Concordes. Hosted by YTL, the visit looked at the masterplan visit for the site before undertaking a tour of the current development. Further information on this project can be found at : A Place That Changes Everything for Bristol | Brabazon










The busy day then concluded with the RTPI SW Annual Dinner attended by over 270 guests at the Delta Hotel by Marriott. Sue and Regional Chair Ian Perry hosted a table of Senior and Heads of Planning from Local Authorities. 












If you would like to host the RTPI President for a visit and meetings in your area and showcase your team and local projects then please do get in touch as we work to plan the next visits for 2024 with incoming president Lindsey Richards. 


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