Old Oak chief to lead planning group

January 10 2018   | Region: London

Old Oak chief to lead planning group
Britain’s largest regeneration project at Old Oak Common in west London is to lose its figurehead Victoria Hills, who will become chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Victoria (pictured) has been chief executive of the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation since 2015 and is to take up her new role at the RTPI in April. The Development Corporation thanked Victoria for her work but a spokesman denied that her departure would set the project back.
The Old Oak scheme involves delivering up to 25,500 homes and 65,000 jobs on a 650ha brownfield site. A rail ‘super hub’ linking High Speed 2, Crossrail and Great Western mainline services is set to open in 2026. Two new stations on the London Overground are also set to serve Old Oak.
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s acting chief transport planner Chris Bainbridge said that 2018 is a key year for the redevelopment of Old Oak, adding that he supports the regeneration opportunities that High Speed 2 is likely to bring to the local area. But he added: “We need to get public transport infrastructure in before major development is approved, such as roads and a bus network.”
In a statement, the Corporation’s chair Liz Peace said: “Victoria has been a key figure in setting up the OPDC and leading it through its challenging early years. I am extremely grateful to all that Victoria has done to date and while we will all be sad to see her move on, I believe that she has left the ground well prepared for taking forward this exciting regeneration project.”
Victoria Hills, who previously headed up transport at the Greater London Authority, said: “It has been my great privilege to have had the opportunity to establish a new Mayoral Development Corporation and to lead an enthusiastic and skilled team with whom I have been able to create a vision and framework for delivering this enormously complex project.”
Of her appointment to the RTPI, she added: “I'm thrilled to be joining at such an important time for planning. I'm looking forward to making a positive difference, to put planning centre stage.”
Chair of the RTPI’s board of trustees Graham Stallwood said Victoria will be “a powerful addition” to its campaign to promote the value of planners and planning to both the UK and around the world. She will replace the current chief executive Trudi Elliott who steps down at the end of March.
♦ In other people news, the Prime Minister has appointed Jo Johnson as a Transport Minister in this week's reshuffle, replacing John Hayes.

Elsewhere Atkins has promoted Philip Hoare MCIHT to the position of chief executive for the UK and Europe. He previously led the region’s transportation division and prior to that was managing director for the company’s rail and highways businesses.

“One of my priorities will be to push the digital growth agenda, ensuring we bring smart thinking and technological solutions to the table at this time when our digital and physical worlds are colliding at pace,” he said.

It has also been announced that Highways England’s executive director for procurement and commercial David Poole is to join High Speed 2 in March, while Arup has appointed former Samsung Construction & Trading president Tai Chong Chew as its new global rail leader.

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