The president of the UK’s leading planning body has visited Rotherham as part of a week of regional visits.
Dr Peter Geraghty, the president of the Royal Town Planning Institute, visited the proposed Bassingthorpe Farm site before visiting Rotherham Council planners at the authority’s Riverside House.
The Institute is the UK’s leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning and is the largest planning institute in Europe with more than 23,000 members.
Its role includes campaigning on a wide range of issues and helping to raise the profile of the profession as well as generating awareness of the invaluable contribution planners make to building sustainable communities and helping to drive economic wealth.
As part of the visit the president looked at proposed sites suggested in the Local Plan, such as the Bassingthorpe Farm, which is currently the subject of public consultation.
He also discussed issues facing Rotherham - providing an adequate housing supply whilst protecting the environment, on-going works to improve the town centre and joint working with consultants and landowners.
Dr Geraghty said he was impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of the Rotherham planning officers.
He added: “It was great to finish my presidential tour of the Yorkshire region by visiting Rotherham.”
“I was delighted to meet planners and colleagues from the authority and to hear first hand of the valuable work they are doing.”
“I was particularly struck by the passion and enthusiasm of everyone to make Rotherham a better place for its citizens.”
“The willingness of officers to work collaboratively with other agencies and the private sector is an example of the value planners can bring to society, which is why I am proud of both planning and planners.”
He said that one of the main aims during his term of office was to raise the profile of planning and its aim to be business-friendly, adding value to communities and building confidence for developers.
Bronwen Knight, planning manager for Rotherham Council, said it was a real honour that the institute’s president visited Rotherham.
She added: “Like many planning authorities across the country, Rotherham is currently working on its Local Plan and consulting with the public on proposed sites across the borough.”
“By visiting the suggested site at Bassingthorpe Farm and seeing first hand the collaborative work between the authority, planning consultants and local landowners, Dr Geraghty was able to appreciate the amount of work that has to be done if we are to meet our targets for housing provision and employment land across the borough and our determination to consult effectively with the public.”
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