Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) president Tim Crawshaw was given walking tours of Reading and Oxford when he joined members of Savills’ central planning team.

Mr Crawshaw took a presidential tour of the Thames Valley on September 29 and 30 with the help of Savills’ Roger Smith and Stefania Petrosino, both members of the RTPI South East regional activities committee.

The president visits every RTPI region in his or her year of office and Mr Crawshaw chose to focus this year’s South East tour on the Thames Valley.

On Thursday, September 29 Mr Smith led a walking tour of Oxford alongside Andrew Murdoch of Oxford City Council. The group took in the new Jesus College building in Cornmarket and Westgate Oxford shopping centre as well as future development sites at Broad Street, where the city council proposes new access to green space, and the Oxpens site.

Mr Crawshaw and Stefania Petrosino also spoke to students at Oxford Brookes University before a drinks reception at Savills’ Oxford office.

The following day Mr Crawshaw met councillors and planning officers in Reading to discuss the Station Hill development site. The tour also included the Abbey Quarter where the ruins of Reading Abbey remain and where the town hall and museum are close by.

The day ended at the University of Reading’s energy centre, where the president was shown how the campus controls energy provision. A small drinks reception brought the president’s visit to a close.

Roger Smith said: “The president’s visit provided a great opportunity to showcase the good work of planners in Oxford and Reading who, as he acknowledged in his presentation to students at Oxford Brookes, are the ‘general practitioners of the built environment’.

“The drinks reception at our Oxford office was a chance for our team and clients to meet and spend time with the president – and of course for him to get to know our team.”

Stefania Petrosino said: “The projects highlighted over the two-day tour were all strong examples of how developments are embracing important issues such as climate change, health and wellbeing and inequality.

“With both Reading University and Oxford Brookes running accredited planning degrees, the president’s visit was an excellent way to introduce students to the RTPI, ahead of the RTPI Young Planners Conference later this month, which this year is being hosted in Milton Keynes by the Thames Valley committee.”

Image: Tim Crawshaw (centre) with (l-r) Rob Linnell, Julia Mountford, David Bainbridge and Roger Smith from Savills’ central planning team.

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