Women in Planning London When Women Plan London – Housing: From Application to Occupation – 04/09/18 @ City Hall

Women in Planning


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When Women Plan London – Housing – From Application to Occupation

London’s housing crisis is the biggest issue facing the capital. At a minimum, London needs 66,000 new homes each year for at least twenty years. There is no silver bullet that will solve the capital’s housing crisis and recent housing strategies haven’t been effective. So, what can we learn from women who have successfully delivered housing from “Application to Occupation?”

Venue: London’s Living Room City Hall

Date: 4 September 2018


  • 16:30 – Registration and Networking
  • 17:30 – 17:35 – Welcome
  • 17:35 – 17:40 Chairs address – Sara Sweeney, Planning Manager, Kitewood and Women in Planning London
  • 17:40 – 18:00 Presentation “Women’s role in delivering housing in London” – Claire Bennie, Director, Municipal
  • 18:00 – 19:00 “From Application to Occupation” a panel discussion considering housing delivery in the round
  • 19:00 – 20:30 – Networking
  • 20:30 – Close

Event Chair:

  • Sara Sweeny, Planning Manager, Kitewood and Women in Planning London

Speakers and panellists:

  • Claire Bennie, Director, Municipal and Mayor’s Design Advocate
  • Liz Connell, Associate Director (Planning), Countryside
  • Michela Hancock, Senior Development Director, Greystar
  • Pooja Agrawal, Principal Project Officer, GLA and Co-Founder, Public Practice

Further panellist will be announced shortly.

It is free to attend but booking is essential, reserve your place at the following link:

Kindly sponsored by:



How to get to City Hall

Tube- stations London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines and mainline station; Tower Hill (Circle and District lines); Tower Gateway (Docklands Light Railway)

Buses- 42, 47, 381, RV1

Bicycles- bike racks are available at City Hall, on the South side of the building by Potters Fields Park

All visitors to City Hall are security searched on entry to the building

Limited blue-badge parking is available and must be booked in advance

Full directional information and maps can be found on the Greater London Authority website


  • All guests will be security searched on arrival at City Hall.
  • You will be allocated a registration area, you should provide name badges for all your guests so they can be identified as attending your event.
  • Please remember that City Hall is open to the public from 08:30-18.00 Monday-Thursday and 08:30-17:30 Friday.
event write up

Women in Planning South Midlands successfully hosted their launch event on Thursday 19th July in Milton Keynes.

As with any launch event, you can imagine the worry the South Midlands Committee had that nobody would turn up. After a long exchange of emails between Ellie, Becky and Mel from the initial thought for the branch over a pizza in Milton Keynes, and latterly joined by Claire and me, we came to a consensus that things should be simple and informal for our first event.  We hoped this would provide a chance for those attending to come along and introduce themselves in a more relaxed setting and it would help to generate more exposure going forward.

Well, we need not have worried.  In fact, we were overwhelmed by the amount of support that we had in terms of turnout and interest from those who could not make the event.

The evening saw a gathering of around 20 planners from a range of planning backgrounds from across the South Midlands. It would seem like a gin and tonic makes for a fine combination with planning talk. We had a chance to ask those in our region what they would like to get from Women in Planning SM and what events we could hold in the future.

For me, as a resident of Milton Keynes and a recent graduate, what stood out was the diversity of the people that came. From women just starting in the planning profession like me, to those who have had long careers and have set up their own consultancies. Unlike with networking events I have been to in the past there was not a generational divide and instead I saw a genuine interest from all attending in getting to know one another. It also attracted women from across the whole of the region with planners travelling from Bedford, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire to join us. It really embodied the ethos of Women in Planning and is the reason why we wanted to launch a branch of Women in Planning in this area.

The event was kindly sponsored by David Lock Associates a Milton Keynes based muti-disciplinary planning and design practice. The WiP South Midlands Branch cannot stress enough how invaluable this sponsorship and early support was for our launch event.

We are already at work organising our next event so please ensure that you are signed up to our mailing list and following us on social media!

Suzi Green,  South Mids Branch Committee Member and Graduate Planner at Bidwells

event write up

Thank you for joining Women in Planning London at our Summer Social – 26 July 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined Women in Planning London at The Paternoster on the 26 July 2018 at our annual Summer Social.

We were glad to meet old and new contacts in planning.

We are extremely grateful to Real Rec for sponsoring the evening and supporting the network. Congratulations to the winners of the prize draw Daniella Marocco and Charlotte Morphet.

Look out for details of our next event on 4 September 2018 coming soon!

For more photos please follow us on Facebook at WOMENINPLANNINGUK

event write up, North West committee

Challenging the Convention: The Future of Housing

Women in Planning North West were delighted to welcome a number of our members to our third event of our inaugural year kindly hosted and sponsored by Cushman and Wakefield on 28 June. The theme for the evening was Challenging the Convention: The Future of Housing – exploring different ways to deliver the ambitious Government target of 300,000 homes per year.

The evening was introduced by Rhian Davitt-Jones, Senior Consultant at Cushman and Wakefield and Vice Chair of Women in Planning North West.

Caroline Baker, Head of Cushman and Wakefield’s Manchester Office, kicked off by providing an overview of the housing market in Manchester City centre and its surrounds, which is showing positive indications following an increase in completions in 2017. Caroline’s key message was that: Increasing housing completions is not rocket science but requires a number of different ingredients including: willing developers such as registered providers (example New Charter Homes, Summers Quay development in Stalybridge) and disruptors – innovators that do things in a difference way (example Place First, Welsh Streets in Liverpool); building in a variety of locations and types of houses such as in town centres; and offering a range of new homes for a variety of occupiers including the over 55s.

Dr. Paul Jones, Director at Capital and Centric Developments explained how new challengers’ such as Capital and Centric are seeking to challenge the convention of housing. Following an outline of some of Capital and Centric’s exiting new schemes and the innovative programme Regeneration Brainery for young people, Paul presented their exciting concept for affordable, cool houses for people: the Nowhaus. The Nowhaus seeks to make best use of land with high density, low rise, well-designed spacious affordable homes. The concept goes further than bricks and mortar with facilities for the community such as car sharing and secure bike parking.

Danielle Gillespie, General Manager North West, Homes England explained that the clear remit of Homes England is to be a disruptor to accelerate the delivery of new homes through intervention and diversification of the market. Homes England are proposing to operationalise these targets and the agency sees itself as a master developer bringing forward large sites. Nicola Elsworth, Head of Public Sector Land in the North West at Homes England explained that the agency is intervening where there is the greatest housing need and where the market won’t go by acquiring sites, de-risking them and funding essential infrastructure to unlock the potential of these sites.

The key messages to come out of the panel discussion were:

• The issue of house building is not just down to land but the capacity to build and new ways of building need to be put into practice – Homes England are in discussion with the Government about the training and skills required.

• Start to see Homes England coming into play more in housing delivery.

• The housing crisis is not going to be solved by traditional housebuilders. There is a need for disruptors and innovators who will challenge the convention of housing and contribute to the ambitious delivery targets.

During the panel Q & A speakers were also asked to offer some career advice to others in the planning and development sector. Their tips were to just go for a promotion/ new job even if you don’t meet all the job criteria, push yourself, be bold, have a go and keep a record of work that you do.

We are extremely grateful for all of our speakers.

We look forward to seeing you at our forthcoming events a Walking Tour on 20th September and a Mock Inquiry/training day on 5th October.

event write up

Thank you for joining Women in Planning London and Dentons – 19 June 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined Women in Planning London and Dentons on the 19 June 2018 at our third event of the ‘When Women Plan London’ series. The theme for this evening event was ‘Unlocking growth through infrastructure’ and it was well attended by professionals across the public and private sector. We are extremely grateful to Dentons for hosting and sponsoring this event.
The event was introduced by Rachael Herbert, planning lawyer at Dentons and Vice Chair of the Women in Planning London Committee.
Cynthia Bowen, President of the American Planning Association, then delivered a presentation on the American experience, focussing on the potential that infrastructure projects have to unlock housing, affordable housing, employment growth, green space and create new communities such was the case with the Atlanta BeltLine, which started of as a university student’s thesis. There were however similar challenges shared between the UK and the US which include community involvement and funding for large scale projects although in some instances cities are actively voting to raise taxes in support of infrastructure delivery. The Minneapolis- St Paul line was a prime example of this where engagement with communities was used well to enhance the green line to add more stations to its route.
The topic was then discussed by our esteemed all female panel:
  1. Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI (formerly CEO of Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation)
  2. Caroline Taylor, Commercial Specialist, Delivery Unit of the Infrastructure & Projects Authority
  3. Caroline Foster, Senior Development Manager at Urban & Civic
  4. Cynthia Bowen, President of the American Planning Association
with James Drinan, chief executive of the American Planning Association, moderating the discussion.
Some of the key takeaway points from the panel discussion include:
  • Improvements to journey times through better transport infrastructure will change people’s working and commuting lifestyles looking at Manchester, Birmingham and Cambridge
  • Community engagement is important for discussions but important not to change the narrative for development
  • Important for planners to think about place making which will have a positive future impact on health and well being if people can walk and cycle to their jobs, services and facilities
  • Important to reach out to the future generations to involve them in infrastructure decisions that will have an impact on their lifestyle. The APA are working with local high schools and have published an illustrated book targeting younger generations to think about places.
We look forward to seeing you at our next event – the Summer Social on 26 July 2018.

End photoPanel discussion


NEW EVENT: London Summer Social @ The Paternoster, St Pauls – 26 July 2018

Our annual Summer Social is not one to be missed! Join Women in Planning London for drinks, nibbles, and networking at The Paternoster, St Pauls.

Women in Planning is an inclusive network and bookings are open to all planning and built environment professionals. Non-members (including male professionals) are also welcome.

Our social events offer a great opportunity to meet new people and network with those from similar professional backgrounds. Spaces are limited therefore booking is essential…don’t miss out!

This event is free to attend but booking is essential.

Date: 26 July 2018

Time: 18:00 to close

Venue: The Paternoster, 2-4 Queens Head Passage, Paternoster Square, London, EC4M 7DZ

Book via the following link

This event is kindly sponsored by:

Events, networking, North West committee

North West Event – Challenging Convention: The Future of Housing? – 28 June 2018 – Book Now!


Join Women in Planning North West for an evening of interesting debate and discussion on ‘Challenging Convention: The Future of Housing?’  on the 28 June 2018 at Cushman & Wakefield. The event has been organised to coincide with the CIH Housing Conference 2018 in Manchester.

Hear from our expert panel of speakers:

Caroline Baker, Partner Cushman & Wakefield – Caroline Baker is a Partner and Head of Cushman & Wakefield’s Manchester office and last year celebrated working for C&W/DTZ in Manchester for 20 years. She advises a range of clients in the North West, on all aspects of development issues ranging in scale from sub-regional to site specific. Caroline’s strength lies in her ability to draw upon the market advice provided from our property sector specialists and incorporate this into strategies that support development. She specialises in residential development advice including strategy and development advice to local authorities, as well as overseeing market analysis to support landowners and housebuilders to understand local markets, pricing products and target occupiers. She often advises on emerging markets including PRS and Town Centres.

Louise Wyman, Head of Strategy, Homes England – Louise is Head of Strategy at Homes England, responsible for increasing the supply of well-designed homes in great places across England. Louise is a Planning Committee Member for London Legacy Development Corporation and was previously an Executive Director of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. Louise is a Chartered Surveyor and a Landscape Architect experienced at working with the public and private sector to deliver award winning projects. Louise is an Ambassador for Harvard University’s Design School supporting the exchange of planning, design and development innovation between academia and industry.

Paul Jones, Development Manager Capital & Centric – Paul works for Capital and Centric, leading on the delivery of NOWHAUS, a design led suburban housing solution. Previously at Urban Splash, Paul has worked on a number of design led residential and commercial urban regeneration and property development projects in the North West of England. A chartered planning and development surveyor since 2004, Paul was also awarded a Professional Doctorate in the field of the Built Environment by the University of Salford in 2017.

For more details and to book please click here.