12 November 2008
The planning team has announced three new
The move will further strengthen Capita Symonds’ LDF and
Planning Policy Advice offerings which are designed to support the
development of local authority planning policy teams as they adapt
to the challenges of the new planning system following the
publication of the new PPS12 on Local Spatial Planning.
Blyth (left) has joined the team as Associate Director
responsible for leading the Planning Policy team. He joins the
company from the Department for Communities and Local Government
(DCLG) where he was policy lead for Local Development Frameworks
During his time with the DCLG Richard played a central part in
driving forward the national programme for the delivery of
development plan documents in partnership with the Planning
Advisory Service and Government Offices for the Regions.
Richard was also responsible for the new PPS12 dealing with
Local Spatial Planning which set out the role for LDFs within wider
local government. This groundbreaking review was widely welcomed
across the industry as it marked a significant shift away from an
emphasis on detailed processes towards a focus on outcomes - making
plans justifiable and deliverable.
As LDF lead, Richard also liaised with policy leads on related
fields, making an input into housing supply policy, planning gain
supplement, community infrastructure levy and the introduction of
the Infrastructure Planning Commission, as well as assisting the
Minister in Committee on the Planning Reform Bill 2008.
Paul Nichols, Capita Symonds’ Director Planning said: “Richard
is a successful leader of planning teams and has gained valuable
insight into the development of new planning policy at Central
Government level. Richard’s appointment is crucial as it will
enable our rapidly expanding planning team to widen its offering
even further, particularly with regards to the vital area of
Richard is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI)
and holds a BA in Geography from Cambridge University and a Master
in Civic Design from the University of Liverpool.
Megginson (right) has joined the team as Principal Town
Claire joins the company from the Government Office for the
North East where she was responsible for a broad range of planning
work including the regional spatial strategy, local development
frameworks and planning casework on large applications.
She has extensive experience of town planning having held
various positions within County, District and Unitary local
authorities throughout North East England and within the RSS and
Planning Teams at the Government Office for the North East.
Claire’s experience has focussed on planning policy development
and scrutiny. She played a key role on behalf of Government
Office for the North East in the Regional Spatial Strategy
consultation processes and in providing evidence at the public
examination on behalf of the government.
She has built up strong relationships with local authorities
throughout the North East region, providing advice on sound Local
Development Framework preparation and processes and handling
departure referrals and call in requests on large scale
Claire is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and
holds a BA (Hons) and Diploma in Town Planning from Newcastle
Paul Nichols, Capita Symonds’ Director Planning said: “Claire
has an in-depth appreciation of the requirements of the spatial
planning agenda and the revised LDF system. She is extremely
well-equipped to offer practical support to planning policy teams,
with the expertise to assure the quality and soundness of their
core strategies and other local development documents.”
Jonathan Harris has also joined as Planning
Consultant where he will be responsible for the preparation,
submission and management of various client planning
Jonathan has a range of experience across both the public and
private sector, including the handing of planning applications on
residential and commercial schemes, development management, policy
advice and planning appeal processes.
He joins the company from Penwith District Council in Cornwall
where he was Consultant Planning Officer dealing with large
schemes, complex planning applications and appeals, and Section 106
agreements. His specific project experience included dealing with a
range of applications including mixed use developments, industrial
sites, commercial units and residential proposals.
The role also included representing the Local Authority as a
professional witness at a public inquiry and pre-application
discussions, as well as advising on a range of larger developments
within the district.
Paul Nichols, Capita Symonds’ Director Planning said:
“Jonathan’s strength is his positive nature and ability to engage
with developers and stakeholders to achieve positive results.”
Jonathan has a MSc Planning Practice and Research and BA (Hons)