Joe Ridgeon of George F White chosen to lead North East town planners in challenging year

27th January 2012

Planning consultant Joe Ridgeon of George F White has been appointed Chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in the North East. At 26, he is the youngest ever to have been appointed. A reception in Newcastle on Thursday 26 January marked his appointment.

The Royal Town Planning Institute is the professional organisation for planning experts in the public and consultancy sectors. The organisation works to develop and shape policy affecting the built environment and promotes good planning throughout the UK, as well as consistently raising the standards of the planning profession.

Joe is based in George F White’s Wolsingham office in County Durham. He works closely with clients to obtain planning permission for a range of developments including mixed use development, residential, commercial, retail, leisure and tourist projects; preparing site appraisals and engaging in the development plan process to promote client interests. He has also been working to promote renewable projects across the North of England.

He completed an RTPI accredited Masters Degree in Town Planning at the University of Newcastle in 2007, this followed a Bachelor of Arts Geography Degree at the University of Durham. He has worked in both the public and private consultancy sectors.

Joe looks forward to the year ahead and will be incorporating three main themes into his year as Chair of the RTPI:

  • The importance of rural planning
  • Working with other professions
  • Demonstrating by example that planning is part of the solution, not the problem.

He says: “The planning system is undergoing significant review at present to ensure it is more responsive to the priority of generating jobs and delivering new homes, while ensuring appropriate safeguards remain in place for protected areas. I have no doubt that 2012 will be a very challenging year for the planning industry and I look forward to leading RTPI North East during this period.”

David Stovell, immediate past Chair of RTPI North East, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Joe Ridgeon as our new North East Chair. Good planning, using sustainable development principles, is an important and valuable tool for meeting our future economic needs in the North East. With Joe’s undoubted skills, experience and enthusiasm we look forward to the RTPI, as well as our region, moving forward with success”.

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