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City of London installs new design chief

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The City of London has appointed Gwyn Richards as its new head of design

The role will see him taking over part of the responsibilities of ex-City Planning Officer and design figurehead Peter Rees who left the corporation after more than 25 years to join the Bartlett in March.

Richards has been at the corporation for seven years and is one of a trio of assistant directors reporting to the authority’s new chief planning officer and development director Annie Hampson.

Born in Wales, Richards has more than ‘twenty years of experience at senior officer level in urban design in central London’, having previously worked at the City of Westminster (between 2001 and 2007) and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (between 1995 and 2001).

Richards said: ‘I’m relishing continuing to work with the City’s highly experienced and committed team in my new role. This will involve negotiating the highest architectural and urban design quality both in innovative buildings as well as refined contextual developments and historic buildings.

I want to forging a clear vision for the City’s tall building cluster

‘We will continue to challenge mediocre designs and enhance our understanding of how the City will evolve in the future so we can proactively plan for these changes. I look forward to forging a clear vision for the City’s tall building cluster and in realising an inclusive city for all.’


Previous story (AJ 30.09.13)

City planning chief Peter Rees to exit

City Planning Officer Peter Rees is set to leave the corporation after more than 25 years overseeing development in the square mile

The high-profile, architect-trained planner is understood to be facing retirement following a restructure which means his role will not be renewed.

The move comes after the City of London merged Rees’s planning and transportation department with the highways and cleansing division in 2011.

Highways and cleansing chief Philip Everett was made head of the new built environment department at the time and although Rees was retained no money was earmarked to pay for him after April 2014.  

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