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GLA farewell

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The launch of Ken Livingstone's 'Spatial Development Strategy' consultation document has had a reasonably enthusiastic reception but is already resulting in some administrative fall-out. Martin Simmons, genial planning chief at the Greater London Authority, has resigned. He reaches retirement age this July, but might have been expected to stay on to see the planning through. He was less than amused by the hiring of a consultant from KPMG to 'project manage' the delivery of the plan, or by the way the mayor took over the process he developed (with deputy mayor Nicky Gavron) to produce a document for launch last December. Since he was chief planner at the London Planning Advisory Committee for a decade, Simmons has more expertise on London planning than virtually anyone else. Perhaps the GLA will take him on as a consultant, too.

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