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Sadie Morgan to chair infrastructure design panel

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dRMM director Sadie Morgan is to chair a new design panel at the National Infrastructure Commission

She will take on the future-looking role alongside her numerous other industry responsibilities.

Morgan is already chair of the independent design panel for High Speed Two, and a commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission. She is also deputy chair of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, a design advocate for the Greater London Authority and a non-executive director for the Major Projects Association.

Morgan will be joined on the NIC design panel by director of urban design consultancy Publica, Lucy Musgrave; founder of civil engineering firm AKT II, Hanif Kara; and global transport leader at engineering giant Arup, Isabel Dedring.

A spokeswoman for the commission said this was the very start of the panel’s life, and it had yet to decide how often it would meet, and when and how others would be invited to join.

The group will draw on the expertise of Tony Burton, who led the establishment of the HS2 design panel and developed its working methods and approach.

Aims include creating a detailed proposal for ensuring quality design in future major infrastructure; recommending a working model and remit for any future group; and establishing initial design principles.

Morgan said: ‘Well-designed infrastructure is crucial to creating desirable, thriving communities.

‘Work already done by the commission shows the UK will need to plan for new homes over coming decades, in new and existing settlements, supported by the right social and economic infrastructure.

‘Good design helps us solve the many challenges associated with achieving this, which is why a national design panel is such a crucial step.’

The NIC was established as an executive agency of the Treasury last year to make independent recommendations to ministers on infrastructure priorities.

Last month, Labour peer Andrew Adonis stood down as chair of the NIC, blaming ‘fundamental differences which simply cannot be bridged’ between himself and the government.

Morgan said at the time: ‘I’ll miss his ability to take risks and get things done – a rarity in politics.’

Just before Christmas, the NIC announced plans for a 20-strong young professionals panel, made up of young architects, designers and planners, which will advise the body as it develops the UK’s first ever national infrastructure assessment. 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Isn't Isabel Dedring's part in TfL's murky 'Garden Bridge' antics sufficient cause to disqualify her from involvement in the NIC?

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