HS2 design panel appointed

The firm created by the government to deliver the High Speed Two (HS2) rail project has appointed a new 46-strong design panel, including a past president of the Planning Officers Society.

HS2: design panel appointed
HS2: design panel appointed

The panel comprises 46 members with backgrounds in architecture, masterplanning, urban design, landscaping, engineering and town planning.

Among panelists is Paul Watson, an independent planning and urban design consultant who advises the Department for Communities and Local Government and is a past president of the Planning Officers Society.

He is also an external examiner at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Birmingham.

According to HS2 Ltd, Watson left his role as strategic director for regeneration and development with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in 2013 after 35 years of working in local government, where he "demonstrated a commitment to and delivery of proactive and positive planning and urban design."

Also on the panel is Tony Burton, who works on a wide range of community and sustainability projects and has 25 years of experience on the boards of conservation and community-based charities.

In 2010, he founded Civic Voice - the national charity for the civic movement - and was previously director of strategy and external affairs at the National Trust, director of policy and communications at the Design Council and deputy director at the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

In his official HS2 biog, he is described as "one of the country’s leading neighbourhood planners and advised HS2 Ltd on establishing the independent design panel."

HS2 Ltd chief executive, Simon Kirby said he was "delighted" over the creation of the panel, which would be "contributing to the project’s development in areas where their specialist experience and opinion is required."

The full membership of the panel can be found here. 

Planning ’s latest practical seminar Planning For HS2 will aim to empower key HS2 stakeholders through exploring where the opportunities provided by phase one and two lie, and by discussing how the public and private sectors can work together to capitalise on them. More. 

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