The new body was first announced in October, when the government appointed Nicholas Boys Smith as its head.
The body is tasked with advising authorities on how to make use of the design guidance and locally-produced design codes that the government wants to play an increasing part in plan-making and development management. The body is also meant to broadly challenge the development sector to build better places.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) confirmed the names but not the employers of the group members, who have been appointed in a personal capacity. However, taking into consideration the profile in the sector of people with these names, Planning has inferred that the group includes three chartered planners:
Victoria Hills, chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
Adrian Penfold, head of planning at developer British Land
Anna Rose, head of the planning advisory service (PAS) at the Local Government Association
The other members of the group (whose names have been confirmed by the government, but not their job titles or employers) are:
Vidhya Alakeson, chief executive of independent trust, Power to Change
Andrew Cameron, director at consultancy Andrew Cameron and Associates
Esther Kurland, director at consultancy Urban Design London
Rt Hon Ben Gummer, former minister for the Cabinet Office and paymaster general from July 2016 until June 2017
Ben Page, chief executive of market research company Ipsos MORI
Robert Adam, owner of Robert Adam Architectural Consultancy
Sarah James, policy and membership development officer at charity Civic Voice
Stephen Stone, housebuilding expert
Paul Monaghan, partner at architecture practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)
Sir John Hayes MP (parliamentary representative)
The government has also outlined the initial aims of the steering group. They include finding the most effective ways to support local authorities in implementing design codes, ensuring that community feedback is fed into local design guidance, and that design codes are supported by digital tools and processes.
The group has also been asked to work out its strategic objectives for the next three years, and report to the secretary of state Robert Jenrick by March 2021.