Vincent Goodstadt's visit to the East Midlands covered all aspects of planning. First, he went to the North Mill at Belper, part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, and talked to the planners and councillors involved in the regeneration of Belper. He then travelled to Matlock to launch Derbyshire County Council's teaching pack for schools on Designing Sustainable Neighbourhoods.
This pioneering teaching pack will enable pupils to be taught how they can help shape and improve the areas where they live. Part of the learning experience will be to show how sustainability starts in the community and how the development process increasingly relies on residents' participation.
The president took the opportunity to hear the views of planners based in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire about the implications of the proposed changes to the planning system. The discussions also covered wider issues such as rural planning, renewable energy and how to get more young people involved in planning.