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Tom Venables


Urban Planner

Tom is Planning Director at Prior + Partners with extensive experience in the delivery of planning consultancy, masterplanning, strategic planning and regeneration projects in the UK and overseas. He has led the production of a number of city-scale masterplans, local plans, major planning applications and has extensive experience in stakeholder and community engagement.

Tom has a keen interest in the development of strategies for regeneration and the planning of new communities. He has a particular specialism in the translation of masterplan and urban design proposals into planning documentation including outline design parameters, Design and Access Statements, Design Guidance and Codes.

Tom is a Trustee of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), is vice chair of its Planning Policy and Practice Committee and was chair of the RTPI London regional management board in 2011 and 2014. Tom is a former “RTPI Young Planner of the Year”.

AlUla Regional Plan Competition, Saudi Arabia

Prior + Partners supported Gillespies in their competition entry for a Regional Plan for AlUla, an area of some 2.3 million sq ha is Saudi Arabia, containing a mix of stunning desert landscapes and archaeological artefacts from a number of ancient civilisations with identified tourism potential. The competition entry proposes the area is designated a National Park, and a light touch urbanism strategy for development is imposed protecting key assets, limiting development footprint, and utilising technology such as automated vehicles to reduce the impact on the environment. Tom provided planning and development advice in production of the development strategy.

Aylesbury Garden Town Masterplan, Buckinghamshire

Prior + Partners have been supporting Alan Baxter in the development of a Masterplan for Aylesbury – awarded Garden Town Status by Government in 2017. The plan sets out a town-wide strategy for harnessing identified growth  of over 16,000 homes to 2033 to be taken forward as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to Aylesbury Vales Local Plan. In addition a strategic narrative to 2050 has been prepared defining key principles, objectives and strategy for the town.

Old Oak Common Strategic Narrative, London 

Twice the scale of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Old Oak is one of London’s largest and most strategic Opportunity Areas at the point where High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail 1 (Elizabeth Line) meet. Tom was the technical project lead responsible for co-ordinating the AECOM-consortium masterplanning team including Prior + Partners, Maccreanor Lavington, Peter Brett Associates and GVA, alongside a number of smaller London-based practices. The masterplan has developed an implementable vision for Old Oak in its international, national and local context – stitching this former rail land into the local neighbourhoods and communities, and contribute to the Mayor’s focus of accelerated delivery of affordable homes.

Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge Corridor: Housing and Infrastructure Delivery Study

Tom was the project director responsible for this research project reviewing planning and delivery of growth within the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Corridor. The commission provides analysis on the extent to which infrastructure issues present barriers to the delivery of major new housing and commercial developments within the corridor; and: the extent to which identified barriers to delivery might be removed or reduced. The study supported NIC’s recommendations to Government and resultant multi-billion budget allowance during 2017.

Royal Docks Enterprise Zone Delivery Plan, London

The newly established Royal Docks Delivery Team has been tasked with establishing a clear plan for the delivery of regeneration in the Royal Docks that utilises and prioritises receipts from the Enterprise Zone, and assists in the activation and long term economic regeneration. Tom oversaw a multi-discipline consultant team that is working closely with the RD Delivery Team to identify, prioritise and set detailed scope for projects over the next five years.


Ebbsfleet Garden City Masterplan and Implementation Framework, Kent

Tom worked with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) in the production of their Masterplan and Implementation Framework for the delivery of Ebbsfleet Garden City. The Framework seeks to identify ways that EDC can facilitate the delivery of a 21st Century Garden City at pace, and to high standards of quality and sustainability. The Framework sets out the ambition for the Garden City through a spatial masterplan that places emphasis on the use of landscape, transport, and community service provision as key place making principles. It includes a delivery framework setting out the key projects and interventions that EDC will take forward to deliver the Garden City.

Istanbul Urban Transformation Master Plan, Turkey

The Istanbul Urban Transformation Master Plan is set to provide a city wide framework for urban regeneration and transformation focused on areas at high risk from earthquake and other urban hazards. Based in a shared office with the Client in Istanbul, Tom led the AECOM team working collaboratively with the Municipality to deliver a city wide plan, and a series of priority masterplans. These documents are set to bring about sustainable and resilient regeneration of Istanbul Municipality and manage the growth of the city from 15 million in 2016 to an anticipated 20 million by 2036.

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