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Independent Chair appointed to Taunton Garden Town Delivery Board

22 February 2023 : Council news, Planning and development

Following the award of ‘Garden Town’ status to Taunton by the Government in January 2017, Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council is pleased to announce Jim Claydon as the Independent Chair for the new Taunton Garden Town Delivery Board.

Proposals to establish a Delivery Board were agreed by SWT’s Executive in November last year to ensure robust governance arrangements for its Taunton Garden Town project.

The Delivery Board will provide strategic leadership and oversight of the overall project and will shortly be joined by new Community /Stakeholder and Developer / Landowner Forums.

These new groups, together with the Delivery Board will provide forums for greater engagement and collaboration going forward.

Jim, who is a retired Chartered Town Planner, is highly experienced in a range of town planning related fields and is an experienced Independent Chair and Board Member having held several previous positions.

He has been President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Head of the School of Planning and Architecture (University of the West of England) and an Examining Inspector for nationally significant infrastructure projects with the Planning Inspectorate.

He also has an interest in the design of built environments having previously been a Board Member of the Creating Excellence (South West) & Chair of its Design Programme Steering Group.

Jim said: “I am very pleased to take up this position and get involved in the Garden Town, which is a significant project for Taunton.

"I look forward to working positively with a range of community representatives, local and national organisations, and the Council to help shape the future of the town.”

Cllr Mike Rigby, Executive Member for Planning, Transportation and Economic Development, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jim to the Taunton Garden Town project as Independent Chair.

"He will bring with him a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience that the project can only benefit from.

"The establishment of the Delivery Board with Jim at the helm will help us realise our vision for the Garden Town.”