First day in the job for new shared director

20 June 2016

A new shared director of planning and economic development has begun his new role overseeing one of the leading economies in the country.

Stephen Kelly has taken up the joint role at Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to ensure the Greater Cambridge area builds on its world leading innovation.

The role will help shape and oversee the delivery of thousands of new jobs and high quality new communities, including the delivery of much needed housing for all.

Council bosses have warmly welcomed Stephen’s arrival as he has the leadership, drive and passion to build on the successful partnership the two Councils have developed.

The new role replaces two existing vacancies in planning and economic development at both councils and will remove duplication, open up new opportunities as well as raising the profile of the area with Government and potential investors.

Stephen Kelly has a professional career spanning 27 years, including over 13 years as a manager and director leading change and transformation programmes for planning and building control services in Hertfordshire, the Midlands and London.

His experience also includes planning and development in some of the most beautiful places in the UK – Bath, North Devon Heritage Coast and the Gower Peninsula.

Stephen Kelly said, “I am relishing the opportunity to return to East Anglia where I grew up. Greater Cambridge is one of the most exciting areas in the UK to be a planner. I am looking forward to working with local communities, key landowners and the development industry to realise the aspirations for carefully managed growth that can provides opportunities for everyone.

“As a regular visitor to the Cambridge area in my youth, the city has played an important part in shaping my interest in architecture and planning. I therefore feel privileged to lead an excellent team of officers dedicated to maintaining the unique heritage and quality of life that our resits and business in this area enjoy – whilst ensuring that the city and its surrounding areas can thrive and evolve to meet the needs of modern life.”

Councillor Peter Topping, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We are really pleased to have Stephen on board as he has a vital role to play in shaping one of the most important economies in the country. Everyone knows more high quality homes and transport links are needed to support our successful economy in Greater Cambridge and Stephen’s role is about building on our successes and shape the area to make sure it continues to be one of the best places to live and work in the country.”

Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council said: “The two councils have already achieved major gains for our communities by joint working on planning and transport, not least in joining up our two Local Plans. Stephen’s new role encapsulates our ambitions to achieve even more in managing growth so we share the benefits to all our residents and make the most of our many opportunities from joint working.

“Fresh leadership will also enable us to get on top of difficult challenges arising from rapid growth, particularly housing and the vital issue of affordability for all income levels.”