Download images of the Independent members HERE.
The LLDC Board has appointed two new independent members to the Planning Decisions Committee to ensure that decisions on planning applications are made in an open, transparent and impartial manner for the LLDC area, including Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Hackney Wick and Fish Island.
The Planning Decisions Committee consists of three LLDC Board members, four independent members including new appointees Abdul Thahid and Martha Grekos and five local Councillors recommended by the four boroughs directly affected by the proposals for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding areas.
The two new Independent Committee members are:
•Abdul Thahid BSc (Hons), MRICS - Independent member
• Martha Grekos- Independent member
Pam Alexander, Chair, LLDC Planning Decisions Committee, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the newly appointed Independent Members to the Committee and look forward to working with all four of them. This is a real opportunity for these individuals to help shape and influence Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding areas including Hackney Wick and Fish Island, Pudding Mill and Bromley by Bow and take forward regeneration plans for the area to bring lasting benefits to east London.”
Abdul Thahid has over 14 years experience in development project management across a broad range of sectors including mixed use, leisure, events stadia, commercial and residential led schemes. A notable highlight of his career is helping deliver the beach volleyball venue at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the prestigious Horse Guards Parade ground as project manager. During his career Abdul has worked for both commercial developers and blue chip consultancies gaining valuable experience of the full project life cycle. Abdul is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and holds a BSc Honours degree in construction project management.
Abdul Thahid, BSc (Hons), MRICS, Independent Member of the LLDC Planning Decisions Committee, said: “I was fortunate enough to be involved in delivering the 2012 Olympic Games as a project manager and now, a decade later having the opportunity to contribute and influence the legacy in a strategic capacity is beyond exciting.
“I am passionate about using my professional skills and personal experience to support community investment where benefits are realised across the full spectrum of society. Real estate development can be a catalyst for positive change and growth when carefully balanced with social and economic wellbeing. I feel becoming an Independent Planning Decisions Committee Member will help me towards this goal.”
Martha Grekos is a Director (Barrister) at Martha Grekos Legal Consultancy Limited. She specialises in Planning Law and Policy. She has worked on some of the most complex and politically sensitive urban regeneration, development and infrastructure projects in London and nationwide. Before returning to independent practice, Martha was a Partner and Head of Planning at a top city law firm. She also taught planning law at the University of Cambridge after she graduated from there with a Masters in Law. She writes for many of the leading planning and real estate publications and is an Editorial Board Member for Lexis Nexis and is invited to speak regularly at many conferences. Martha is ranked as one of the most influential women in planning (Planner, 2020), ranked in Chambers UK (2019) as an “up and coming” planning lawyer in London and recommended as a “Leading Planning Junior” in Legal 500 (2019). Martha is also a Non-Executive Director of the Thames Estuary Growth Board, a member of the Mayor of London’s infrastructure Advisory Panel, a strategic advisor to the Civil Aviation Authority and was a legal advisor to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Martha was born and lives in London. She is passionate about London and believes that the planning and delivery of London’s infrastructure can be improved for the benefit of residents, the environment, the economy and wider society. Martha has always given back to her profession, the City and to charity and is an advocate for nurturing talent from all backgrounds and providing access and opportunities to all to thrive. She is champion for diversity and inclusion in all spectrums in the real estate sector given the organisations and committees she is involved in and her own personal background.
Martha Grekos, Independent Member of the LLDC Planning Decisions Committee, said: “I am honoured and proud to have been appointed as an independent member of the LLDC Planning Committee. I am very much looking forward to working with everyone so as to keep delivering on the regeneration and legacy successes for the area. I am passionate about London and I believe that the planning and delivery of London’s place-making, sustainable urban development and green and grey infrastructure can be improved for the benefit of residents, the environment, the economy and wider society.”
Both Piers Gough CBE RA and James Fennell BA (Hons) MRTPI MRICS FRSA have been re-appointed as Independent members.
Piers Gough established CZWG Llp Architects with his partners in 1975. He is widely recognised as an innovative architect, writer and leader in the profession and has designed many acclaimed buildings and master plans. He was involved with English Heritage for 12 years, first as a member of the London Advisory Committee and the Urban Panel then latterly as a Commissioner; he was then a Commissioner of CABE and a chairman of its Design Review Panels. In 2013 he became an independent member of the Planning Decisions Committee of the London Legacy Development Corporation.
Piers Gough CBE RA, Independent Member of the LLDC Planning Decisions Committee, said: ‘The high standard of planning applications to the LLDC is a testament to the quality demanded of applicants and their architects. It is a great pleasure to experience the emerging townscapes and fine buildings of this ongoing Olympic legacy.”
James Fennell BA (Hons) MRTPI MRICS FRSA has been the Chief Executive of planning and development consultancy Lichfields for over 10 years. He has 30 years of experience of planning in London and across the UK. James is a chartered surveyor and chartered town planner and he chairs the Revo Planning Working Group
James Fennell, Independent Member of the LLDC Planning Decisions Committee, said: There are still plenty of development proposals coming forward around the Quuen Elizabeth Olympic Park so I am delighted to continue to play a small part in assisting that process, alongside other members of the Planning Decisions Committee.”
The Planning Decisions Committee (PDC) will either make the decisions on the applications submitted to LLDC or delegate the decision to Officers of the LLDC Planning Policy and Decisions Team (PPDT).