Willmott OBE

paul willmott partner head of planning cambridge
Managing Partner, Planning

Paul is the Head of Planning for the London office. A chartered town planner with over 25 years’ experience obtained through the public, private consultancy and development sectors, including 10-years working within a Development Company, he has acted for a broad range of clients, including major landowners, developers, financial institutions, the commercial property, education and medical sectors, as well as retailers and hoteliers. 

His work covers the full spectrum of planning consultancy advice from site specific issues to developing strategies for complex, challenging strategic schemes, working within and leading multi-disciplinary teams and with a focus on delivery. Projects have included a variety of complex strategic schemes, particularly large area masterplans, residential led mixed use developments and Local Authority Estate Renewal schemes, as well as advising on proposals across the commercial/industrial, retail, residential, research & development, Life Sciences, health and education sectors.

Notable examples include the Francis Crick Institute, the new £650m / 1m sqft bio-medical research institute behind the British Library which won the RTPI’s prestigious ‘Silver Jubilee Cup’ (in 2017), the award made to the most outstanding example of Excellence in Planning, the masterplan for the redevelopment of the former Kodak factory in Harrow, and the mixed-use residential led Embassy Gardens development that features the ‘Sky-pool’; a 25m crystal clear pool that spans the gap between two tall buildings opposite the new US Embassy in Nine Elms.

Prior to joining Bidwells in 2017 Paul worked for CBRE as a Senior Director in their London Planning Team.

Recent projects

  • Highgate School

Paul is the lead Partner in our appointment to Highgate School to provide strategic advice on the School’s estate strategy. Within that appointment he is advising the School on its development pipeline including engagement with the Local Authority, the preparation of Supplementary Planning Guidance for the estate and in the preparation and submission of a number of planning applications for key facilities including a new 6th Form Centre.


  • Queen Mary University of London

In the three years up to 2017, Paul was the supervising director for the provision of planning advice across the whole of the University’s estate. He has been involved in proposals for the refurbishment, redevelopment or extension of the Engineering, Mathematics and ICT Buildings at Mile End, a substantial extension to the John Vane Science Centre at Charterhouse Square and the provision of Student accommodation and refurbishment of the Abernethy Building at Whitechapel, amongst others.


  • The Francis Crick Institute, Camden

Paul was the lead Director from the outset of the project in 2007, advising a consortium comprising the Medical Research Council, University College London, Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust. Paul subsequently remained engaged in the project throughout the construction through to the completion of the project in 2017.

The project has won several architectural and property awards as well as a number of Royal Town Planning Institute awards including, in 2017:

  • ‘Best New Place to Work’ category in the London Planning Awards for Excellence;
  • The National Award for Excellence in Planning to Create Economically Successful Places; and,
  • The ‘Silver Jubilee Cup’ which is the award made to the most outstanding example of Excellence in Planning amongst all of the National Award Category Winners that year.


  • Harrow View, Harrow (Land Securities)

Paul assumed overall responsibility for the planning strategy of this strategic development site in 2009 which comprised some 26 Hectares occupied by Kodak for manufacturing purposes and including the firm’s sports centre.

A second application was made securing consent for development of up to 2,000 new homes, 32,360 sq m of Employment, 2,000 sq m of Retail, 9,730 sq m of Community Uses, 10,230 sq m of Senior Living/Care Home and, a 3FE Primary School.

Related content
RTPI 2018 Awards Logo FINALIST large2

Bidwells and Redrow Homes nominated for prestigious planning industry award

Bidwells is a finalist in the Excellence in Planning for Homes (large schemes) category at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.

Bidwells and GLA Focus on the London Plan at the Annual RTPI London Summit

On 30 November, the RTPI London is holding its Annual Summit at the Museum of London, which aims to explore issues affecting the London Planning community, the London Plan, ‘Good Growth’ and best practice across the Capital.
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