Michael Gwilliam is leaving the Civic Trust to become director of planning and transport at the South East Regional Assembly.

Gwilliam sees the role on the regional assembly, which will be responsible for planning in the South-east when it is launched next April, as a perfect fit for his skills. He was a planning officer with Bedford County Council and has regeneration experience from his time at the Civic Trust.

He said: “I think it is an interesting challenge. I want to make the planning process work well in the area and link it with regeneration.”

Gwilliam said he was sorry to leave the Civic Trust but the lure of the regional assembly won him over. He said: “I have enjoyed it at the Civic Trust but I am interested in the new structure because we have not had a structure like this before.”

The assembly will work with the Regional Development Agency and the Greater London Authority.