One of the most influential figures in the development of the City of London over the past three decades is to exit after restructure

Peter Rees

One of the most influential figures in the development of the City of London over the past three decades, Peter Rees, is exiting the City’s planning department due to an internal restructure, Building can reveal.

Rees, who has shaped development in the Square Mile over 28 years as City planning officer, will leave the City of London Corporation by next April. His exit comes after the City only budgeted for Rees’ role for two years when in 2011 it merged two departments - planning and transportation, formerly led by Rees, and highways and cleansing.

City of London’s former head of highways and cleansing, Philip Everett, was at the time promoted above Rees to become director of the newly-created department of the built environment.

Rees (pictured) was retained, even though he no longer directed a department, but the money for his post runs out at the end of the current financial year, so there will be no City planning officer.

The City of London declined to disclose Rees’ and Everett’s salaries, but according to its published pay bands, senior officers can earn up to £226,530 a year.

Rees, 65, declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his departure, but said he was not planning to retire: “I’m available - ideally for my own television chat show, but I’m available for other offers.”

His imminent exit has sparked concern in the London industry, which has developed an understanding of the architect-trained Rees’ views.

Sir Stuart Lipton, the veteran developer behind the City’s iconic eighties Broadgate complex, said he did not want to see Rees leave: “Look at the success of City planning against the rest of the planning system - officers and councillors working together have produced architectural excellence, space fit for purpose and an abundant supply.”

A City of London Corporation spokesperson declined to comment on Rees’ situation but said the City was “committed to providing a first-class planning service”.