New chair for Otterpool Park board

Published: 19 June 2024

A headshot of Chair of the board on a background of a artist's impression of Otterpool Park

A new independent chair has been appointed to lead the board overseeing the development of the Otterpool Park garden town.

Paula Hirst will take up the non-executive position next month (July 2024) and says she is very much looking forward to supporting the LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) to bring about the next stage of the 10,000-home project.

A Folkestone resident, Paula is founder and director of Disruptive Urbanism. She set up the company 11 years ago aiming to bring fresh thinking to how urban development is planned, designed and constructed.

Paula brings over 20 years of experience in the public, private and charitable sectors to the Otterpool Park board. She has worked in the UK, Europe and the Middle East on urban development projects including the regeneration of cities.

These projects have included some of the largest long-term development and regeneration schemes in the UK – among which have been Thamesmead Waterfront, Euston, Old Oak and Park Royal, and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

Paula is a respected design review panel chair with Design South-East, providing design review services to a range of local authorities across the south-east of England.  She was also the project lead on a recent ULI/P+P report aiming at driving up standards in the design and delivery of garden towns and communities ‘21st Century New Communities: Raising the Ambition’.

Following the appointment, Paula explained what she feels she can bring to the role, “Drawing on my knowledge and experience in urban development to the benefit of my local area has always been important to me, to support the creation of new homes, jobs, and greater opportunities for local people.

“I’m excited to be appointed as the Chair of Otterpool Park playing a key role delivering the vision for the project.”

Welcoming her appointment, Chief Executive of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Dr Susan Priest said: “It is clear from her track record that Paula has a wide range of relevant experience to support the council in delivering this new garden town. Her knowledge and understanding of delivering large-scale projects will be an asset, working in close partnership with local residents and key partners.