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Victor Nicholls

Lecturer in Development and Planning

Academic lead for the Pathways to Property programme

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  • Town centre regeneration, 
  • New Towns and planning for growth, 
  • Local authority development and partnerships, 
  • Development and delivery in practice, 
  • Strategic and regional planning, 
  • Widening participation


EM 166, Whiteknights Campus

Victor lectures in development, planning, and regeneration, bringing 40 years of professional experience to the department.

A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, his research interests focus on the renewal of New Towns and rapidly developed cities, regeneration, town centres, and planning for growth. His specialisms include local authority development and partnerships, delivery in practice, and strategic/regional planning. Victor teaches practice-related modules on development, planning and regeneration. He is also academic lead for the Reading Real Estate Foundation’s Pathways to Property programme, working with young people to widen participation in the real estate profession.

Victor is a consultant in regeneration and development advising clients in the public and private sector, having worked extensively in local authority regeneration, planning and executive management. Previously Assistant/Deputy Chief Executive at Bracknell Forest and Basingstoke and Deane councils, Victor led the council’s team to deliver the regeneration of Bracknell town centre (“The Lexicon”), the first post-war New Town centre to be substantially redeveloped and one of the largest construction projects in the UK.

A chartered town planner and accredited corporate manager, Victor has led a range of services including regeneration, planning, transport, economic development, and corporate property. His experience embraces community safety, local strategic partnerships, and organisational transformation as well as performance management and corporate policy. As Assistant Chief Executive, he helped Bracknell Forest council achieve the highest possible corporate performance rating. His background includes the delivery of strategies on public health and older people as well as working on regional and sub-regional frameworks to guide development and promote growth.

Victor brings this varied experience to his teaching and research, for the benefit of students at the Henley Business School.


  • BSc (Hons) in Town Planning
  • Diploma in Town Planning
  • Diploma in Management Studies
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Corporate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Academician: Academy of Urbanism

Projects in Development & Planning

A project-based module that introduces new practice skills whilst drawing together existing knowledge by drawing on 'real world' scenarios covering the different aspects of development and planning practice and developing...

Module code: RE3PDP

Projects in Real Estate and Planning (1)

The purpose of this module is twofold. Firstly, it aims to develop a range of key skills to help students make the transition from school to university and on to...

Module code: RE1PROJ

Research partner, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme. Regeneration and the impact on business perceptions and decision making. May-July 2022

Research partner, Research England QR Strategic Priorities Fund, “The Lexicon: Understanding success in major town centre regeneration” January – March 2021

Research partner, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme. Measures of High Street performance. July-August 2020

Research Partner, David Robins Fund, ‘Bracknell at 70: Lessons from a newly regenerated New Town’, March-August 2019.

Research Partner, Reading Real Estate Foundation Seed funding, ‘Town Centre Regeneration in Bracknell (Phase 2)’, July-August 2017.

Research partner, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (2016), ‘Town Centre Regeneration in Bracknell (Phase 1), July-August 2016 (funded a 6-week student researcher placement).

NICHOLLS, V. and STREET, E. (2022). The Lexicon: understanding success in major town centre regeneration, Henley Business School, University of Reading

BATES, L. PARKER,G. WARGENT, M. LINOVSKI, O. SHONEBOOM, A, GUNN, S. SLADE, D., ODELEYE, D., MAIDMENT, C., SHEPHERD, E., DOAK, J., ELLIOT, T., NICHOLLS, V., STREET, E., DOBSON, M., PLATTS, S., TASAN-KOK, T. (2020): The Future of the Planning Profession, Planning Theory & Practice, DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2020.1776014

NICHOLLS, V, and STREET, E, (2019), The Lexicon. Making it Happen, Henley Business School, University of Reading