Fiona Edwards

CWAC head of planning passes away

Fiona Hore, chief planning officer at Cheshire West & Chester Council, has died suddenly aged 56.

After starting her career at Ceredigion County Council and Newark & Sherwood Council, she moved to Chester in 2006 and worked for Chester City Council as a development planning manager. Hore rose to become head of planning at the combined council.

She was also a corporate member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and appeared on the TV show ‘Planners’ in 2013, which followed the work of local planning officers in the UK.

Justin Paul, managing partner of J10 Planning, worked on several key Chester development projects during her tenure at Cheshire West. He commented: “She was a tenacious and skilled operator, much respected by her members and the planning community, she effectively managed the planning service in the face of resource challenges and having only recently joined the Regional Activities Committee for the RTPI in the North West many of us were looking forward to her bringing a new dynamic to the professional body. She will leave a big void and I know that she will be greatly missed.”

Dan Mitchell, partner at Barton Willmore, who also worked with Hore, said: “I worked closely with Fiona for some 15 years on major schemes including various Chester Zoo projects, which she was extremely proud of, and more recently on Chester Fire Station. Fiona was a great ambassador for Cheshire and town planning as a whole. She always provided pragmatic solutions to planning applications to achieve the best outcomes.”

Hore had been a chartered town planner since 1996 after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University, where she studied urban and regional planning.

She died at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral on Monday 23 March. A private funeral will be held in Cardigan.

A spokesperson for Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, operator of Arrowe Park, said rumours the cause of death was Covid-19 were not correct.

Place North West has contacted Cheshire West & Chester Council for comment.

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I was extremely saddened to hear this news. She was an excellent ambassador for our profession and an asset to Cheshire West and Cheshire. I had the good fortune to deal with Fiona on a number of planning applications, she was always fair and professional.

My thoughts and best wishes to Fiona’s friends and family at this difficult time.

By Nicole Roe

Very sad news during a particularly difficult time.
We at Chester Cathedral will miss her valuable, helpful and kind professional advice in planning the future of the Cathedral Estate.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her friends and her colleagues.

By Bill Hardman

I was fortunate to work with Fiona over the last 15 years on numerous initiatives and planning applications at Chester Racecourse and elsewhere. She was always professional, pragmatic and fair. She had many successes and she handled adversity with great dignity.

She was a kind person and a friend and I’ll miss her.

By Chris Clayton

I am so sorry to hear of Fiona’s death. I have led the Cathedral in Chester for only eighteen months and even over that short time I have come to appreciate Fiona’s insights and expertise. She has supported Chester Cathedral through our thinking and questions in a forward looking way. She will be sadly missed by us as is the case for many others too.

My prayers and thoughts are with Fiona’s family and all who have loved her most at this sad and difficult time.

By Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford

One of the very best in the business. A huge loss to CW and C.

By Stephen Wade Legat Owen

What a professional Fiona was, leading the outstanding team she assembled around her.
It was so satisfying being the lawyers for her Planning Service and building together a formidable centre of excellence and impact. Her grasp of her brief was always formidable and she commanded the respect of her elected members and was ‘listened to’. No local government officer could hope for more than that stature.

By Nicholas S McGinn

So so sorry to hear about fiona, may she RIP. Condolences to her family and friends.

By Steve A

Although we Initially met professionally , Fiona was a much loved friend . We met during her recruitment to Chester City Council and I immediately admired her professionalism blended with great values . Over the years we worked on many issues .
Personally I was proud to call her a great friend . We laughed and cried socially on many occasions . I was privileged to see how much her wonderful relationship with Graham evolved and to be at their wedding . There’s was a true love match and I take a l comfort from how happy they were . Xx

By Julie Windass

Fiona will be missed by those who knew her as a friend or manager. She always cared and supported her friends and staff. My thoughts and prayers for her husband and family at this challenging time.

By John Evans

Fiona was a thoughtful lady who professionally just got better and better. God bless you.

By Ken Jones

So sad Condolences to her family and friends RIP Fiona x

By Reenee

It was so so sad to hear this news. What an amazing job Fiona did at committee, as well as beforehand and afterwards behind to ensure applications progressed as efficiently as possible. A massive loss.
My condolences to her family and to her colleagues at CWaC

By Gareth Stansfield Redrow Homes