Former University of Sheffield Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Emeritus Professor of Town and Regional Planning, Tony Crook, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
The honour recognises Professor Crook’s outstanding commitment to work on housing research and policy, as well as his public service as the Chair of the National Housing and Homelessness Charity, Shelter.
Professor Crook, of Curbar, in the Hope Valley, is also a trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, a Council member of the Academy of Social Science and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: “It is great to see this honour for Professor Tony Crook in recognition of his outstanding scholarship and public service in the field of housing policy.
“Tony has served tirelessly over many years as an eminent academic in the area of planning and housing policy.
“Since his retirement from his academic role at the University, he has poured his energies into public service and policy with a particular focus on the needs of some of the most vulnerable people across the country who have been severely affected by reduced housing provision and the impact of cuts in public spending.”
As an academic, Professor Crook specialised in the private rented housing sector and the use of the planning obligations to secure affordable housing.
His work received research grants of over £3m and he produced over 150 publications including books, research reports, journal articles and other output.
His book ‘Transforming Private Landlords’, co-authored with Professor Peter Kemp from The University of Oxford, was highly influential on public policy. He has also applied his expertise to the use of planning obligations to secure land and private finance for new affordable housing.
Professor Crook also served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor at The University of Sheffield from 1999 to 2008, leading major areas of change within the University including academic planning, human resources and capital projects.
Drawing on insights about housing and communities, he applied his detailed knowledge of accommodation policy to the needs of students, speaking at a national level for the needs of young people managing the sometimes difficult transition from home to independent living.
Professor Crook also maintained a strongly international focus. He set up the South East Europe Research Centre, a partnership between City College Thessaloniki and The University of Sheffield, and was as an advisor on planning issues relating to the rapid development taking place in the emergent cities of South East Asia, and in particular in China.
Responding to the news of the honour, Professor Crook said: “I was delighted to accept this honour. Research colleagues at The University of Sheffield and elsewhere and those working in the policy and practice communities have been great collaborators and good friends. This honour reflects the excellence and commitment of all those I have worked with to making a real difference to peoples’ lives, whether through research or engagement with public policy.”
Professor Crook also acted as Chair of Sheffield Homes Ltd and of ConneXions South Yorkshire. He has served as an independent member of the board of the National Tenant Voice, and he continues to be Deputy Chair of the Orbit Group. In 2013, he was made an Honorary Graduate of The University of Sheffield, which he continues to serve as a Public Orator.