I feel fortunate to be a Town Planner. A phrase not often admitted, but when your day job brings together so many fascinating ingredients that change depending on each village, town, and city, it means every day, project, and team is different.
The ever-changing nature of the job ensures that I simplify the intricacies of the planning system uniquely for each project. When posed with a problem, I listen. Within the built environment, there are often several voices and sometimes they end up competing. It is important, that as a Planner, we listen to them all, whilst reviewing policy and case law and researching the political and economic landscape. After all the listening, I think. Thinking about translating the complexities of planning policies into strategies that go at the heart of the project and meet the commercial needs of the client. This often means striking a balance between policy and commercial demands and continuing to communicate these strategies in a digestible, compelling way.
It sounds simple, but listening to the issues, bolstering a response with research, and communicating the strategy in an effective way is a recipe for a successful project (together with a healthy dose of humour thrown into the mix!). I’ve used this method for several years and have managed teams to deliver successful planning permissions, appeals and infrastructure across a variety of sectors, including stadia, student accommodation, healthcare and education.