Where do you work?
I am thrilled to work as a Director at Viable Placemaking which is a town planning consultancy. Alongside the ‘bread and butter’ planning work, such as planning applications and appeals, Viable Placemaking specialises in Development Economics and Viability. My role as a Director means I work nationally and oversee projects from their inception at the appraisal stage through to determination for a broad range of clients, including homeowners, developers, and local authorities.
Route into planning
Tell us about your route into planning
Prior to working in town planning, I had a background in applied mathematics, specialising in optimization. I wanted to apply theory into practice and work in an role where my work had real impacts at the ground level, and so I enrolled in the RTPI Chartered Town Planning Apprenticeship and was really pleased to become chartered within the scope of my first submission.
I have worked for a number of planning consultancies which gave me great exposure to a wide variety of work, including residential, commercial and agricultural schemes. After years working in the planning system, cultivating my previous experience in mathematics, I developed an expertise in development economics and viability, including Viability Assessments.
Helping the public
How does your role involve helping the public?
I would hope that all of the projects I work on are in the public benefit! I am extremely passionate about the affordability of housing and believe that this is significant for putting people back at the heart of planning. In my work, I often manage the planning and viability matters for residential developments, from simple conversions to strategic urban extensions. Ensuring the deliverability of these schemes is essential in providing the much-needed housing to the public which is an essential component of affordability.
Tell us about any work you’ve done to help your local community
For many developments, especially major schemes, getting the support of the community is essential. As a town planner, I frequently project manage schemes which include both statutory and non-statutory consultations. This can include organising events to discuss a prospective development with local residents or releasing consultation campaigns and press releases to ask the community on their thoughts on a potential scheme, which then feeds into the design and submission the council will eventually see.
I really enjoy public consultation work for major residential development schemes as it feels like the best way of putting the people back at the heart of placemaking.
Your spare time
What do you do when you are not planning?
When I’m not in work, I enjoy spending time with friends, oftentimes sharing a pizza over a beer or two. I also enjoy taking my dog, Winston, out for walks. At the time of writing this he is 3 months old and already enjoying muddy puddles!