Where do you work?
Since May 2021 I've worked as a Planning Officer within the Development Management team at Guildford Borough Council, which serves an area of 270.9 km². I am responsible for recommending decisions on applications and providing advice to prospective applicants. The borough includes a large variety of land classifications such as a Green Belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Importance. This diversity throughout the borough makes it an ideal place to grow my knowledge and competency within Development Management
Route into planning
Tell us about your route into planning
Growing up in the South East I undertook A levels at Chichester College. Following these I wanted to have a different option than just university or work, preferably a mixture of the two. I first found out about Town Planning and the relevant apprenticeship during a parkour coaching course. Entering first into the apprenticeship at West Sussex County Council I found a job which I enjoyed and both interested and challenged me. Following the completion of my apprenticeship I became a Planning Technician at my local authority, remaining there for a further two years until I was successful in achieving my goal of becoming a Planning Officer.
How does your role involve helping the public?
My role is customer facing, communicating with applicants and agents for applications on a daily basis. Where an application is not considered acceptable, we will sometimes be able to liaise with the applicant in order to get the scheme amended to a point which will make them acceptable.
Tell us about any work you’ve done to help your local community?
Given the nature of my role I am able to work with applicants providing advice in how improvements to a scheme could be made, during a pre-application application. Whilst it provides no guarantees it enables me to give them an idea as to what type of design or scale that could make an application supportable.
Your spare time
What do you do when you are not planning?
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with friends, playing trivia and competitive games and reading. I also enjoy attending dances being trained in both Tango and 50’s/60’s Jive.