Where do you work?
I currently work for Westminster City Council within the Planning Department responsible for making recommendations on planning proposals ranging from residential to commercial schemes.
It is one of the busiest Planning Authority’s in the UK with the international spotlight on Westminster and over 11,000 listed buildings. I am proud to be working for Westminster as it holds a unique world class city status and it’s a great opportunity to advance my knowledge in the field of Planning.
Route into planning
Tell us about your route into planning
2017 without a career pathway set in stone. I was inspired ever since my first job as a Graduate Recruiter in 2017 where I was involved in building a rapport with Town Planners to understand their role and recruit for my clients. Little to my knowledge, I would be undertaking those responsibilities. This was the beginning of my journey and I now pursuing a MA in Chartered Town Planning at London South Bank University to gain professional recognition and status as a Chartered Town Planner.
Helping the public
How does your role involve helping the public?
My role involves shaping the future of the built environment within Westminster therefore helping residents is crucial during the planning process particularly in upholding the relevant policies and making positive recommendations on the proposals.
For homeowners within Westminster, the pandemic in particular has recognised and emphasised the importance of flexible working and therefore are keen to extend and expand their properties to facilitate a ‘home office’ as well as outdoor amenity space such as balconies and terraces.
For businesses within Westminster, planning played a vital role in recovering the local economy by the introduction of the flexible use class E and permitting outdoor seating, conveniently skipping formal planning approval. This has allowed businesses to operate regardless of indoor restrictions making a positive impact on their finances.
Tell us about any work you’ve done to help your local community
I’ve undertaken several volunteering opportunities to help the local community in Westminster where I live and work. During the ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ (Afghan response), I undertook responsibilities to help distribute winter coats and vouchers to the refugees in temporary accommodation.
I have also helped the local community at Churchill Gardens Estate (Council Owned Estate) especially during the festive period to deliver Christmas hampers to vulnerable and isolated residents. This was followed by serving Christmas Dinner to the elderly residents which was appreciated by all the local residents.
What do you do when you are not planning?
Outside of planning, I take on the role within the RTPI Education Committee Group to partner with the local schools to promote and raise awareness of Town Planning. From my non-planning background and now as a Masters Student, I have a passion to promote town planning through career talks, work experience and shadowing opportunities.
When I am not planning towns, I enjoy outdoor running, learning about the fascinating history and architecture of places and travelling particularly city breaks. I intend to visit the remaining six wonders of the world for my next six birthdays (so far visited the Colosseum in Rome for my 22nd).