Where do you work?
I currently work at Hambleton District Council as the Senior Planning Enforcement Officer, and have been at the Authority for just over four years. The area is predominately a rural authority with five associated market towns within the district; Northallerton, Stokesley, Thirsk, Easingwold and Bedale. A significant quality of the district’s landscape arises from the contrast between the vales and significant upland landscape features, notably the Hambleton Hills and Cleveland Hills to the east, the edge of the North York Moors, and the more distant Yorkshire Dales to the west. This contrast creates a rich landscape setting for much of the district and for several settlements, with the Cleveland Hills, in particular Roseberry Topping, forming the eastern and southern backdrop to Stokesley and Great Ayton and the Hambleton Hills, particularly Whitestone Cliff, forming a similar setting to the east of Thirsk.
Tell us about your route into planning
- When I was doing my A-Levels one of my teachers advised that I drop a subject and focus more on the ones I found the most interesting. At the time this was Geography and I wanted to do a career in relation to something associated with it. My teacher who was a former Councillor and on the Planning Committee for the local Council asked if I had considering pursuing a career in Planning. I then did some research into the profession and subsequently undertook a degree in Urban Studies and Planning.
- Following graduating from university it was the height of the recession and there were very few jobs available within Planning. Therefore, I pursed other avenues associated with Planning and the first job I got accepted for was Enforcement. And that’s where I’ve been ever since.
Helping the public
How does your role involve helping the public?
I believe Planning Enforcement is one of the most important arms of Planning. The Planning Enforcement function gives people confidence in the planning system, as without enforcement there is no need for planning at all. Therefore, I consider that my role as an enforcement officer plays a key role in helping the public understand the planning system and to assist in wrong doings that may have occurred.
Helping my community
Tell us about any work you’ve done to help your local community
Generally the role of enforcement involves talking to a lot of members of the community and offering them advice in planning terms. As my role as the NAPE (National Association of Planning Enforcement) Chair this ensures that I listen to lots of planning professionals and members of the local community to ensure that I can make a positive effect to the enforcement system at a national level.
You can read about RTPI President Timothy Crawshaw work shadowing Craig (pictured) in this blog.
What do you do when you are not planning?
When not in planning I undertake a very sport focused lifestyle, with one on my main hobbies being the club captain and founder of York Korfball. It’s not a well-known sport – it is a mixed gender sport and is a mixture between basketball and netball. When not playing Korfball, I am a season ticket holder at York City Football Club. However the number of games I attend may have to be limited as my first child is due in September!