Sarah Temple



working in planning


RTPI Planning Consultancy

of the Year 2019


MSc in Spatial Planning

at Oxford Brookes University


knitting, pilates and True Crime documentaries


I help improve local plans to make better places, all with the public in mind.

My role

Where do you work?

I work at LUC, which is a multidisciplinary environmental consultancy with a planning team of around 60 people working across the UK and Ireland. In 2019, we won the RTPI Planning Consultancy of the Year award. We provide planning, transport, heritage, impact assessment, landscape design, ecology and geospatial services to both public and private sector clients. LUC is an Employee-Ownership Trust, which means that we all have a share in the company.

Route into planning

Tell us about your route into planning?

In 2016, I completed a full-time MSc in Spatial Planning at Oxford Brookes University. Prior to this, I completed an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Birmingham before moving to Hong Kong to work as an English Language Teacher. It was during my time in Hong Kong (also known as the ‘concrete jungle’) that I made the decision to pursue a career in town planning.

Helping the public

How does your role involve helping the public?

I spend a lot of my time undertaking Sustainability Appraisal whereby I appraise potential development sites and planning policies against social, economic and environmental objectives. Councils then use this information to help decide which sites to develop and to also refine policy wording in their local plan. I therefore help improve local plans to make better places, all with the public in mind.

Helping my community

Tell us about any work you’ve done to help your local community

I've helped many councils across England to plan better places by reviewing their local plan policy wording and suggesting amendments to strengthen their policy wording, as part of the Sustainability Appraisal process. The most recent example was Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils. I provided support throughout the development of their local plan and attended the local plan examination to help defend their plan but to also take on the views expressed by members of the public to help influence future development in the area.

Your spare time

What do you do when you are not planning?

I’m really into textiles and enjoy knitting, needle felting and making tapestries, all while watching True Crime documentaries! I do a lot of dancing during the week and love pilates.