HELGUIDE (Logo) - ONLINE MAGAZINE - Portfolio - Magasin - Side 88
DIRECTOR OF BH PLANNING AND DESIGN
1. How long have you worked
in Planning and Design?
I joined BH Planning & Design in April
after spending 17 years in local
government planning departments, most
recently as head of planning at
Northumberland County Council.
2. What does your role
In simple terms it’s about helping
developers and landowners to maximise
development opportunities within the
constraints of the planning system. This
involves promoting strategic land
opportunities when local authorities are
preparing their long-term development
plans, and pursuing shorter term
opportunities by securing planning
permission through the preparation and
submission of applications and appeals.
3. What are the biggest
challenges within your role?
The planning system is notoriously
dicult and time consuming and can be a
huge frustration for clients, especially
when faced with long delays in securing a
planning consent. Managing expectations
is therefore vital while trying to work
positively with under-staed local
authorities to help keep delays to a
minimum and ensure we get the right
4. What is the most
interesting aspect of your job?
Finding solutions to problems. I’ve always
had a very positive approach to new
development and thrive on nding ways
around planning policy, legislation and
technical challenges to make sure we
deliver housing growth, create jobs and
maximise investment opportunities.
5. What do you predict the
next 12-18 months will bring
for BH Group?
Bradley Hall has grown massively in the
last few years and I can only see that
continuing well into the future. In terms
of BH Planning & Design we’re keen to
grow this arm of the business just as
quickly and I’m making no secrets of my
ambition to be on a par with the bigname planning consultancies within the
next couple of years!
6. Away from work, what do
you do in your spare time?
Spending time with my family and
running. I was very fortunate to be able
to run quite quick over long distances and
spent many years competing at races
across the UK and in Europe. The body is
giving up on me these days but I still like
to take part in local races when I can.
7. What has been your biggest
Once I knew my own competitive running
days were coming to an end I took my
coaching qualications through British
Athletics and formed a new running club,
Hunwick Harriers, in August 2012 of
which I have been Chairman and Head
Coach for the last six years. The club has
grown massively during that time and
now has 150 members with a thriving
junior section. Creating the club and
overseeing other athletes get the best
out of themselves is really rewarding and
something of which I’m very proud to
8. What would be your chosen
Being able to y. Living in the depths of
County Durham, the commute into work
can be a right pain at times so being able
to avoid the trac would be great!
9. What is your favourite thing
about living in the North East?
I’ve lived in the North East my whole life
and probably take many things for
granted - but for me it has everything you
could ever need. It is such a small region
and you are only ever a stone’s throw
away from the coast, the countryside and
great cities such as Newcastle and
Durham. The quality of life and
opportunity to do so many dierent
things really is fantastic.