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Becoming a Planner

Are you considering a career as a Town Planner?  Ever wondered what it is like to be a Planner and whether it is a fulfilling career?  Please read on!


Town and Country Planning is concerned with the development and use of land and the long term protection and improvement of our environment whilst meeting society’s economic and social needs.  A Town Planner plays an important role in delivering high quality development, often in an environment of competing demands and constraints. 


Planners are typically employed either in the public sector, usually by Local Authorities or in the private sector as Consultants.  In the public sector, a Planner’s role is to assess and analyse applications which are submitted to that Authority and arrived at a balanced recommendation on the merits of the application, taking into account Planning Policies and other material considerations, i.e. neighbour objections, protected habitats, highway authority advice etc.  It can often be challenging to reconcile the various competing opinions and facts, and that is where the Planner’s skill lies.  In the Private Sector, Planner’s play an important role in advising developers and landowners, and assisting in the delivery of high quality, sustainable new development. 


In the public sector, Planners are faced with the pressure of determining a high number of applications, whilst also responding to enquiries and telephone calls, processing appeals, and dealing with enquiries from Councillors.  In the private sector the pressure is different, but nevertheless just as significant.  Fulfilling client expectations, meeting deadlines and ultimately delivering the right result are key pressures faced on a daily basis by private sector Planners.  Whether you choose to work in the public or private sector is really down to you as a person and what you want to achieve.  The RTPI website has more information if you are interested.


Rob Duncan is a Chartered Town Planner with over 11 years experience gained in both the public and private sector.  Rob started his career in Local Government, rising from the role of Planning Assistant at Lichfield District Council to Principal Planning Officer 5 years later.  Following that Rob Duncan became Development Control Manager at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, before moving on to establish himself in the private sector.


Rob Duncan Planning Consultancy provides specialist town and country planning advice to landowners, householders and developer’s alike, and can assist at all stages of the planning process, from pre-application discussions, preparation of Design and Access Statements, Planning Statements, submission of applications, negotiation on applications and Discharge of Conditions.  Rob Duncan Planning Consultancy will also undertake appeals on your behalf if you have been refused planning permission.


If you have any queries about what it is like to be a planner, or are considering entering the profession, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


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