You spend just a few minutes with Roy and his positive energy is infectious! Heading up our Planning team in the Birmingham office, Roy joined Woods Hardwick just over 18 months ago and is busy getting involved in projects across the East and West Midlands.
Recently joined by senior planner, Joanne O’Brien, and supported by Graduate Planner, Vanessa Gordon, the team is growing and working on projects across the region. But he didn’t start out as a planner as you will find out!
How did you start your career?
I started off as a sparky on building sites straight out of school. I decided after a couple of electrocutions and one very hard winter that I needed a career change! I spent some time in a drawing office and then in graphics and cartography. This eventually led to a town planning opportunity in Local Government. I trained on the job with a great mentor and qualified in 1998, gaining a Senior Planner’s position at the same time, along with membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Being a planner is 80% written work so we are effectively professional writers and it is that aspect of the job that I find most satisfying – the sense of achievement in putting together well written and robust planning statements. And obviously, securing the right result for the client, including righting wrongs and injustices also brings significant satisfaction.
You’ve been with the company more than 18 months. How have you settled in to Woods Hardwick?
Without exception, I’ve found all the members of the Woods Hardwick team very welcoming and approachable, but equally professional and dedicated. I have had the opportunity to work with all of the teams within the group on a number of projects and I think this joint working and the comprehensive package that we are able to offer to the client is where our real strength lies.
What type of projects do you get involved in?
Being part of the multidisciplinary team at Woods Hardwick provides opportunities to become involved in a broad range of development projects, from major residential schemes, to bespoke barn conversions, regularising unauthorised churches and even a proposal for an awning on the front of a night club. Every day is different!
What would you recommend to any budding planners? How do they make themselves stand out?
My advice to anyone considering embarking on a career in town planning is that it should be borne out of a genuine interest in the environment, both natural and historic, an interest in architecture and places – together with a knack for good analysis and problem solving. You will stand out as a planner if you are always honest with your client – even if you know it’s news that they don’t always want to hear!
Get in touch with Roy to discuss your development project.