General

On 15th September a team from Woods Hardwick will be taking on the London to Brighton cycle challenge in aid of charities Lymphoma Action and The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.
Brothers Russell (Planning Director) and Kevin (Land Surveyor) Gray, lost their dad to Sezary Syndrome, a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer earlier this year, and to honour his memory and raise money in his name, they have decided to take on the 55 mile cycling challenge.  They will be joined by colleagues at Woods Hardwick, as well as friends and clients. 

This is the first in a series of profiles of some of the great people who work at Woods Hardwick. We kick off by meeting one of our Planning team, Alistair Rokas. Alistair joined Woods Hardwick in October 2017 as a Graduate Planner. 
What sparked your interest in planning? I first discovered an interest in planning during an undergraduate visit to Welwyn Garden City (WGC). I was studying Geography at University of Hertfordshire. The visit included discussions regarding how WGC was planned and the underlying ethos that underpinned this process. I was taken aback by what a great place WGC was to live in and this led to my interest in the process of planning and the role it plays in shaping modern society. This interest ultimately flourished and culminated in me undertaking a dedicated post graduate in Sustainable Planning.

Last month saw the start of examinations on the Local Plans of two of the authorities located in the centre of the planned Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge Arc. Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and Bedford Borough Council (BBC) sit in the ‘Central Area’ of the Growth Corridor - right at the heart of what is already hailed as one of the most innovative and economically successful areas of the UK. But the question is, do their Local Plans acknowledge this great opportunity and are they ready to capitalise on the huge investment in new infrastructure right on our doorstep?

We attended the Built Environment Networking’s inaugural Midlands Development Conference last week. With some great speakers, including Lord Bob Kerslake and Birmingham City Council CEO, Dawn Baxendale, our team from our Birmingham office came away excited about what the future holds.