Earlier this week I officially lost my title as the “newbie” of Montagu Evans' planning team so I thought this was a good moment to reflect on some of the highlights from these past nine months.
On my second day into the job I recall being asked to help on a large retail scheme. Fast-forward nine months and I am now advising on the finishing touches to a s106, after Members resolved to grant permission. In typical Monty's style, the balance of responsibilities has been spot on: there was full Partner and Associate involvement, but I was given significant discretion to manage the day-to-day workload. I really enjoyed working with this client and the wider project team - it was the perfect introduction to the dark art of retail planning.
On my second week into the job I was asked into one of our meeting rooms by two of the Partners. I didn't have a clue what it was about, so there was a degree of excitement and apprehension as I stepped inside and took a seat. Those two feelings have been a constant ever since that meeting, where I was assigned to a major job involving a new hospital, a new school and a large amount of housing across a 16 hectare site. It's been a fascinating largescale project (and not too bad for the CV either!).
I am about to embark on another large scheme, which will bring with it more excitement and no doubt some complexities along the way. In this job it's as much about problem solving as planning!
In amongst all this, there has been a raft of smaller-scale projects - and no two have been the same. They have involved different types of development, in different locations and for various clients. I doubt there are many other companies where I would get this sort of exposure to such a variety of work.