Recently I have had a wealth of exposure to the multi-faceted arena that is the planning professionals role. I have attended several different pre-application meetings for projects I am working on.
The purpose of a pre-application meeting is to establish whether or not the Council find a scheme acceptable, or have any concerns. This enables these concerns to be addressed before a formal application is submitted, thereby (sometimes) expediting the planning determination process.
I have also assisted (alongside the majority of the planning team) with the review of a nationwide portfolio of NHS sites. This is a cross-departmental instruction, therefore the planning appraisal of each site, which identifies any opportunities/constraints to development, informs the Professional Services Departments review of each site.
I have had several applications being determined this month (from condition discharges to works to a listed building). The determination process in some councils can be quite cumbersome, as currently several local councils are understaffed and therefore under pressure. As a planning consultant, it is important to stay in regular contact with the planning officer for each application, to ensure they have the information they require, to determine the application within the requisite period.
With the Landaid 10K run coming up soon, I have been making an effort to squeeze in a lunchtime 5K a few times a week. The close proximity of the office to Hyde Park/Green Park makes a lunch time run very desirable, especially in the sunny weather. I have also occasionally crossed paths with a colleague or two while on a lunchtime run. Needless to say, a Hi-Five ensued.