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Spending time away from the desk

My first few months of 2017 in the planning department have proven to be equally as fast-paced as 2016. I have continued to receive a fantastic exposure to all elements of the planning field and I feel my confidence in the profession is growing from strength to strength

Recently I had several of my own planning applications approved which I had submitted and processed as an agent. Receiving the approval letters was very satisfying and allowed me to reflect on my progress since starting back in September. 

I have been lucky enough to attend a number of site visits and external meetings over the last few weeks. These have led me to locations such as Poole in Dorset (my home town), where I attended a pre-application meeting with the Council and a multitude of other project consultants. We discussed a proposal to re-develop a timber shipping yard into a new residential and marina development. I’m excited to see where this scheme takes us!

This week I also had the opportunity to visit an old army barracks in Kent which is being developed into residential and commercial accommodation. Donned in my hard hat and fluorescent jacket I explored the abandoned squaddie blocks and prison cells, getting a real feel for the site and its historic land use. The value in seeing a site with your own eyes, rather than through the lens of Google Maps, is invaluable and something I’m sure I will never tire of. 

I spent further time away from my desk last week when I attended the first Graduate CPD day. It was a chance for all the first and second year graduates to get together, share our progress and learn something new. We had a variety of sessions covering all aspects of the business and some department-specific talks. We were encouraged to understand the potential for overlap within our different disciplines and how we each possess a set of skills which would prove invaluable to our colleagues in other departments. Advice was also provided on the APC programme, with two graduates who had recently passed their RTPI and RICS examinations providing some useful tips and advice on how best to prepare for the submission. 

The day ended with a session looking at softer skills such as time management and work-life balance, and a few team bonding games and drinks. Overall it was a fantastic day and hugely beneficial to both my personal and professional development at Montagu Evans. 

Lucy Battersby, Graduate, Planning

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