The things I know

Richard Lemon, Associate, Roger Tym & Partners and RTPI London honorary secretary

- Where did you study planning?

Cardiff University school of city and regional planning.

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

A good grounding in planning and the built environment and reasonable report-writing and presentation skills.

- What attracted you to planning?

A geography lesson presentation. I was intrigued by reconciling competing demands and aspirations for land and the urban environment.

What did you learn in your first job?

The importance of good relationships at work. At Transport for London, numerous bodies had views on the implications of developments and I needed to take account of them all.

- What skills have you had to learn over your career?

Project and people management. Knowledge of the planning system only gets you so far.

- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?

The planners who gave the school presentation and those at Berkshire County Council and Wokingham District Council during my work experience. We must inspire interest to recruit future planners and make people realise that planning isn't simply a regulatory activity.

- What is your career highlight?

Chairing RTPI London and being shortlisted for Young Planner of the Year. Regular highs include winning appeals, securing permissions and completing a good report.

- What have you learnt outside work that has influenced your career?

What planners do is all around us. I am constantly learning from good and bad examples.

- What further skills do you aim to attain or develop?

Commercial awareness and understanding of property market operations and influences.

- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?

Planning doesn't operate in isolation. We need to work with colleagues from the outset rather than simply respond to what they're doing.

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