I did a postgraduate diploma at the South Bank Polytechnic after an estate management degree at the Polytechnic of Central London.
- What skills did you have when you graduated?
I was on day release from a London borough, where I learnt a vast amount.
- What attracted you to planning?
I found it the most interesting part of my estate management course. A colleague directed me to the public sector as a beneficial place to learn and I enjoyed it enormously.
- What did you learn in your first job?
To keep learning, even if the curve tapers off as one's career progresses.
- What skills have you had to learn over your career?
To know the planning system inside out and how to broker solutions that somehow match both planners' and developers' expectations.
- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?
Jack Chambers, my Westminster City Council team leader, was inspirational.
- What is your career highlight?
At Hillier Parker - now part of CB Richard Ellis - the hallmark was winning consent for the White Rose shopping centre in Leeds on appeal. I was also involved in the successful Regent Street strategy. As chairman, I helped expand Turley Associates into a major national player. I enjoyed the freedom of working for myself before joining Roger Tym & Partners. I have known Bill Brisbane all my career and we share an office again.
- What have you learnt outside work that has influenced you?
Family and relationships are more important than status and money.
- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?
I have trained as a mediator and am very keen to see this take root in the planning system.
- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?
In private practice, it is important to understand clients' concerns in such areas as viability and what factors affect other team members.