Alastair started his career in Development Management, handling a series of planning applications increasing in size and complexity as his career progressed. He has handled large volumes of applications simultaneously, covering all aspects of development from householder applications to major mixed use developments and everything in between. He also has a keen interest in Gypsy and Traveller planning, forming his second master’s dissertation, which coincided with his handling of a number of significant Gypsy and Traveller applications.
Besides focusing more on major developments, Alastair has been involved in site allocations and Local Plan Reviews. He successfully defended a number of appeals whilst in the public sector and regularly presented cases at planning committees. Given the locations he has worked, he has extensive experience of both urban and rural development challenges, as well as experience in working within a sensitive heritage setting and a sensitive environmental setting directly impacted by climate change. He became heavily involved in mixed use, student, and elderly care (both C2 and C3) developments whilst working in the public sector.
Regarding his move to the private sector, he worked alongside an established client base, but also expanded upon this developing the business. He brought in new options regarding services and handled strategic land promotion across East Anglia besides providing traditional planning and application services. He worked across all phases of the policy process, ultimately securing a number of promoted sites as allocations in Local Plans. Although he handled a number of major projects through the application process, he also managed a number of smaller speculative developments and farm diversification schemes employing a range of tactics, but regularly utilising political support. He has worked on a number of Paragraph 55/79/80 dwellings and secured consents for a range of custom and self-build dwellings outside of settlement boundaries.
Under his current role he oversees all planning matters for a region for a national volume house builder, sitting across the technical and land teams. He is primarily involved from acquisition to occupation of dwellings, securing consents and project managing the development process to secure a steady supply of dwellings to be built each year. He assists in land identification and feasibility work, whether this be via strategic land or immediate land opportunities, to then ensure the right permissions are in place. In addition, he is involved in planning policy, submitting representations on policy reviews and site allocations, ensuring the right context is in place to support the business. This includes keeping abreast of recent case law and political changes to the planning environment and disseminating this knowledge with the wider team.
Throughout his career he has been heavily involved in various supporting roles, whether through work, the RTPI, other organisations, and now by guest lecturing at universities. Alastair is an avid believer in training and mentoring and has supported a number of individuals over the years. He encourages thinking outside the box, and seeking innovative solutions to old problems. Where possible he seeks to utilise new research and technologies and seeks to partner up contemporary academic research with the wider industry.
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