Planner Andrew Hodgson has worked in the private sector throughout his 17-year career. He started in 1998 at Carpenter Planning Consultancy, now Bidwells in Norwich, and went on to work at RPS Group and DLP Planning. The last 10 years were spent at Savills' planning team in Cambridge. Hodgson, who graduated in town planning at Sheffield Hallam University, is now planning director at Barton Willmore in Cambridge.
Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
My role is to increase our profile with existing and potential clients in the local and regional residential market while also bringing some new wider skills into the office. The Barton Willmore team in Cambridge has traditionally been strong in the energy sector but we are now seeking to take advantage of strong growth in the eastern region by developing a multi-sector office offering residential, commercial, and infrastructure consultancy services. We have annual appraisals and are measured as individuals and as an office on the work we generate.
What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?
A. Never stop learning. Planning is a wide remit, so try to learn new things throughout every stage of your career and never be afraid to develop your skills in areas of work you've not had much experience in before.
Develop key specialisms. As well as ‘general’ planning skills I have focused on water-infrastructure-scheme delivery and environmental impact assessments. Specialisms can help attract work and clients within specialist sectors - crucial, especially during downturns in the residential market.
Work closely as a team. I've worked within a number of different planning practices and those that worked well with eachother and were happy provided the best service to the clients. If you look after your team well, they will stay loyal and look after your clients well.