Marrons Planning partner David Prichard took the “well trodden path” into planning by graduating in geography in 1980 before gaining a post-graduate degree in planning at Sheffield University. He worked at Surrey and Warwickshire county councils before moving into private practice with Bernard Thorpe and Partners. Six years later, in 1993, he helped form his own practice, Farrell Bass Prichard. Prichard later took the planning side of the business and joined Marrons Planning, which is owned by Shakespeares, one of the largest law firms in the Midlands.
Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
My objective is to grow the business, to increase work volumes and our market share in the east Midlands and elsewhere – we recently established a planning presence in Nottingham. Another objective is to increase client satisfaction, which is measured on the incidence of repeat work and on client feedback: this is independently audited to see what we have done right and wrong.
Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?
A. Comprehend. Take in the views and aspirations not just of clients and developers but other parties – if you understand issues, you stand a better chance of solving them if they become problems.
Communicate. Explain what you seek to do and identify benefits: people may think they are being adversely affected based on a lack, or failure, of understanding of what's being proposed; the better you can communicate your proposal the more chance you have of overcoming opposition.
Persevere. We solve problems, and to deliver developments have to be thorough, tenacious and think outside the box. Always be prepared to go that extra mile to achieve what you want to deliver.