How do they do it? Duncan Chadwick

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 18 Jan 2016

Duncan Chadwick

Duncan Chadwick has a degree in environmental planning and design from Aston University and a masters in town planning from the University of Wales in Cardiff. Between 2007 and 2011 he was a professional competence assessor for the Royal Town Planning Institute and spent almost 25 years at local authorities in North Wales, Wiltshire, Devon and most recently Cherwell District Council in north Oxfordshire, heading up development control and major developments before leaving in 2008 to join David Lock Associates (DLA). He was made a partner three years ago and is currently an external examiner at the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape at Newcastle University, having recently held a similar role at Cardiff University.

What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?

I have a variety of objectives – personal, professional and business-orientated. As a commercial concern it is important to retain existing clients, network and attract new business, deliver results and ensure a healthy profit. I still get a buzz out of securing a planning permission or getting a site allocated for a client be they a large landowner or an individual. We operate an annual appraisal system at DLA and also get client feedback. 

What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil these objectives? 

Always strive for the best. Being a perfectionist I am my biggest critic.

Help and support others. Planning is a very small world, so it helps to get on with people.

Operate with a high degree of integrity. Integrity is crucial to all aspects and every stage of your planning career.