How do they do it? Nathan McLoughlin

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published On: 13 Oct 2015

Nathan McLoughlinNathan McLoughlin founded his practice based in Gloucester Docks six years ago and the firm works on projects for private clients and commercial developers predominantly in the M4, M5 and M42 triangle. He graduated in town planning from UCL in 1997 and followed up with a postgraduate diploma in town and regional planing from Sheffield University, gaining MRTPI status in 1999. The bulk of his career has been in consultancy, starting with DPDS in Swindon. A stint at Cotswold District Council led to a return to consultancy in 2001 with practices including Mason Richards Partnership and CGMS. In 2009 he was given an opportunity to launch his practice, which now employs five staff.

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

In my role as managing director, the key objective is ensuring the continued success of the business. However, in addition to the day-to-day issues of business performance, I'm looking at the market in terms of size, scale and complexity of projects we are involved in to benchmark ourselves against bigger firms. 

Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?

A This is a people business. You have to have interpersonal skills, being able to relate to the demands of clients, planning officers and members of the public.

Be creative. Approach planning with an inquisitive mind and don't take everything at face value. Consultancy is as much about delivering ideas as it is developing them in the first place. You need to question everything and, if necessary be prepared to challenge the status quo.

Its about confidence. You have to have confidence in your convictions to move forward with a project and understanding of the issues involved is key to this.