Nick Kirby graduated in geography in 2007 and joined Bracknell Forest Council’s development management team in 2008. During his five years at the council he undertook a part-time masters in real estate development at the University of Reading. Two years ago he joined Pegasus group as a senior planner and is now a principal planner working on projects throughout the Thames Valley and south-east region.
Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
I manage a caseload of major housing and commercial developments and strategic site promotions throughout southern England. Housing demand is a key issue nationally and particularly in the south east, and one of my key objectives is to navigate the planning process on behalf of clients. Measurement against this objective is often based on results, either through a granted permission or local plan allocation.
Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives
Gain a breadth of experience. My public-sector experience has given me a good insight into the dynamics of local decision making and what's needed to prepare and manage applications.
Good relationships are crucial. Developments affect local communities and will always therefore stimulate interest whether positive or negative - building relationships with residents, councillors and council officers is key to understanding new developments respond to them well.
Never stop learning. The planning industry is constantly changing, which is partly why I find it so interesting. This means there is a real need to be up to speed with changes at local and national scale.