How do they do it? Peter Andrew

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 24 Jul 2014

Peter AndrewPeter Andrew is land and planning director for housebuilder Taylor Wimpey. He was a member of the four-person practitioners' advisory group that drew up the first draft of the National Planning Policy Framework and played a major role in shaping the government’s changes to national planning policy. He has worked for several major housebuilders such as Heron Homes and Taywood Homes before becoming group land and planning director for Taylor Woodrow in 2006. A year later the company merged with Wimpey and Andrew took on his current role.

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

A My job is to stay up to date with where planning is going and make sure the implications of any policy changes are taken on board. I'm judged, along with the rest of the business, on overall performance in profitability and return on capital employed for acquisitions. We are judged on customer service and how many sites we take through the planning system.

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

A Placemaking and design is critical. There is no point trying to put a site through planning that doesn't have design or placemaking at its core. Even if it's in the right location you need the right design.

Try to stay ahead of the game. Policies are never black and white but various shades of grey. It's important to try and look at how an emerging policy may apply and think through what arguments people may put towards particular developments.

Engage with community stakeholders. The days of bludgeoning an application through the system without engaging with people have long gone. The better the engagement, the better the outcome.