How do they do it? Zayd Al-Jawad

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 26 Oct 2015

Zayd Al-JawadFollowing previous work in banking and local environmental regeneration, Zayd Al-Jawad completed ma MA in town planning while working as a development control planner at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. A stint at London Borough of Islington led to a senior planning role at Brent. After five years he moved to the London Borough of Southwark where he was group planning manager for section 106 and community infrastructure levy (CIL) work. He introduced both the mayoral CIL and borough's own CIL. Earlier this year Al-Jawad moved to Stevenage to become head of planning and engineering, while over the last seven years he has been a member of Planning Aid for London and Brixton Green community group.

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

I have to deliver a sound local plan and potentially a community infrastructure levy charging schedule and support the large-scale regeneration of Stevenage. I am measured against standard performance management criteria from the council including peer reviews and appraisals.

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

A. Research. Understanding the justification and reasoning for planning policies, the actual and potential constraints of sites, and the main processes and procedures required for delivery is key.

Relationships.  Planning is a relatively small field: treat colleagues, applicants and the community as you would want to be treated, and above all maintain good lines of communication to members, officers, developers and the community.

Risk. If an opportunity arises, as long as it has been researched and does not damage a key relationship or the delivery for your goals, always take the risk - but plan for both success or failure.