Q&A with Chris Kirby
Q: What are you most looking forward to getting your teeth into at Planning Insight?
The prospect of getting involved in some the exciting projects which Planning Insight has in the pipeline at the moment is extremely tempting. However, my focus at the moment is primarily on earning my stripes within the team and starting to form relationships with our clients. I’ve joined the company at an incredibly exciting time. It is experiencing steady growth and the team appears to be going from strength to strength. So for now, I am more than willing to put the temptations to one side and put my best foot forward to provide additional support to the team.
Q: What’s the trickiest project you have had the pleasure of working on and what was the outcome?
My first Strategic application for the council was probably the trickiest project I’ve worked on thus far. Having worked primarily on the minor householder and major development at the councils I was given the opportunity to lead on a planning application for the new Salvation Army Headquarters development. I dealt with the application from pre-application stage through to the final committee decision, which was a unanimous approval from the committee members.
Q: Describe in 3 words what your top qualities as a planner are!?
Confident, Adaptable, Driven
Q: What do you think the biggest challenges the planning Industry are going to face in the second half of 2019?
With the property market remaining somewhat spooked in light of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, I believe it will be an ongoing challenge for planners to secure investors/developers confidence in the planning process. The risk of increasing delays within the planning process appear to be mounting, which I believe, tightens the proverbial ‘safety belt’ which is already strapped across development.
Q: If you were to work on any project what would it be and why?!
That’s a tough one. We are fortunate enough to live and work in a city that has an abundance of projects which have the potential to profoundly transform the way in which planners can positively influence the built environment. From the Battersea Power Station redevelopment, to the ongoing cross-rail project, they all present their own unique challenges. However, having worked in the London Borough of Southwark and having a genuine interest in the area I would probably most likely be interested to work on the Canada Water development. It’s a unique site and one which has heaps of potential, whilst at the same time having many hurdles to overcome. In terms of gaining experience from a larger comprehensive development scheme that's the one that comes to mind.
Planning Insight have been instrumental in securing planning permission for our development in Newbury Park. From instruction, Peter and the team handled the co-ordination of consultants and the architects to ensure the scheme submitted and all supporting information was robust. They devised innovative strategies to reduce the planning risk on the project and worked tirelessly in negotiating the section 106 contributions. I will be using Planning Insight on all our projects going forward and happily recommend them as planning consultants.