Interview with new London team member – Chris Brake

30th August 2017

Meet our new London recruit, Chris. We took the opportunity to get an insight into his planning background and why he would recommend hiring an all-important planner!

How long have you been a planner and have you always wanted to be one?

I have over 10 years of post-graduation experience.  It wasn’t my childhood dream to become a planner, I have always been interested in property and the built environment, but became more aware of planning when studying my A-Levels.  As a result, I ended up studying Town and Country Planning as an undergraduate degree and have enjoyed it ever since.

Tell me about your planning background…

Since graduating, I have had a number of private sector/ consultancy roles including most recently at GL Hearn (part of Capita Real Estate) where I was the sector lead for environmental planning and EIA.  This role involved the management and coordination of a number of Environmental Statements to support a varying array of planning applications.  Before joining GL Hearn, I was Planning and Operations Director at a privately owned renewables developer, focussing on the successful delivery of ground mounted solar farms and anaerobic digestions units across the UK.  I became a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute whilst working at Dalton Warner Davis LLP (DWD) where I joined as a graduate.  At DWD I supported our energy team with the successful delivery of numerous electricity generating stations, underground gas storage projects and other associated infrastructure.

You have recently started working for Bell Cornwell, what have you enjoyed about the company so far?

I joined Bell Cornwell from a large multi-disciplinary property company and immediately I have been made to feel welcome.  One of the many attractions to joining Bell Cornwell was the close knit, family feel to the business. From my first week it is very apparent that people matter.

You deal with many clients on many a wide range of projects, how do you ensure that each client is dealt with personally?

No two projects are the same and therefore no two clients have the same requirements.  As a result it is imperative to use your experience understand your client’s requirements and tailor your advice to ensure the best possible outcome.

From your previous experience, In what way does hiring a planner help with a project?

Employing a planning professional should ensure a smooth transition through the planning process, reducing the risk of refusal and legal challenge.  Drawing on the planner’s experience should expedite the outcome of the project and minimise the chances of potentially onerous planning conditions and legal commitments.  Thus, saving time and money.


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