First job: Finance Assistant, South Oxfordshire District Council.

First car: A green Ford Fiesta (‘T’reg) that my dear departed Dad bought for £500 and the engine of which blew up on the M1 in Leicestershire. I was heading back to university in Nottingham at the time.

What did the start of your professional life look like:

I started off collecting Council Tax as I couldn’t get a job as a planner. After a year of collecting Council Tax I managed to get my first planning job for the same Council I was already working for.

Best advice received:

From my Dad, which was go to University and enjoy yourself.

What do you like most about your job:

Helping people who have a dream of building their own house in the countryside.

And least:


Biggest professional achievement or Biggest personal achievement:

Becoming a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and studying for a law degree distance learning whilst working fulltime. Getting married and my two kids.

The repair most worth doing to your property is:

As someone who is a DIY phobe, and has never built anything in my life, not even a BBQ, I have no idea. I secure people planning permission to build a house, but then it’s over to the architect.

How do you see the current crisis panning out for your sector:

Lots of people seem to want to move to the countryside, which has already generated quite a bit of work for me. Also, I am getting lots of enquiries from people thinking about diversifying into tourism to tap into the staycation trend that would appear to be the immediate future for all of us.

How do you switch off:

Running with my wife, walking the dog with my wife and watching movies at Macrobert, Stirling University, which is back open. Hooray.

What do you listen to in the car:

Radio 5 Live and Radio 2. BBC Sounds – Test Match Special and Wittertainment (Kermode and May’s Film Review).

Which social media sites so you like/prefer:

LinkedIn for work and I have recently discovered WhatsApp. Does that count?.

If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing: Living in Italy, growing olives and working on an archaeological dig somewhere hot and sunny.

Favourite holiday destination: Northern Italy and I just love Verona.

What makes you happy: My family.