We chat to Associate Planner, Iain Hynd, to find out about how he got into Planning and what makes him get out of bed in the morning.
Why did you choose a career in Planning?
I have always been interested in how people interact in terms of their environment, how buildings and then towns / cities evolve to accommodate the natural growth and development of societies. My upbringing on a farm in a relatively undeveloped part of Scotland drove me to be even more interested in the relative hustle and bustle of our cities.
What would you say is your specialist area in the sector and why?
Throughout my career I have been slightly fortunate to have worked for a couple of large multi-disciplinary planning consultancies that have allowed me to gain experience across a variety of development sectors – including retail, residential, hotels, energy from waste, student accommodation - rather than just focus on one specialism.
Saying that, my work and experience has given me particular strengths in dealing with the residential and retail / commercial sectors.
For residential work, I have had the benefit on working on projects for most of our country’s largest housebuilders, as well as a range of landowners seeking planning permission for residential development on their land.
This work has included the full remit of long-term strategic development plan promotion, housing land supply analysis, running major planning applications and their sometimes-lively community consultation events, and working with our masterplanning, landscape and architecture teams in preparing Development Frameworks and promotional visions.
For retail, I had a spell early in my career where I was involved in assisting the expansion of Aldi stores across Scotland, running a number of applications for new stores, along with many supermarket extensions for Sainsburys and units for Tesco Express and Waitrose. Through this I have developed a strong capability for undertaking Retail Impact Assessments and sequential analysis to identify development that cannot be located in town centres.
What’s the scheme you feel most proud of working on since joining us?
This is a difficult one to answer! I am probably most proud of work that I delivered on a variety of sites for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. It was nice to be working with a major public sector client that had noticed the benefits that planning consultants bring to their private sector clients and asked us to do the same for their sites / assets, with the uplifts in value going back into the public purse for future improvements to the Service.
Our assistance in securing Planning Permission in Principle consents for residential development, prior to these being sold on the market, led to land value uplifts of 78% for a site in East Lothian and 29% for land in Aberdeen (during the local downturn in value for housing land).
However, my inner planning geek also relishes some of the projects that have been more challenging to achieve! These include getting an officer’s recommendation for approval for an energy-from-waste proposal in central Glasgow despite many uninformed objections and convincing a Reporter that Dundee’s strict retail goods restrictions should be relaxed for Kingsway East Retail Park as an exceptional circumstance to secure a new retail user for the former B&Q.
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