Chrissy Farrer, a chartered town planner from Derby with over 20 years’ experience working in the public sector, has often thought about a move into the private sector and how this could be combined with flexible working hours, but the right opportunity never came along.
She says, “I always felt that there was a synergy with how I worked and the skills that would be required to transition into private planning work.
“Then lockdown happened. It gave me an insight into what it is like working from home the majority of the time – and I loved it! I appreciate for some people it has been a struggle, but not for me. I love being part of a team, but I also really enjoy working from home – I feel more productive.”
The experience of working from home during lockdown spurred Chrissy on to pursue a new opportunity.
“Lockdown has opened up a new way of working for me. As well as being able to work from home, you are still connected to other people. It seemed like the perfect time to make the transition into the private sector and when I saw the opportunity with Planning House, I decided to go for it.”
As well as looking to work alongside experienced planning consultants like Chris and Helen, Chrissy was also attracted by our company ethos of promoting the benefits of having a good work-life balance.
“I love the fact that I can be at home for my children when they get home from school, even if I am still working. The youngest is 10, so he isn’t quite old enough to be on his own. Before lockdown he would have stayed in afterschool clubs until my husband or I finished work and could pick him up. But now he can come home and do his homework or play on his iPad until I’ve finished work. Just being in the same space all together is lovely.”
Chris, Director of Planning House, is thrilled to welcome Chrissy to the team: “Chrissy has such a wealth of experience in Town Planning. She was the lead case officer for the National Football Centre (St George’s Park) and has worked on a wide range of applications in her 20+ years as a Senior Planner.
“She also shares our ethos, that Town Planning doesn’t have to be complicated. We look to unravel the red tape that can so often lead to complications in the planning and application process. Like us, Chrissy has the ability to speak plainly and explain complicated planning issues in a way that anyone can understand.”
Chris hopes that having a member of the team based in the Midlands will help extend the company’s reach.
“Whilst Planning House is based in the North East, we work with clients from all over the UK, so it is great for us to have a member of the team based in the Midlands.
“Lockdown has shown us that physical boundaries don’t really apply any more – we can still sit down and have a team meeting every week on Zoom or Teams. It’s all about finding the right candidate.”
As well as having a broad range of experience of planning, Chrissy will bring her own style of working to the team. She enjoys the smaller, more personal projects as much as she does the large corporate schemes.
“My mantra is “The devil’s in the detail”. You have to be incredibly methodical to work in planning and sometimes it’s the tiny details that can make or break an application. I think this is where I excel – I am incredibly methodical and often spot little details that others wouldn’t.
“I particularly love helping people get a project over the line that is really personal to them. If you don’t have a good understanding of planning (why would you when you aren’t emersed in it every day?), it can be challenging to have a project approved. So when it’s something really personal to a client, and they have been frustrated by the process, it is really rewarding to help them achieve their goals!”
Chrissy starts her role on Monday 21st June. If you would like to get in touch to discuss a project please call 07984660708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.