Helen Heward

After studying Geography at University I quickly realised that it was human activity that interested me most so I embarked on finding a career where I could look to minimise the impact of human activity on the natural environment.

After a lecture someone came to give a presentation about opportunities in town planning and I could see that the profession was exactly what I was looking for so I continued to study for my masters in Town Planning.

After 13 years in Local Authority planning departments in the north-east across planning policy, enforcement and predominantly development management I left in December 2018 to work for a small independent planning consultancy and I absolutely love it! The role allows me to work closely with clients and take a creative approach to maximise development potential whilst working well with Local Authority planners, as I am aware of the systems and constraints which they work within. The job comes with pressures however I enjoy the daily challenges and have thrived in an environment where building relationships with people is genuinely important and valued. I feel incredibly lucky that Planning House have taken a very flexible approach to the working week to allow me to continue with a career I love while being at home with my young family.

Planning House has also provided me with an opportunity to work on another of my passions, which is gender equality within the planning industry. Following my move from Local Authority I was given the time and support to launch a branch of the Women in Planning network for the north east and the interest has been phenomenal which to me clearly demonstrates a need.