Senior Planner
Deloitte Real Estate

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Caption: Ellen, Senior Partner, Deloitte Real Estate
00:02 I’m Ellen. I’m a Senior Planner at Deloitte Real Estate in Leeds.
00:07 I’m a Town Planner in the private sector. Our clients are generally developers or people who have  land interest or own pieces of land.
00:17 So oddly my careers adviser at school in Year 10 told me that I should become a Town Planner because that’s what my personality type was and I came out of that meeting and told all my friends that there was no way I was going to be a Town Planner because they are the most boring people in the world and I didn’t want to be like sitting in the Council all day, just pushing paper.
00:40 So my A Levels were Geography, Economics, Business Studies and Biology and obviously Geography was my favourite. So that’s what I took on to uni.
00:49 The best bits of my job I find, is the talking to people. It’s the negotiation, it’s the liaising. Being a project manager, managing lots of different people with lots of different priorities.
01:05 To get the planning application together and then, in addition to that, it’s talking to the local residents or stakeholders in a planning application and trying to understand their views and come to a development solution that doesn’t have a significant negative impact on everyone involved.
01:23 I graduated from university at the sort of tail end of the recession and there weren’t many jobs available for Planning graduates so I took a placement at Saville’s, in Manchester and worked there for 8 months.
01:38 That was solely in their retail planing team and I didn’t want to specialise that early just in retail planning, so I took the job at Deloitte in Leeds to expand my experience. So I wasn’t just channelled down one route.
01:50 I really enjoy my work. I think every day is different. Every site that I work on is different. Every project or every client works in a different way. All the teams are different, so I have to negotiate different people, different ways of working, different issues. That’s what keeps me going, is the variety of the work that we do.
02:08 My dad’s a doctor and my mum’s a nurse.
02:12 I’ve got a very medical family or science-y family. My sister’s now a pharmacist.
02:18 So I’m the only one that’s ventured out and become a social scientist.
02:22 I actually love Geography and Economics.
02:25 The science, although I enjoyed it and was good at it, it wasn’t where my passion lay.
02:30 Yeah, the communication and the  personable side of things is a really important part of my daily job.
02:38 In terms of numeracy skills, it depends what type of planning you end up doing. I do projects where I don’t need any and I do projects where you need a fair bit.
02:50 The thing that gets me up in the morning is the variety of the work that we do. Knowing that every day is going to be different and that I’m going to get to work on something new, I’m going to experience something new.
03:03 Learn something, you know, even if it’s a small thing, there’s always something unexpected coming along and knowing that I’m not going to be bored is probably what motivates me.
03:17 I think I’d tell my younger self not to worry as much,
03:21 Whatever happens, there’s always something good that could come out of it.
03:26 There’s always something else that is great, that you can do, so that just because one door closes doesn’t mean there’s 10 other doors like ajar that you can push open and see what’s behind and be inquisitive about what the world has to offer um and that there isn’t a set path in life, whatever anyone says.
03:44 There isn’t a best way to do things, there isn’t a perfect way to live your life. It’s just to do what you enjoy and to stop doing the things that you don’t enjoy.


“The best bit of my job…is the talking to people, it’s the negotiation.” When a careers adviser in year 10 suggested Ellen became an town planner she told her friends there was no way that would happen!

More information about Town planning officers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

70%  male 
30%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Town planning officers direct or undertake the planning of the layout and the co-ordination of plans for the development of urban and rural areas.
Entrants usually possess either an accredited degree or postgraduate qualification and must have completed at least two years’ work experience in town planning before gaining professional status.
  • Analyses information to establish the nature, extent, growth rate and likely development requirements of the area;
  • Consults statutory bodies and other interested parties to ensure that local interests are catered for and to evaluate competing development proposals;
  • Drafts and presents graphic and narrative plans affecting the use of public and private land, housing and transport facilities;
  • Examines and evaluates development proposals submitted and recommends acceptance, modification or rejection;
  • Liaises with national and local government and other bodies to advise on urban and regional planning issues.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Architectural & related 13234
Advertising, etc 6080
Public admin. & defence 3353
Real estate 1389
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Other professional 1064
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