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Meet Barnaby Harris

Dan Pugh / 6 Mar, 20

Barnaby Harris works in our Bristol office for our planning department, we recently sat down with Barnaby to find out a bit more about how he became a planner and his experience at SW so far.

Tell us a bit about how you got into surveying…

After graduating from Uni with a degree in Geography I wasn’t sure what to get into, I like the idea of planning and initially wanted to be a transport planner but decided it was too much modelling. I landed my first role in the council in the minerals and waste team and enjoyed the work but didn’t like being involved in the policy side and wanted to be on the other side of the fence and submitting applications. I decided to take a career break, that involved travelling and working around Asia and Australia for a few years and topping up my tan. Upon returning I decided that to progress I needed to do my masters, so I successfully got onto the Spatial Planning and Development Course at Cardiff University which was an accredited degree bv the RTPI. I have since completed this whilst working at Sanderson Weatherall and am working towards applying for my accreditation in 2021.

What attracted you to apply at SW?

I was recommended the role by a friend who had worked at the company previously. When I enquired the original role was for a full time graduate planner, at the time I was on a university course and in lectures 2 days a week. The role was made flexible for myself and allowed to initially work 3 days a week to be able to complete my studies and then eventually I went full time. The supporting and accommodating nature of Sanderson Weatherall led me to take the decision that Sanderson Weatherall was the right company for me.

What is your favourite building and why?

I’m a fan of old industrial properties that are being repurposed into shops and residential flats. The high ceilings and exposed brickwork and original features like exposed metal supports makes them unique and the repurposing and reclamation of unloved buildings I think is a great use of land and maintains that the heritage of the country is retained.

“I was happy to work on a project recently where a council had incorrectly charged CIL for residential caravan parks. This may sound simple but it was landmark victory for ourselves and the industry in general as it has set a precedence that reconfirms approaches taken by an increasing number of councils is not correct.

In the process we also managed to save our client a substantial fee that was imposed on the development and in return we have been retained for an even larger project within the site. The trust from the operator for this new project is a testament to the standard of work we produced and the great result we achieved.”

Barnaby Harris - Graduate Planner

Tell us about your average day…

I live in central Bristol so for me my mornings are easy, I wake up take the dog out for a quick run around the park before breakfast. I have a 20 minute commute which involves a walk along the River Avon. At the moment I seem to be working a lot across the leisure industry and the fast food industry securing permissions for new takeaways and caravan sites, but I have done projects across the board both big and small. At lunch time I often pop back to take the dog out, or on a Friday we will pop to King Street and grab a drink. After work is gym time and time to unwind.

What social opportunities have you had at SW?

I attended the work football tournament in the summer of last year which was great to meet everyone from the other offices. I also attended the graduate day in Leeds which was great to catch up with those from the tournament and meet new faces.

Outside of SW & Property, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

  • Travelling around watching football in different countries
  • Paddleboarding rivers
  • Taking the dog out in the countryside
  • I should be training for my Ironman70.3 but its too cold out!

What three words would you use to describe SW?

Diverse, supportive and rewarding

You can get in touch with Barnaby on 0117 338 1806 or at

To find out more about working at SW please click here.

Topics: Blog

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