We recently caught up with Henri Scanlon, trainee planner in our Bristol office to ask him a few questions about the South West property market and his year out with Sanderson Weatherall.
What was your first ever job?
My first paid job was a Sunday paper round which took a lengthy two and a half hours for a mere £4 a week.
Sanderson Weatherall is my first long term planning role, having previously completed short-term work experience in the property sector.
What is your favourite building in the South West, and why?
The Southwest has extremely attractive historic and modern architecture.
However, my favourite building has to be Bristol Old Vic Theatre. The recent and continuing refurbishments of the theatre have not detracted from the buildings history and its influence to attract mixed use development in this area of Bristol.
What is the biggest project that you have been involved in?
Having only just started off in the planning profession, I don’t have an extensive portfolio of projects on which to choose from. Nevertheless, this year I have assisted on projects, amongst others, at a vast range of large caravan parks across the United Kingdom. Each different site is assessed on its own merits; although some may not be physically larger it’s often the smaller sites that are most complex and interesting.
What does the future look like in the South West property market?
With the emerging West of England Joint Spatial Plan being developed, I am confident that by developing local planning policy that strives to achieve targets set above and beyond minimum provisions in the region the property market will continue to thrive. To ensure that sustainable development within the region coincides with an expanding property market there needs to be a progressive increase in the importance of the provision of affordable housing. After attending consultation meetings of emerging local development framework I’m pleased to see local authorities focusing on this issue.
I am a big believer in encouraging social cohesion and interaction. I think it will be exciting to see the impacts of the extensive development in Bristol City Centre. Improving pedestrian permeability and cycling routes will continue to attract more investment to the City, which in turn should have a positive impact on the South West region.
What one thing would you change to influence the future of the South West property market?
Connectivity and public transport. Although Bristol is undergoing extensive improvements to highways infrastructure this is not the case for the entire South West. Other cities in the South West should learn from the successes and faults of Bristol’s transport system to create increasingly enhanced and sustainable networks.
If you could give one piece of business advice to your younger self, what would it be?
At the age of 22 I’m still pretty young myself, so it’s quite hard to know what I would advise a teenage version of myself. I think I’d say exactly the same as what I still say to myself ‘maximise every opportunity, you get what you work for, in order to succeed you have to persevere ’. Or as I was always told, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.
Name three people, dead or alive, that you would pick to work in your team.
Konstantin Stanislavski – an artistically brilliant and creative practitioner
Lord Alan Sugar – a man that built an empire from nothing
Mikael Colville-Anderson – an urban designer and urban mobility expert