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Dan Palmer Profile Copy

news: 60 seconds with Dan Palmer, ITP's new Head of Development Planning

What do you do then?

Good question! Many of my nearest and dearest still don’t really understand what a ‘Transport Planner’ really does, many people who really should know what a Transport Planner does still don’t and then there is the next question ‘Are you a Traffic Engineer?’ and then the inevitable ‘You should sort out the {insert junction} on {insert road name} its always queuing…too many people driving!’

In short, I help clients achieve planning permission. Be it residential, commercial, industrial, a sailing club or a snooker hall, if it needs a planning application, it will more than likely need transport input and this is where I come in, from a Transport Assessment for a 3,500 house sustainable urban extension, to an access design for a nursery school.

Development planning eh?  Doesn't sound very sustainable...

Increasingly transport planning is becoming a varied and all-encompassing discipline, moving away from the ‘old days’ of heavily engineered ‘solutions’, whereby a solution can only ever be drawn in AutoCAD (other software packages are available). In years gone by when a roundabout was congested, what did you do? Build a bigger one of course! There will always be a need to address highway capacity issues and look at ensuring vehicles can use the highway network effectively.  However, transport planning needs, and still has some way to go, to see the bigger picture – the social, environmental and economic pressures of development. In short, there is never one answer, it’s never black or white, perhaps shades of grey…

So, no cars at all?

It's now fairly well accepted that car-dominated town centres are not always the nicest place to spend time, and car-dominated developments rarely make great places to live, with neither being particularly good for the environment.

I’m not an anti-car Transport Planner, far from it. Cars, in one form or another, will always have a role to play, but nor would I claim that cycling is the answer to all our problems (despite what the mainstream media might suggest).  For me the key to successful sustainable development is integration - a commitment to creating well-connected, accessible and environmentally-friendly places where sustainable movement is considered from the outset.  

Designing-in adequate space for walking, cycling and public transport use alongside roads for cars means people are naturally more inclined to choose healthier and sustainable options for some of their journeys. The end-result are more 'liveable' and 'active' neighbourhoods.

Sounds great.  How do you plan to achieve this at ITP?

My role will be to lead the Development Planning Team, working with clients, stakeholders and specialists within ITP to bring early sustainable mobility and inclusive design insights into commercial and residential developments.  Our work will help clients to achieve their development aspirations in a practical and sustainably-focused way.

How do we get involved?

Our Development Planning Team is evolving and growing to meet our increasing workloads. If you are interested in joining our team, then please take a look at what a career at ITP could hold, and get in touch if you think you have the skills we need.

Can we meet you?

Absolutely!  I am based in ITP's Birmingham office, but regularly travel around the country to meet clients, developers and Councils.  Please feel free to call me on 0121 213 4727 or send me an email and we can set up a meeting.


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