4 September 2023

Meet the team with Jack Barker

Building Consultancy, Planning, SHW News

We caught up with Jack Barker from the planning team

Describe SHW in three words…

Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive.


What are your/your teams expert areas?

 Given we’re a small planning team, it’s difficult to identify an expert area as we’re constantly dealing with a wide variety of planning projects that come by way of external clients or referrals from other internal departments. However, I will say this has been very beneficial as a graduate to develop early in my career.


Tell us about your career at SHW

 I’ve been working at SHW for over a year and a half which has allowed me to develop my knowledge and planning experience through involvement in a range of projects. My current focus is achieving chartered status and I am looking to submit my APC in Spring/Summer next year.


How did you get into the industry?

I was attracted to planning through an interest in the built environment and ample job opportunities after finishing my geography degree during COVID. From my understanding, this is quite a common progression as many planners come from a geography background.


What are your qualifications?

 BSc in Geography at Bournemouth university and a MSc in Spatial Planning at UCL.


What do you like most about your job?

The team members I work with and just being able to take on different enquiries/projects every day.


Pinnacle of your career to date? See below.


Favourite/most challenging project to date? 

My current favourite project is 68 East Street, which I assisted in the granting of planning permission to the convert three upper floors above an active ground-floor retail shop to 3no. residential units. SHW have a large presence in Brighton, so it was nice to achieve this in Central Brighton. In terms of my most challenging project thus far, I recently worked on a Class MA pd application to convert a nursery to residential use and had to visit the site whilst being occupied by numerous squatters which was quite the experience.


Best advice you have ever been given?

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.


Who do you most admire in the industry?

Brett Moore is my current mentor and it’s been great to learn from him since he started at the company.


Three things to do before you retire?  

  1. Develop a solid network of other planners (private and public sector) and consultants,
  2. Working abroad e.g. in Hong Kong where I have family,
  3. Working on renewable energy projects as I have a keen interest in renewables and would like to make a positive contribution to the net-zero objectives.