Tag Archive: planning and development

Empowered People – the recipe for success

2017 was a pivotal year for George F. White. Here, our managing partner, Robyn Peat, explains the key ingredient behind such a milestone year and why 2018 presents further opportunities.

Empowered people

“2017 was a fantastic year for George F. White. A key highlight was the decision to move into Newcastle to further cultivate our Planning and Development, Energy and Commercial sectors as market developments have seen an increase in demand for a more urbanised business offering. The move was a success, and following further development within these sectors we have taken the next step and have moved into a bigger and more centralised office on Westgate Road.

Another high point of 2017, and something that will continue to be a key priority this year, is the development and expansion of our team. We appointed a range of people, from Board level positions down to junior and apprentice level roles. We added more specialists to the team, appointing a new operations director, Sally Hart, and also a new regional operations manager for GFW Letting, Donna Cheney. 11 new starters joined us when we expanded into Tyne and Wear, taking us to over 120 employees nationwide.

I often get asked, so what’s your secret to continued success, Robyn? And my answer is always the same: our team. Each team member provides clarity, direction and support to help clients make informed decisions and achieve the best outcomes. To us, this secures success and, in turn, drives growth and prosperity.

Fundamentally, our ethos is people-driven, which is why the personal and professional development of our team is vital. Another highlight of last year, was the restructure that the business went through. We wanted to support internal growth and identify new and consistent opportunities for staff and services. In Northumberland alone, 11 members of the team were given well deserved promotions, recognising the dedication, hard work and talent of the individuals within the business. The restructure has given everyone, regardless of their level or role within the business, a very clear route to progression. It has also provided leadership and management opportunities for many, and shown that the Group is committed to supporting each and every team member’s development, which is rewarded and recognised appropriately.

We’ve also introduced new and updated incentives in order to give back to the team, from extra holidays and changes to the maternity package, through to vouchers and rewards. Notably, a bonus structure has now been implemented so that all members of staff will receive a percentage of the whole business’ profits for that financial year.

Entry level employment is something we strongly believe in, too. Over the past year alone, the Alnwick office has been home to three apprentices and an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) student. Over the past decade, we have supported 23 successful APC graduates and are currently recruiting for more across the business.

For me, investing in your people is without doubt the most important thing you can do as a business. By giving the right mentoring, training and tools to excellent people – the team – we’re able to give the right guidance and support to clients. Due to our consistent growth, we are actively recruiting, creating four new roles across the business. Our ability to grow our workforce is all down to putting our people at the centre of our ethos, and empowering skilled and nurtured people to thrive at George F. White.”

For more information about the current career opportunities at George F. White, please contact Liz Rhodes on careers@georgefwhite.co.uk

2017: A Landmark Year for George F. White

2017 was a landmark year for George F. White. Richard Garland, Head of Tyne and Wear region for the Group, explains why this last year has been one of the best, and most progressive, years yet.

Richard Garland 2017

“When George White established the business nearly 40 years ago, the consultancy’s services were very much focused on the rural and agricultural sector. By 2017, the Group became a multi-disciplined and diverse consultancy that employs more than 120 people in eight locations from the Scottish Borders down to North Lincolnshire. Our focus is much more commercial these days, which is reflected in the rapid growth of our professional services in the last 12 months, especially in the North East.

Back in April 2017, we opened a Tyne and Wear base at Hoults Yard but just six months later we found ourselves closing that office, and moving to bigger premises, with a much more central presence, that is not only home to the professional services teams but also our letting arm, GFW Letting. We’ve done this to facilitate the growth of the lettings business in the last year, and to integrate the George F. White and GFW Letting brands more closely together. This provides opportunities for all sides of the business at the Newcastle office, by being able to offer a broad spectrum of services to our clients, within teams who can offer specialist advice.

2017… A Change of Focus

Due to the rapid growth of the Group across key service areas in the region, the office, which is based in Newcastle City Centre on Westgate Road, will be focused on our planning and development, commercial property and energy consultancy services. In particular, the office is a hub for the North East planning and development team, meaning it can draw on one of the largest specialist teams in the region and a new offering for development clients in the North East.

The planning and development team has experienced consistent growth in recent years, with 2017 being stronger than ever. While George F. White has grown, the rate of growth of the planning and development team has been even more striking and now constitutes 25% of the business’ turnover.

Because of a growing reputation, the team are flat out on many projects of up to 250 houses and several larger sites of 1,400 to 6,000 houses as well as commercial projects. They act both on behalf of land and business owners as well as in partnership with some of the UK’s biggest house builders.

Team Expansion

Such strong growth has been powered by adding more specialists to the team, we appointed a new operations director, Sally Hart, and also a new regional operations manager for GFW Letting, Donna Cheney earlier in the year. When we first expanded into Newcastle, the company took five staff. Since the second move, the team’s workforce in the city has expanded to 11.

We’re continually growing and currently have several available vacancies in the North East. Indeed, we are looking to expand our team by over 10% in the next year. 2018 and beyond is shaping up to be a busy but exciting year as we look to really establish our presence in Tyne and Wear, like we have elsewhere across the North East region and nationally.

For more information about the Group’s professional services, please contact Richard Garland on richardgarland@georgefwhite.co.uk or 01665 511994.

George F.White Planning Team Bolstered with New Appointment

Planning consultant Helen Boston has joined land, property and business consultancy George F. White in a key recruitment move for the firm’s Bedale office.

Helen has over five years’ experience in planning, specifically in local authorities, which will bring an added dimension to the thriving team. She particularly specialises in enforcement which will help George F. White to attract and manage more complex planning projects.

Richard Garland, Head of Planning and Development at George F. White, said: “We’re delighted to expand our planning team, with provides services from Scotland to Lincolnshire, as we continue to take on more and more clients in the planning and development field. Helen’s skills and experiences perfectly complement our niche offering of the highest quality planning advice aligned to the delivery of value to property owning clients on a range of schemes including residential and commercial development. Helen’s ability to clearly advise our range of private, corporate and institutional clients about developments of all scales was a key reason for her recruitment.”

Previous to her role at George F. White, Helen has worked for a number of local councils including the Lake District National Park as a Graduate Planner, Hambleton District Council, where she worked in the planning enforcement department, and Ryedale District Council where she spent the last couple of years as a planning officer.

On joining the consultancy, Helen said: “The people-focused ethos of the business really appealed to me. The business heavily focuses on the professional development of its employees and will provide me with the opportunity to work with a wider planning team that includes architects and surveyors. Key priorities for me include expanding our presence in Yorkshire, where my expertise of local authorities can help us manage and support clients through the planning process and post decision. The UK planning system has undergone and continues to go through huge changes and in Yorkshire particularly there’s lots happening in this field, presenting a number of planning opportunities with the goal of maximising development. It’s great to join such a dynamic and forward thinking team at a very exciting time.”

George F. White Expands Planning and Development Services Due To Client Demand

Land, property and business consultancy George F. White has expanded its planning and development services across Northumberland following an increase in client demand on the back of continued success.

Changes in the planning system opening up new opportunities for property owners have been one of the key drivers behind the team’s continued success and, as a result, the consultancy has seen a big rise in planning related work.

Richard Garland, Head of Planning and Development at George F. White, said: “The UK planning system has undergone huge changes during a big transitional period. From this, we have seen increases in different types of planning and development needs from clients across the UK, both new and existing.

The planning team was established in 2007 to offer specialist advice. Since then, it has grown rapidly, even throughout the recession. While the consultancy’s roots were in rural planning, and this still remains a core strength, it has evolved to provide specialist planning advice across a much larger range.

“Our team now offers a service more akin to some large scale urban consultancies, dealing with large scale applications and urban extension of 1400 units and upwards, continued Garland. “With development land getting more and more complex, joining up planning to an understanding of land deals and values is essential, particularly where equalisation and option agreements are involved. That is our unique selling point and we pride ourselves in being the source of highest quality advice for landowners with development needs.”

Working on a diverse range of applications from major residential, retail and agricultural applications through to lawful development certificates and prior notifications, the team have achieved great results with a 93% success rate for applications in the last 12 months.

In the last two years, the team has doubled in size to include a number of planning and development specialists such as surveyors and architects. Providing services from Scotland to Lincolnshire, the team’s contribution to the overall George F. White business is currently 18%, with an increase in annual turnover of 150% since last year.

Richard added: “Our key objective now is to grow the team further – we are currently recruiting for new members of the planning team right across the business – to continue to diversify services so that we can adapt to clients’ differing needs. For example, we have brought architects in-house as a response to client feedback that they would prefer our teams to manage their bespoke project from start to finish. We are always discussing potential new services that could be offered to clients to make the most out of their land or property assets, especially within what is an ever-changing landscape of planning policies and regulations. The overhaul of our planning and development team is evident in the finalist nomination we received at this year’s North East Business Awards. It’s an exciting time for the team following all the commitment they’ve shown in turning George F. White’s planning and development services into what it is today.”

For more information about the planning and development services George F. White offers or current vacancies, please contact Richard Garland on 01665 511994 or email richardgarland@georgefwhite.co.uk