Meet Jozie, Planning Manager at Devonshire Homes20 July 2023
Devonshire Homes’ land and planning team is fundamental to the growth of the company as they are responsible for managing our strategic land portfolio by identifying available land and seeing planning applications through the planning system. Without a land and planning team, we simply wouldn’t be able to bring our high-quality new homes to house hunters across the South West.
Earlier this year, we welcomed Jozie Bannister to the team as a Planning Manager. With a strong background in consultancy and local Government, Jozie brings a wealth of experience to Devonshire Homes. In fact, she’s already making a name for herself having recently been Commended in the Young Planner of the Year category at the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2023.
We caught up with Jozie to find out more about her career background and how she is getting on as Planning Manager at Devonshire Homes:
Hi Jozie! Tell us about your background in planning…
I entered the Planning industry in 2017 with a background in law which has served me well. I spent nearly a year in local Government where I gained experience across Planning Policy, Development Management and Enforcement. As a Planning Consultant, I worked on a variety of projects which varied in size for a wide range of clients, so this really helped me to build upon my knowledge and experience before I joined Devonshire Homes.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in the industry?
My interest in the industry actually started from a young age. I have always had an interest in property and, having followed the trials and tribulations of a planning application my parents made when I was a child, I was aware of planning and the planning system. Whilst studying Environmental Law at University, planning became an obvious career path for me. It combines my passion for property with a genuine opportunity to make a difference through the homes we build whilst utilising my legal background.
Describe your job role and your main responsibilities at Devonshire Homes…
As Planning Manager, I oversee all things planning which includes preparing, submitting, and monitoring planning applications, advising on sites and strategy as well as responding to internal and external queries.
What is a typical day like as a Planning Manager?
I can never predict what the day will hold as my role covers so many different aspects but often, my day will consist of project team meetings, assessing sites for planning potential, preparing planning application documents, researching current issues, and responding to queries.
What do you enjoy about being Planning Manager at Devonshire Homes? What challenges do you face?
I really enjoy the variety of work that comes with being involved in sites from pre-purchase all the way through to the construction stage. The autonomy I have in how I approach my role and manage planning issues gives me a genuine sense of ownership which makes my job incredibly rewarding. Sometimes, I receive planning queries at short notice which need dealing with swiftly which can be challenging but coming up with a solution is often a team effort which creates a shared sense of accomplishment.
It's always hard to know what to expect when joining a new company but Devonshire Homes is full of great people. I have very quickly felt at home in the land and planning team, working alongside fantastic colleagues.
What stands out for you about Devonshire Homes as an employer?
As a local, independent housebuilder, I admire Devonshire Homes’ commitment to ensuring new build homes blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment. The team’s attention to design detail and their desire to emulate and reimagine styles traditionally found within the region puts them, in my view, a step above other housebuilders.
I am very conscious that the houses we build are not temporary. Our homes become part of the landscape and our homeowners become part of existing communities. It is important to me that my employer understands this and that it is reflected in the design, quality, and community involvement, all of which are at the heart of what Devonshire Homes does.
What benefits do you think you bring to the role and to Devonshire Homes?
My experience as a planning consultant has not only exposed me to a variety of projects and issues, but it has also made me very commercially aware. This is something that is essential when negotiating with Planners and weighing up planning gain against the financial interests of the business. Having worked in local Government and being actively involved in the RTPI in the region, I know many of the planners I liaise with. These existing relationships allow for a more open dialogue with officers which makes navigating an often disjointed planning system much smoother.
Finally, do you have any aims or goals that you would like to achieve as Planning Manager?
I want to create a stronger relationship between Devonshire Homes, local communities, planning authorities and elected members so that we can work together effectively to deliver high-quality new homes. I believe these relationships will strengthen as our reputation for building a high-quality product grows and it’s evident that we deliver on our promises and have a positive approach to engagement. All of this will assist in breaking down avoidable barriers within the planning process.