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      Jonathan Bainbridge: My career as a Planner for Science and Technology

      As a Partner in the Planning Division at Bidwells, I advise developers and institutions on achieving planning permission through stakeholder alignment and strategic planning solutions.

      06 Oct 2023

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      Jonathan Bainbridge, Partner, Planning

      Could you describe what your job is?

      I help our clients get planning permission as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. This involves influencing masterplanning, design and bringing communities on board. My role is setting the strategy to secure approval while considering all stakeholders.

      What do you love about your job? Why do you enjoy working in this industry?

      I love solving problems creatively and pulling together planning applications that show how developments benefit society. Planning transcends policy, politics, law and design, so the variety keeps it interesting. Taking a strategic approaching and balancing business needs with the local community needs is what I really enjoy.

      Why did you pursue/fall into a ‘Science Aligned’ Career?

      A commercial project in Cambridge opened my eyes to the vital role of real estate in advancing science for society. Bidwells' work across the science and technology space has grown so much over the past few years so I now work on projects across the Oxford, Cambridge and London.

      Could you tell us about what an exciting day in your role would look like?

      Getting out, talking to people and building trust with my clients is essential. Taking the time to talk through benefits to communities is fulfilling. Winning work then delivering positive change to communities through engagement makes for exciting days too.

      What three words would you use to describe what you do?

      Communication, perseverance, persuasion.

      What are the most interesting projects you've been involved in?

      Advising life science conversions like Cambridge's Grafton Centre is fascinating for me – I really enjoy balancing scientific needs and addressing community concerns in clear and creative ways. Working on complex redevelopments like Oxford's Debenhams building is also intriguing given the technical challenges.

      Navigating diverse priorities while delivering strategic planning advice and gaining planning consent is really rewarding for me. I enjoy connecting stakeholders, influencing development, which ultimately paves the way for science and technology progress in the UK.

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      Read the other blogs in this series...