David Coleman founded DAC Planning in 2016 after working in both the public and private planning sectors.
He brings his passion for helping local communities by specialising in work for the public sector.
When he isn’t busy supporting local planning authorities with getting a local plan in place, David is biking, exploring the English countryside or spending time with his sons.
What is your current title and role at DAC Planning?
I am the Managing Director of the company.
Why did you join DAC Planning?
I established DAC Planning in 2016.
Which profession did you want to enter as a child?
Good question! I wanted to be either a footballer or a radio DJ. So naturally I ended up becoming a town planner! Having said that I have always been fascinated by understanding how towns and cities work.
How did you enter town planning?
It was certainly not a direct route. I studied Geography at University with a particular focus on Human Geography. However, entering the profession of town planning didn't really occur to me until a few years later. I initially worked as an Analyst, firstly in market research and then in reinsurance. However, I really wanted to have a job that would allow me to improve places and I was (and still am) very passionate about urban regeneration. I managed to secure a bursary from the Government which enabled me to leave my job and to undertake a full time Masters course in planning when I was 24. I have been working as a Town Planner ever since.
What do you find most rewarding about the profession of town planner?
The rewards of being a town planner are often under acknowledged. In my role I get to help shape a more positive future for local communities across the country. I enjoy working for the public good and hopefully making a big difference - although the long-term nature of our work means that it can take a long time to actually see the results on the ground.
What is the most challenging aspect of the profession?
Our work focusses on plan production and working for local authorities and local communities. It is a challenging time, particularly for local government, after years of budget cuts and significant skills shortages across the board. At the same time work demands and pressures continue to grow. I also think that the work that we do is often misunderstood by the public who understandably get very frustrated and confused by the planning system.
Describe town planning in three words.
Constructive, crucial and complex
Describe your favourite project so far at DAC Planning?
It has to be providing local plan support nationally on behalf of the Planning Advisory Service since 2019. I find it very gratifying to support the work being undertaken nationally to drive forward local plans, often against many competing pressures.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Spending time with my children and being active as much as possible.
Are you a coffee or tea person, or neither?
Both! Although controversially I like tea first thing and then coffee later.
What’s your favourite book or movie?
Obviously Back to the Future.
What's the most interesting place you've ever visited?
I’ve been lucky to visit some amazing places, but I would say that the most interesting places were Tokyo and Hanoi. Both were equally interesting for different reasons. Tokyo was mind-blowing when I visited in my early 20s. Hanoi was chaotic, exciting and impossible to cross the road!
What's a skill you've always wanted to learn?
I would love to have my own boat one day and understand how to properly use it and look after it. Maybe a touch more ambitious but I would also love to learn to fly a small plane!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I am very proud to be the Managing Director of DAC Planning and feel lucky to be working as part of such a fabulous team! I have been working in planning for nearly 20 years, and whilst there are certainly frustrations, I still feel very passionate and fortunate to be doing the work that we do. I firmly believe that strategic planning has a vital role to play in ensuring a positive and forward looking future for the country, whilst helping us to navigate the complex global environmental and political challenges that we face.
DAC Planning provides specialist local plan support and advice.
For a discussion on how we can assist you, please get in touch with the team:
email@example.com / 01206 259281.