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  • Writer's pictureDAC Planning Team

Meet the Team: Vicki Willis


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Vicki Willis is our newest member of the team. She joins us from Epping Forest District Council, where she supported the Examination of the Local Plan (adopted in early 2023).


Vicki brings her extensive planning and local government experience to the DAC Planning team.


She provides advice and support to local authorities, local communities and public sector bodies nationwide.


What is your current title and role at DAC Planning?

I am an Associate at DAC Planning, where I am involved in local plan and infrastructure planning projects.


Why did you join DAC Planning?

I was ready for a new challenge and feel very lucky that this coincided with DAC Planning seeking to grow its team. And why DAC Planning? As a place to work it strikes the unique balance between being a professional and forward-thinking private consultancy with a true passion and commitment to supporting and increasing capacity and innovation in public sector planning.


Which profession did you want to enter as a child?

That’s a tricky one, I remember spells of wanting to be a fashion designer but in contrast always had a passion for geography, and so opted for the glamour of town planning!


How did you enter town planning?

My early career was seasoned with town planning rather than planning being at its core. After time in leisure development consultancy, best practice in regeneration and economic development, the local authority I was working for supported me in gaining a Town Planning Masters. Following this, I moved across into the Council’s Planning Policy team and that’s that!


What do you find most rewarding about the profession of town planner?

That you are helping to set transformative change in motion. It might not seem like it when you are immersed in the minute detail such as poring over schedules of main modifications to an emerging Local Plan, interrogating monitoring statistics or negotiating on the nitty gritty detail of policy wording. But it’s rewarding when you sit back to appreciate the bigger picture; that your work is all about seeking to optimally accommodate development need in local areas in the most sustainable way and with the ultimate goal of helping to shape places in which people will live and thrive.


What is the most challenging aspect of the profession?

The complexity of it all – it is one thing to wade through it ourselves, but then also the immense challenge of translating it to our non-technical audiences, including the local community and stakeholders.


Describe town planning in three words.

People, place, politics.


Describe your favourite project so far at DAC Planning?

I’m the newbie to the team and so I’ve loved dipping into the team’s array of projects in my first few weeks whilst settling in and am excited to now be picking up on my own new projects.


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What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Hanging out with my boys, adventuring and eating good food!


Are you a coffee or tea person, or neither?

A bit of both – coffee if there’s a pastry and tea if there is cake!



What’s your favourite book or movie?

Lost Boys.


What's the most interesting place you've ever visited?

China - where so much change is occurring and a place of such contrast.


What's a skill you've always wanted to learn?

Restoring mid-century modern furniture – I seem to have the knack for collecting but not the refurbishing part!

 

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:

admin@dacplanning.com / 01206 259281.

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