Gilly is Planning Manager at Enhance Land and Planning, a Cornwall-based planning consultancy with sustainable development at its heart. Primarily, Gilly is involved in large-scale residential developments but also has responsibility for renewable energy applications and Lawful Development Certificate applications. Notably, she has recently been involved in some really rewarding projects, including zero-carbon housing developments with more in the pipeline for next year.
She holds a BA(Hons) in Town Planning from Newcastle University and gained her MSc in Sustainable Development with Climate Change and Environment from Exeter University. She began her career as an intern at Surfer’s Against Sewage (SAS), working within the campaigns team for 18 months. Upon graduating from her MSc, she took up a position as Renewable Energy Consultant for a large environmental consultancy before becoming an Associate Planner with a leading planning and architecture consultancy in 2016. In February 2019, she took the opportunity to move into her current role and hasn’t looked back.
A couple of years ago, Gilly worked on a project involving the re-opening of Dean Quarry in Cornwall for the extraction of armour stone to be used in the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project. Based within a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), the project required the preparation of a Large Environmental Statement to support a planning and marine license application and considerations to ensure minimal impact on the MCZ. She was responsible for the preparation of the Planning Statement and Non-Technical Summary, as well as the Introduction, EIA Regulations, Planning Policy and Legislation and Socio-Economic chapters of the Environmental Statement.
The day Gilly handed in her notice for her previous job, she was offered an Appeal Inspector position at the Planning Inspectorate, however, the prospect of working on zero-carbon projects was too good to miss. As Gilly says, “The role of an Appeal Inspector does still appeal (pun intended) to me, so in the future I would be keen to take up the role of a non-salaried Inspector, which would allow me to continue my current job and handle appeals as an addition.” Furthermore, she is still interested in large-scale renewable energy developments and advising on climate change issues and hopes that both will make it to the forefront of government policy within the next couple of years.
Gilly became a Member of the IES as she knew from the beginning of her career that she wanted to become a Chartered Environmentalist. Originally involved in environmental work through SAS, this experience shaped the rest of her academic and professional career and she joined the IES as an Associate in 2014. Upon being accepted as a Full Member of the IES, Gilly began the process of becoming Chartered and attended the CEnv in a Day workshop in October 2018.
“The fact that the IES offered the CEnv in a Day course was really appealing, as I was preparing my submission to become a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute at the same time, so I had very little free time. I really enjoyed visiting the IES office last October for the CEnv in a Day course. I had a brilliant day and it was really interesting to meet the other candidates.”