Sitting down with… Jo Rogers

This week we sat down with one of our planners, Jo, to find out more about the work she does and why she enjoys doing it.

Could you please tell me your name and your role at EP?

My name is Jo Rogers and I’m a Planner.

And how long have you been working in planning and working with EP?

I have been working as a Planner for a little over 5 years. Initially I was working for EP whilst also undertaking a Masters in Urban Planning at Newcastle University. And prior to working as a Planner, I worked as an Events and Communications Manager for a global charity, often travelling to run conferences in other European countries.

That’s great Jo. So how did you get into the the role you’re in now?

When I was considering the career move into working in planning, I asked EP if I could do some work experience with them. EP very kindly accommodated this for a week – at the end of which I was offered a job!

My role has evolved since I have been with EP, as I have stepped back from overseeing communications for the company and now focus more on planning work itself.

What would you say your biggest highlights have been so far?

It is always very satisfying to receive planning permission or another consent for a project you’ve been working on for some time. I remember working on a project to redevelop a cluster of farm buildings into residential dwellings very early on in my time at EP. Some of the proposals had previously been refused planning permission and listed building consent, but my colleague and I managed to build a good rapport with the client, Planning Officer and Conservation Officer and overcome all of the obstacles, resulting in all the necessary consents being granted. That was particularly satisfying because it took a lot of problem-solving.

Two other career highlights that spring to mind are being awarded two academic prizes for my Masters degree – and subsequently being invited to work as a Visiting Lecturer bringing insights from my ‘day job’ to the next cohorts of students; and being nominated by a colleague for inclusion on the Planner Magazine’s Women of Influence List 2022.

And what is your favourite sector to work in, or your favourite things to work on?

I don’t think I have one favourite sector. I enjoy any project that requires a good deal of problem solving, which to be honest is most projects! I love engaging with clients and communities, and I always enjoy working alongside designers such as architects or landscape architects to bring a project together. 

I am also gaining more of an interest in ecology issues like biodiversity net gain. I think ultimately I am really fascinated by how our planning work shapes the lives of the communities we work within the short and long term.

And finally, how do you like to spend your time outside of EP?

Outside of work, I spend time exploring the great outdoors with my toddler. And sometimes my husband comes along too! I also help to run a community choir in my local area, and I enjoy running, aerial yoga, baking and having lots of people round for meals to help build a sense of community. I’m also very partial to a National Trust tea room… and I have, as of yet, unrealised ambitions to make my own clothes. 

That’s fantastic Jo. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me today and I hope you have a great rest of your day.

If you would like to find out more about the work that we do, you can see the services we offer here, as well as our portfolio of work here.

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