Since 2012 Planning Direct has attracted the best staff by offering a ’boutique’ style working environment with excellent pay, pension, holiday, flexi-time, flexi-working and numerous other benefits. Over time we’ve become a big family by carefully selecting the right recruits with excellent logical reasoning, communication skills and dedication to delivery innovative solutions. If you think you’d fit in get in touch; your character and intelligence are more important to us than your qualifications or experience.

Andrew Cann B.A. (Hons) MCILT APM, Director

Andrew studied Geography at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) before starting a long career in the corporate world where his roles included securing major planning consents for international investment holding company, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in planning, shipping, rail construction, operations, logistics, procurement, I.T. and Local and National Government. 

Over the width and breadth of his career, Andrew has developed an unrivalled understanding of the planning system from both sides of the divide (i.e. the private and the public sector). He has given expert evidence in a number of public forums, including the House of Lords.

Andrew founded Planning Direct in 2012, having recognised a gap in the planning industry market for a consultancy with customer service and care at its heart. His first major win led him to being called ‘The man who beat Tesco’.

Andrew is an avid Formula One fan, aspiring sailor and foodie. 

Steve Miller DipTP MRTPI, Principal Planning Consultant

With over 40 years experience in all aspects of Planning Steve has done it all with countless Public Inquiries, presentations to Committee and attendance at High Court. 

Before joining Planning Direct in 2016 Steve was Head of Planning at Ipswich Borough.

A Long-standing member of the RTPI Steve is a Maurice Hellier Award Winner for being the highest achieving student in his cohort.

Nikki O’Hagan B.A. (Hons), Head of Planning Appeals and Policy.

Nikki has a lifelong passion for writing, literature and linguistics, having spent a good portion of her early childhood in the local library.

Having grown up in Milton Keynes, she moved to Southampton to study French at the University before landing in Ipswich. She then spent a few years working as a supervisor in various busy town centre pubs, also enjoying a brief stint bartending in Paris.

Nikki joined Planning Direct in 2017, where she rapidly progressed to management. She is involved in all aspects of the business, although she specialises in heritage and appeals work.

In her spare time, Nikki can usually be found walking (or otherwise pandering to) her dog, Rudy. Rudy loves to spend time at the office, especially when new people are about.

Jamie Cann B.A. (Hons), Head of Planning Applications

Jamie was born in Ipswich and lived in the county of Suffolk for 40 years before moving to the Norwich area with his wife and family where he currently lives. Jamie is a keen football fan and is probably one of only a few people within the Norfolk area to support Ipswich Town Football Club. Jamie has previously represented his former county, Suffolk, at pool and is also an avid snooker player, having once defeated a reigning world champion.

Having worked in development departments of housing associations for the majority of his working life thus far, Jamie is pleased to have been able to contribute towards improving and expanding the stock of affordable housing within the UK for the benefit of the community. Heading up the planning applications team at Planning Direct, Jamie is responsible for preparing, submitting and managing all types of planning applications on behalf of his client base and has worked for Planning Direct since 2016. 

Elise Colombel

Elise was born and raised in France where she gained a degree in history from the prestigious Sorbonne University.

She first visited Ipswich as part of a student exchange programme, returning nearly 10 years later to live here permanently. Much of her early career was spent in the hospitality industry where she progressed to front of house manager for a very well-reputed local restaurant. Elise then moved into the property management industry before stepping over to planning. She joined Planning Direct in 2019 and works predominantly on planning applications. Due in no small part to her hospitality background, Elise has exceptional customer service and communication skills which are appreciated by clients and council officers alike. Elise belongs to a local book club and spent many years pursuing her passion for running, especially cross-country and long distance events.

She recently hung up her running shoes to pursue a new passion for yacht sailing. During the spring and summer months, Elise now spends much of her spare time out at sea. 

Holly Weston B.A. (Hons)

Holly is from Ipswich but moved to Manchester to study Geography at the University of Salford, graduating during the pandemic in summer of 2020.

Following graduation, Holly returned to Ipswich where she joined Planning Direct in January 2021. She has since worked on a variety of planning applications and planning objections.

Holly recently began a postgraduate degree in MSc Town Planning at Anglia Ruskin University.

Her knowledge and understanding of the planning system is developing rapidly through her studies and daily work. Although the pandemic may have halted Holly’s keen interest in travelling, it allowed her to spend more time reading, cooking and baking (like the rest of the country). She has recently been delving into Feminist literature. 

Alex Webb Bsc (Hons)

Alex is a sociable person who loves gaming and almost any type of sport. Growing up with teachers for parents, he managed to secure a place at Sussex University in Brighton to study a BSc in Neuroscience.

When he wasn’t in a lab coat poking around at brains, he was more than likely out with the University Rugby Team, of which he was an avid social member.

After graduating during the pandemic, he chose to take a break from science and worked in product management before being snapped up by Planning Direct as their newest recruit in late 2021.

Lisa Stevens

Lisa started her career in banking but changed vocation early on to train to become a Landscape Designer.

With over two decades of award-winning work behind her Lisa joined the team in 2021 to provide our Landscape Planning and Landscape and Visual Impact Services.

In her spare time Lisa is a keen gardener and animal lover and enjoys attending gigs and music festivals.

Seth Havens BSc (Hons)

Seth originally has a background in IT and programming having studied at the University of Manchester. He left the programming world 5 years ago to get involved with property development. He has first hand, in depth experience of the planning and building control processes and hard won knowledge of the pitfalls and frustrations involved. 

Having recently joined the team in 2021 as an Architectural Technician, he is also studying for his Advanced Diploma in Structural Engineering. 

In his spare time Seth is building his own home, enjoys miniature painting and gaming as well as practicing his carpentry skills.

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