Life Lesson with Mark Burgess, Dad to Ruby and Izzy…and Town Planner
Mark started by asking the children what they might like to be when they are older. Here were some of their answers: scientist, engineer, footballer, veterinary nurse, professional cyclist, professional footballer, work for Tarmac, eventer, manage the family business, work for Theo, police officer, dog trainer, artist, teacher.
Mark had thought he’d like to be a footballer, or a teacher. He became a town planner.
There are two stages to planning-
Plan Policy Team
Mark asked what infrastructure an area might mean. This is what Class 4 thought: shops, houses, playgrounds, open spaces, Churches, landfill, physiotherapists, dentists, bins, garden centres, doctors, schools, cycle spaces, roads, airports, houses and flats. There is a lot of pressure to build houses and flats because the population is growing and there aren’t enough places to live.
When people apply for planning permission, Mark looks at the plans. There’s a lot of consultation before a decision is made. Mark has to write to neighbours who might be affected. There has to be an assessment of the impact on wildlife. Sometimes people are upset by the decisions that are made.
Mark went to Buxworth School, then Chapel High School. He went to college to do A levels, then university to do a degree. He was still training when he started his first job, but quickly became fully qualified.
A typical day:
Mark is in the office by 7 am. He works at home for two days a week. He checks emails and reads new applications. He goes out on site to look at the places people have applied to change. He has to check where ponds and trees are.
After lunch, Mark might have meetings with people who need advice. Sometimes he has committee meetings in the evenings which might not finish until 9pm.
What qualities do you need?
Mark asked Class 4 what they thought, and agreed with their answers! Patient, often serious, understanding, confident enough to speak to big groups of people, able to work as part of a team, honest, friendly but professional, optimistic and good at IT.
Mark showed us the massive amount of work that went in to the planning of the development of Barnes Village near Cheadle, and also the town planners map of Stockport.
At the end of the Life Lesson, class 4 drew a plan of the new Buxworth School, having been told they had a LIMITLESS BUDGET. Amazing!