Garry Fielding recently stepped down from his role with the Hunter and Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) in July, after nearly seven years as Chair. This, along with a number of new recent appointments to City Plan Services’ Newcastle office, marks a new chapter for the firm in the region.
Garry is one of the Region’s most highly regarded town planners. He moved into the private sector after 25 years in State and local government, including Director-level appointments at Newcastle City Council and NSW’s Department of Planning. He has kept nationally recognised town planning expertise available in Newcastle for nearly a decade, having established local offices for Planning Workshop Australia in 2004 and City Plan Strategy & Development in 2008.
Throughout his career, Garry has demonstrated the value of good town planning to clients and the local community.
“Investing in planning advice at the outset should be a fundamental part of shaping your project’s brief and is important to its ongoing management,” Garry said.
“Anticipating what the major hurdles may be and considering how best to negotiate planning controls and approvals processes along the way will make sure technical components (design, engineering and environmental) appropriately address major issues the first time. This absolutely reduces costs – both in terms of time and money – in the long run.”
The company is continuing to focus on its commitment to quality and leadership in town planning to offer its clients direct access to highly experienced planners who understand Newcastle and the broader region. It is also investing in younger planners to retain talent locally. Recent appointments include Regional Director Amanda Wetzel (former Manager, Regional Growth Planning at NSW Department of Planning), Associate Director Chris Speek (former Development Coordinator at City of Newcastle Council) and Project Planner Jon Sjostedt.
City Plan Services is already the largest firm in Newcastle dedicated exclusively to urban and regional planning. It regularly provides advice to governments and works with private sector clients to support new development projects throughout the Hunter and Central Coast.
“Clients benefit from our strong professional relationships with all levels of government, with many of our staff coming from successful public sector careers,” Executive Director and former Director of District Planning for the NSW Government, Juliet Grant, said.
“This is recognised by numerous staff appointments to government and local government review and assessment panels and to senior positions in professional associations.”
As a boutique practice, City Plan Strategy & Development also regularly assembles multi-disciplinary teams to suit the specific needs of its clients’ projects. The company has a well-established network of locally based and nationally recognised firms, including architects, landscape architects, engineers and public engagement firms.
Regional Director, Amanda Wetzel, encourages anyone considering a new project to get in touch and see what the Newcastle team can offer.
“When people experience planning as a constraint to development, they are usually engaging with it too late in a project,” Amanda said.
“Our approach is to develop a close working relationship with our clients right from the outset, to understand and respond to their distinct and changing needs. This provides exceptional, practical and realistic planning and development outcomes for both our clients, and the community as a whole. It also drives the repeat business and referrals we receive locally.”
Image | City Plan Services Hunter team