Two new hires boost Vail Williams’ planning team

Kathryn Banks and Oliver Galliford join the Gatwick and Surrey teams respectively.
December 6, 2022
Two senior hires have been added to property consultancy Vail Williams’ growing planning team as business demand continues to drive strategic expansion.

Experienced Kathryn Banks and Oliver Galliford have been appointed as senior planners covering the Surrey and Gatwick regions and beyond.

Both join from immediate local authority roles – Kathryn from Horsham District Council in West Sussex, with Oliver arriving from Hertsmere Borough Council in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

Kathryn, who spent six years at Arun District Council, is a chartered town planner with more than 14 years’ experience in local planning authorities within the south east.

She has significant expertise in planning policy and development management for local authorities, working up draft policies and the supporting evidence for the production of local plans which seek to support development in the respective areas; and dealing with a range of planning applications.

Kathryn has also undertaken site assessments for potential residential and employment schemes for inclusion with Land Availability Assessments to ensure sites put forward are deliverable.

Her key areas of expertise for Vail Williams include town planning consultancy, providing commercially focussed  planning advice on developments in a wide variety of sectors, pre-application negotiation, drafting, submitting and monitoring planning applications and engagement in strategic planning and local plan representations.

She said: “Having been involved in a variety of roles in the public sector including numerous consultation and engagement exercises for strategic sites to assist in shaping emerging local plans, I intend to use my know how to continue the second-to-none service for which Vail Williams is famed in the private sector.”

Oliver, a professional town planner with five years’ experience, has been involved in the production of a new local plan and development strategy, as well as the development management process, including assessing and determining planning applications, and providing pre-application advice.

Whilst at Hertsmere, he oversaw the development of the draft local plan consultations, providing policy advice on major development, managing site selection processes, drafting planning policy legislation, assessing land promotions and providing supporting evidence for the local plan.

At Vail Williams, Oliver will bring this experience to bear, drafting planning statements, appeal statements and supporting documents for development proposals. He will also be responsible for promoting sites through the planning system, including the local plan process, and providing planning advice to variety of clients.

He said: “I have experience in co-ordinating the delivery of technical evidence including site assessments, green belt reviews, infrastructure delivery plans, sustainability appraisals and sustainable transport assessments – all of which I aim to utilise for the benefit of our clients.

David Ramsay, Partner and head of planning, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Kathryn and Oliver to the team to support the continued growth of our client base and increased workload.

“The knowledge and specific skill sets of both Kathryn and Oliver bring to Vail Williams complements the existing team well and will enable us to continue to successfully guide clients through the complexities of the UK planning system and deliver positive outcomes.