A day in the life at Temple…. Senior Director Planning and Communities

30.06.2022 3 min read

A day in the life at Temple… Senior Director Planning and Communities



I’ve been working at Temple for a while now, and the thing about the company is that it is always evolving. A day at Temple is still rewarding and everchanging, the cliché of ‘no two days are the same’ still rings true. We don’t stand on ceremony in the office or in the team, but we do try to give colleagues opportunities and to try new things and relationships with colleagues and clients are critical. 


Not much is typical about my day, except that I wake extremely early thinking about the day ahead. I don’t know why, but the day is not always certain, and anything can happen really – whether having a long or shorter day, having fun into the evening with clients – or preparing evidence, tender submissions, or reviewing technical work. Generally, though, coffee is first or at least before 10 am. 

I am responsible for making and holding client relationships, delivering major development (and Infrastructure) projects, ensuring their delivery, and encouraging our (excellent) teams. If we are not delivering planning permission for anything from new hospitals to leisure centres or mixed-use and housing developments, we will be doing the same for rail or water related infrastructure – and that is aside from wondering how many more times the government (or any government) will propose changes to the planning system: if only it would bed-down and the Ministers would stay in place for long enough… Always interesting and important, nonetheless. 

Aside from wading through emails on the way into the office, or a meeting, I’ll find myself (unless my head is in a report or evidence, etc) trying to fertilise projects across our teams, talking to other project managers about how planning might fit into their projects and discussing who is getting the biscuits in (fruit is good, but biscuits have always made me happy). Far too much work has been behind a screen and for too long, so with colleagues, we will always ensure where we can, that we do face -to face meetings with our clients and design teams and go out and about to make that happen. I also try and use the phone daily rather than talk to people online- better in my view and a seemingly dying art. 

I will focus on our client’s needs first on any given day, but meetings are meetings and reports are reports and generally, there are both, most days. The real draw though is winning work and getting planning permission and I get a real buzz out of both, as well as when other members of the team win in the same way. My role is also to lead (with other Directors) on the nitty-gritty of planning and related technical matters where needed, so that is also a regular part of my role along with disseminating our collective knowledge and experience about town planning (and whichever planning system changes are afoot). That also means meeting client needs at the point of delivery – like attending planning committees and, say, Hearings or Public Inquiries though of course we prefer to be certain about when they are coming up so planning and working towards those is a common task. 

All that said, I might equally be out of the office enjoying the company of clients or co-consultants, and colleagues, either at events, a lunch, site visits (anywhere), or the pub. In my view, this is the fun part of client relationships day-to-day, and I am always impressed with the way in which Temple colleagues seem to embrace it. 

As a result of all this, my hair, which is now, arguably, grey-white (or ‘experienced’ as some clients have said) was much darker when I joined Temple so it has also evolved in the day-to-day along with the team and Temple itself. 

Key Contacts

Mark Furlonger Senior Director - Planning & Design