Login | Register
01/02/2014

Step Change: Colin Haylock

RTPI members discuss their big career-changing decisions

Colin Haylock is principal at Haylock Planning and past president of the RTPI
 
"In 1999 I made my biggest career decision – to move after 25 years in local government to a working life mixing academic and private sector practice. It was a huge step at 52, but I wanted a new challenge that didn’t involve leaving the North-East and was keen to build on a long-term commitment to the education of the next generation of planners.
 
"I had qualified in architecture and planning. I thought I would enter private practice in masterplanning after a couple of years of planning experience, but I fell in love with my work with Newcastle City Council. I finished up running a large multi-disciplinary team for the council and over the years was involved in a large number of interesting regeneration schemes including Byker, the Quayside and the award-winning Grainger Town project.
 
"When I made the move I wasn’t sure how I would take to teaching – or the students to me. Whilst I felt I had been entrepreneurial and innovative at the council, how would I respond to the pressures of commercial practice? Was I wise to leave a good pension scheme and a public sector working environment and ethos I knew well and was clearly so committed to? But my family was very supportive and knew I wanted to work on what I called a broader canvas.
 
"I had to commit to a teaching role at the university and hand my notice into the council before I had employment on the consultancy side secured, so that took a bit of courage and self-belief. I initially taught part-time in the newly merged School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at the University of Newcastle and worked part-time for Ryder Architecture. 
 
"After three years I joined Ryder full-time as its urban design director. I have never looked back. Subsequently, I have been RTPI President, set up my own practice and became a member of the London Mayor’s Design Advisory Group. Many people make big career changes in their 20s and 30s. I made mine in my early 50s. I hope this article inspires others of a similar age."
 
Want to tell us your big step up? Contact tino.hernandez@rtpi.org.uk

Tags

FEATURES
  • Titled 'The future of planning: What's next?', this year's Planning Convention asked big questions about the direction in which the profession is headed and the role it can play in shaping our collective futures. The Planner's editorial team took note

    Images from the convention
  • Discussion of the housing crisis – and what planners can do to fix it – again permeated the annual convention. The Planner sat in on panels focusing on specialist housing and the role of local authorities, as well as an address from the housing minister, writes Matt Moody

    Illustration: Housing construction
  • ”What we do with our cities will either make or break our species,” suggested New York architect Vishaan Chakrabarti in considering how to create future successful cities. Martin Read reports

    A modern city scene
Email Newsletter Sign Up