Experienced planning  consultant Claire Alers-Hankey has joined the expanding Planning and  Development Division at Greenslade Taylor Hunt.

The department, which is marking a year in its modern premises beside  the M5 in Taunton offers unparalleled service across the South West.

Welcoming her appointment, Graham Ford, the Partner in charge of the  Planning and Development Division, said: “I was very pleased to welcome  Claire to our Planning Team, given her breadth of experience.”

Claire began her career as a planning officer at Taunton Deane  Borough Council in 2005 before moving to South Somerset District Council  in 2008.

She joined Smiths Gore in Taunton in 2014 as a planning consultant  and continued in the role when the firm was taken over by Savills in  2015. Her move to Greenslade Taylor Hunt was motivated by the fact the firm  is strongly established in the local area and has a long, strong  agricultural background.

“I like the feeling of a local firm that focuses on teamwork and  places strong emphasis on good client relationships – focusing on the  right thing for the client. Also GTH has an excellent presence in the  local area,” said Claire.

The daughter of retired vets from Cornwall she always wanted an “outdoorsy” career.

“I have always been interested in architecture and the countryside generally,” said Claire.

After gaining her degree in rural estate management at Seale Hayne,  she worked with event horses in Cornwall and North Devon, but her  interest in architecture took her down the planning route, which led her  to securing a Masters degree at Cardiff University in Town & Country Planning.

She has worked on a broad spectrum of projects, from barn conversions  and single dwelling plots to major residential schemes , and has  excellent professional relationships with planning officers in local  authorities throughout the South West.

If you would like advice on a planning project – big or small –  please contact Claire on 01823 334466 or email