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A week with Optimis - Emily's work experience

This summer, I had the fantastic opportunity to join Optimis for a week, carrying out structured tasks with the Optimis Developments department, and gaining valuable insights into consultancy and planning matters with Optimis Consulting.

During my work experience, I was given tasks very similar to the day-to-day work of a development consultant.  These tasks included assessing  the prospects of developing in the villages surrounding Bedfordshire, researching the local area and properties, undertaking a site search to determine the suitability of a piece of land for residential housing, any issues with it, what kind of dwellings would be likely and working out the gross development value of said land.  Additionally, I was able to carry out an exploration into a suitable area to develop into a care home as if for a client, researching local areas, their populations and finding suitable plots of land where such a development would be ideal.

I also spent some time reading and assessing planning applications and appeals, gaining a thorough understanding of the procedure behind the consultancy branch of the company and the importance and necessity of liaising with experts, politicians and local authorities to gain planning permission.

As a keen geography student with an interest in law, this work experience was invaluable as I could use my geography knowledge to understand, behind-the-scenes, the way land and properties are acquired and developed, get to grips with planning applications and appeals, and how this is managed in the most sustainable way as possible.

On top of that, I could not have done this work experience in a more vibrant and friendly office, who would go out of the way to ensure my week here was as informative and enjoyable as possible, taking me out on site visits as well as out to lunch!

I have really learnt what it is to work as a planning consultant or land and development agent, and can guarantee I will never look at a plot of land or home extension in the same way again!

By Emily Duchenne


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