James Youngs - Planning Year in Industry Intern - Shares his Year at Arcus


James Youngs – Planning Year in Industry Intern – Shares his Year at Arcus

I was fortunate enough to secure a ‘Year in Industry’ work placement at Arcus Consultancy Services Ltd, during my third year at the University of York. I have had the honour to work closely with both the York and Glasgow planning teams, whilst also working alongside the environment, noise, hydrology and ecology teams across all UK offices. I have gained invaluable experience into the planning system, learning what goes into renewable development projects, large housing developments and single dwelling properties (through the company’s “Surface” brand).


All team members at Arcus have been extremely helpful and allowed me to work alongside them on initial site finding and feasibility studies, resolving planning issues that arise during the consultation process and submitting major development applications to local planning authorities.


I have had the pleasure to help coordinate and win tenders for major solar developments. I was given the responsibility to project manage small scale developments from solar schemes, discharging of conditions and various ancillary developments for a water utility, working within both the English and Scottish planning systems.


With these projects I had the opportunity to work with a number of internationally renowned renewable energy developers, including ScottishPower Renewables, SSE, EDF, Statkraft and many more. I was tasked with organising meetings and independently producing planning documents and site plans for the projects.


The highlight of my year’s placement was the active role I was given to assist with the Cable Route Amendment and Onshore Converter Station Access Road development. This supported the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) of the offshore windfarms Dogger Bank Teesside A and Project Sofia. They total 2.6GW and comprise of 400 wind turbines off the northeast coast. I was also lucky enough to be a part of the Arcus Team to help achieve the first solar NSIP to be granted a Development Consent Order, Cleve Hill Solar Park.


Despite working from home for half of my placement as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I got to know the whole Arcus team who are extremely friendly and made the transition to online life all the more easy.


My Year in Industry has cemented my desire to work in the planning industry. I will use the skills I have learnt to help succeed in both my final year of university and graduate employment, with the goal of becoming a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. It has been a fantastic year’s placement, I would like to thank everyone for all their help and support over the last 12 months. Hopefully, I will be able to come back next year to pick up my social secretary status and organise a socially distancing pub night out for those in York!