John Walker brings a wealth of experience to the planning and property field having worked at Westminster City Council for over 34 years, the last five as Director of Planning. Pragmatic, open-minded and straight talking, he has quickly established himself as a go-to trusted advisor since moving into the private sector in 2019, taking on politicians, government officials and special interest groups with equal aplomb. Walker has handled some of the UK’s most complex developments including Paddington, Chelsea Barracks, Knightsbridge Barracks, Covent Garden, New Scotland Yard, Chinatown, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster, the Royal Opera House, Somerset House and Lord’s Cricket Ground. He now provides strategic counsel and project oversight, advising clients on all real estate asset classes, from strategic land, residential and commercial property to retail, major developments, and infrastructure. A former colleague remarks: “At Westminster, John knew more about planning than everyone else – but he was also commercial and knew when compromise was required to get the best outcome. Not all planning officers can make the transition to consultancy but it’s no wonder that John has excelled.” Walker brings about real change and champions excellence in architecture design and public space. His approach has helped clients succeed with high profile and controversial projects which could easily have failed without his counsel. “He knows about local communities, their needs and what motivates them and has a finely tuned political radar,” says one client. “He listens intently before offering measured opinions and solutions. He makes sure you focus on what is relevant – but he’s also a lateral thinker who brings new ideas to the table.” Walker was a lead member of the Planning Officers Society before moving into the private sector in 2019.