Shirley Curran manages developer contributions on behalf of East Lothian Council.
Have you heard of Developer Contributions? These are payments made in relation to planning applications of a certain type and size, to ensure appropriate finances are in place to provide necessary infrastructure needed to facilitate that development.
In simpler terms, larger developments may mean that improvements to nearby roads, footpaths, cycleways or junctions are necessary, or a new school or extension to an existing one is needed. Or affordable housing needs to be provided.
Shirley Curran, our Planning Obligations Officer, took up her post in March 2022, to manage all of these contributions on behalf of East Lothian Council.
Originally from Ayr, Shirley completed a degree in Geography & Politics I went onto study Urban Development before going into the private development sector.
She said: “When working, I did a postgraduate diploma in Urban and Rural Planning and became a qualified planner in 2001. In 2004 I moved into Regeneration Planning with Renfrewshire Council, however with a desire to get wider planning experience I moved to South Ayrshire where I worked in Development Planning and Development Management, undertaking the financial and legal planning work on Bonds and planning obligations before taking this promoted post opportunity in East Lothian.”
Describing her new role with ELC: “Day to day, this involves close liaison with planning case officers and other council services to determine the requirements associated with new developments, in line with the Council’s Developer Contribution Framework.”
Shirley also monitors developments as they progress, ensures collection of funds from developers and ensures that those infrastructure requirements are delivered by either the council or its partners. She also manages any requests for modifications to existing agreements.
Going forward, her aims are: “To ensure that new developments help to create great places, integrate with existing communities and help our sustainable development within East Lothian. I will also be contributing to the development of further Developer Obligations Policies at strategic and local level, which will involve working with other partners to ensure the quality of our environment and service.”
Amazingly, with such a busy role, Shirley still finds time to be heavily involved with her local swimming club as a coach and parent, getting up in the wee small hours every Saturday! She has even recently completed a charity 5k swim. If she has any free time left, she enjoys being involved with her local Parent Council, hill walking and travelling.
She says of working in East Lothian: “I enjoy the diverse range of places and environments in East Lothian which all have different characteristics and charm, whether it’s the coastal, urban or rural.”