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Elouise Mitchell named as finalist in the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2024

We are extremely excited to announce that LEP’s wonderful Senior Planning Consultant Elouise Mitchell has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2024 in the category ‘G4C (Generation for Change) Future Leader’ in recognition of her achievements in her exciting career so far.

The Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards recognise and celebrate the very best individuals, companies, collaborations, and projects from across the London and South East region. The awards are open to the whole sector from buildings to infrastructure, all parts of the supply and demand chain, all disciplines, professions and trades.


LEP was extremely proud to nominate Elouise Mitchell for the award of G4C Future Leader.

Elouise’s colleague Reece Lemon prepared a wonderful nomination for the awards, describing all the reasons why she is a worthy finalist and exceptional member of our team:


Where planning drives the construction industry in the early stages of any new project, Elouise Mitchell takes the wheel. Elouise is an outstanding planner through any lens. Elouise has an astute command of the planning system. Her career has blossomed since embarking on her first planning roles in Local Authority, before joining LEP. Diversifying her career, Elouise worked client-side for a national housebuilder, rising to Planning Manager, before re-joining LEP as a Senior Planning Consultant in early 2023.

She benefits from around 8 years’ experience across the public and private sectors, with demonstrated success in reliably navigating the planning system. Her work mostly focuses on development management – through a range of application types – though she has growing experience in strategic land. Her primary areas of work are residential and education, though she has proved skilled across community and major public-sector projects.

Three Winning Facts:

  1. Before 30, Elouise has worked across three areas of planning – consultancy, local authority, and clientside. Her breadth of experience – at this age – is impressive.
  2. Elouise is already a leader in the profession – mentoring planners, architects, and others; she also sits on Women in Planning Kent’s committee championing the voices of women at all stages of their property careers, beyond just the planning sector.
  3. Elouise successfully transitioned from a non-cognate background (in Law), and is a shining example of diversifying routes into the property industry.


Elouise is noted for the way she diligently manages complex projects at all scales. She is most known for her prowess in large residential schemes where she leads multi-disciplinary teams with honesty and integrity. She has a particular confidence in her advisory role to stakeholders, and focuses on collaboration as a tool for success. Across projects she advocates unwaveringly for extensive pre-application
engagement and consultation. A key example is where she recently secured planning permission on behalf of a national housebuilder, promoting a bespoke approach to play space above standard – and beyond ‘the norm’ for this volume housebuilder – aligned with the growing trend towards ‘make space for girls’ principles. Her leadership – and centring of other specialists –challenged and transformed this housebuilder’s ‘norm’. Away from the day job, she is a champion of change through her emphasis on the next generation.

Although working towards Chartered membership, she nonetheless makes time to mentor junior colleagues across disciplines, providing the building blocks for yet more bright careers in property. Elouise frequently speaks at schools and universities on the routes into planning and property, with emphasis on those from ‘non-cognate’ backgrounds.

Women in Planning’s Kent branch is a passionate focus for Elouise. Celebrating and signposting the voices of those around her, Elouise is ever-keen to diversify the faces of property and this comes through most in her approach to organising or contributing to events for historically under-represented groups or topic areas. To any event, she brings with her a progressive attitude – and action.

The lead planning consultant steering Dover District Council’s ‘Dover Beacon’ project, she has co-ordinated the planning submission having collectively orchestrated a lengthy public engagement process. As part of Dover’s £18 million Levelling Up Fund award, Dover Beacon will be a shining success in her already impressive career.


Her trust-building approach is rooted in familiarity and openness. She acts with honesty, and a curious mind. Simply, Elouise asks questions, and seeks answers for her own understanding. She gets people talking, and recognises that – away from our job titles and roles – we are all human. Her professional – yet soft – approach is disarming, and yields success. It builds a collective mindset where collaboration is focused around building towards something together.

Where problems arise, she first works to understand the issue before, simply, bringing it back to the table where it involves others. Working without blame, Elouise is proactive and supportive, and problem solves through discussion – often solutions come through open conversation and informality at a first run, and she leans in to this. Her confidence in self is reassuring, and allows the space for difficult conversations, ultimately geared towards solutions. Elouise is hands-on, and usually the first to recognise the best solutions will mostly come from multiple parties, and might well need balance, concession and compromise across disciplines. She steers this type of strategy confidently, and is brilliantly self-aware of her role – as a Planner – in keeping the focus on the achievement of planning permission, and the need for collaboration in getting everyone over the line.


Planning is inherently process driven, guided by policies, principles, and legislation. The room for innovation can be difficult to find, and yet Elouise manages to find varying routes through, relative to the bounds of the English planning system. As is a core theme of this nomination, she is increasingly seen as a leader in collaboration as a meaningful tool – across the traditional divide of ‘local authority’ and ‘private sector’ planners.

In the Dover Beacon project, Elouise has exercised leadership in embedding this type of cross-organisation, cross-purpose collaboration as the new ‘norm’. In the context of emphasising Planning Performance Agreements as a key tool for Applicants, she has embedded Design Review, Workshops, and ‘Lessons Learned’ sessions into the formal determination process, but – crucially – prior to submission as an extensive round of pre-submission consultation with statutory consultees and planners. Whilst consultation and pre-application engagement are not ground-breaking, Elouise’s drive towards working with (rather than ‘against’, as is often perceived) local authority planners – almost as if an integral part of the design team – is increasingly disrupting the status quo as to how planning applications could, or should, be compiled.

Crucially, this process builds buy-in and credibility from the Local Authority. Elouise is gifted at creating shared purpose and goals, and an energy for forward momentum. With her enthusiasm and commitment to breaking down conceptual divides within the planning system, she is – we feel – slowly but surely dismantling established approaches to planning, replacing them one by one with revisited ‘could be’ approaches.


As a planner, Elouise’s everyday framework is centred on sustainability across economic, social, and environmental disciplines. Her strong advocacy for making places better is the most fundamental – and tangible – impact of hers. Each project – whether physical buildings or Local Plan allocations – is rooted in a finely balanced sustainability appraisal.

Directly engaged in physically shaping the world around us, Elouise is a proven leader in steering projects through to success, almost inevitably assessed against sustainability credentials for a myriad of stakeholders, not least the Local Planning Authority.

Involved from project inception, Elouise promotes extensive collaboration – right from site identification through to scheme development. Her approach to work centres others’ views: pre-application engagement, public consultation, and cross-team working. She recognises unwaveringly that a multitude of views often highlights ‘blind spots’ and opportunities for improvements, specifically in social sustainability, and ensuring the views of otherwise unengaged groups and people (sometimes within project teams) are adequately reflected in design, decisions, and outcomes.

Extending this to her Practice-work, she leads the Employability Skills programme within the Planning Team, supporting non-cognate juniors in sharing opinions, voices, and experiences relevant to a given project. She often leads and participates in workshops, again zeroing in on sometimes ‘unheard’ voices, all with a view to unpack a scheme, to re-visit and marshal sometimes conflicting wants and needs to bring forth the best overall package for clients and stakeholders, making difficult decisions to balance the sustainability credentials of a given proposal with a well-tuned commercial sensitivity to client deliverables.


Elouise openly describes herself as a “confident and determined planner, passionate about providing great places for people to live, work and play”. There are limited ways to expand on this – she knows herself well, and puts into action exactly the type of exemplary planning practices that serve our industry so well. Elouise Mitchell is a remarkable planner, and without doubt reflects the very best of the of a future leader in our industry.

Her legacy is one that is already reflected in the projects she has been engaged with. Through completed buildings and schemes, site allocations for development in Local Plans, or decisions made at Planning Officer level, her legacy is both present and to-come. Her impact on the industry is – and will continue to be – physically seen, as much as it is felt.

Her concerted effort and input to the early careers of those around her will – we strongly consider – positively impact the future of the industry. Her mentoring skill is second to none, and her drive to bring others with her on our own journey towards career development is commendable. The change delivered is evident – in the mentored junior colleagues growing in confidence, knowledge and skill.

Elouise is an all-rounder, and her impact is well-developed, even before the age of 30.


Follow this link to view the full list of finalists across all categories.