I'm Alison Eardley, the founder of Alison Eardley Consulting.
I am a town and neighourhood planner and
Associate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute
My professional life
I've been working with communities for over 20 years and have extensive project management, engagement and policy writing skills. I set up my consultancy in 2010, focussing on community led and Neighbourhood Planning. I've learnt many skills along the way and I bring that wealth of knowledge and experience to my work today.
Having successfully graduated with a degree in Tourism and French, I started my career in the London Borough of Newham as their very first Tourism Officer.
It was an exciting role that included developing the Borough Tourism Strategy to capitalise on the emerging conference sector, with the ExCeL Centre and London City Airport within the area, as well as the specialist shopping and retail sector offered in colourful Green Street with its exotic spices and exquisite fabrics.
Those early days of marketing promotion put Newham on the map, most famously remembered now as the centre for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Heading away from London, I took a senior position in the Economic Strategy Team at West Sussex County Council, heading up the Tourism Team.
It was a beautiful part of the world to work in and I led on the development of the county-wide strategy as well as promotional activities.
I also co-ordinated the South East Regional Walking Festival.
Following the arrival of my two children, commuting into London was no longer an option, so I took up a position as the National Policy Manager for the charity, Action for Market Towns.
I led on policy development for the charity, working closely with the Board of Directors and local members, in order to embed the needs of those living and working in market towns into emerging government policy.
We launched the toolkit for Community Led Planning, and I was invited to represent the voluntary and community sector at the Government Roundtable on Localism and the Community Rights legislation, which ultimately introduced Neighbourhood Planning.
I decided to go freelance and offer direct support to communities wishing to develop their own Community Led Plans and Neighbourhood Plans.
I've worked with many different groups, ranging from small rural parishes to larger market towns and inner city neighbourhoods. Have a look at my client page.
I also support groups on other aspects of planning including Infrastructure Delivery Plans, Design and Access planning, research and local engagement.
Away from the desk, my life revolves around my family and our pet cats.
I live in the lovely, historic market town of Faversham in Kent with my husband and two children.
I enjoy cooking and baking, watching old movies and planning trips...when not in lockdown. You are most likely to find me in north Wales if I'm away!
I'm also part way through a Masters course in Urban and Rural Planning.