Press Cutting

My BE Career: Abraham Laker

Abraham Laker

Abraham Laker

Associate Partner – Planning

13th Jun 2023

Published by BENEWS 13.06.23

Name: Abraham Laker

Title: Associate partner, Rapleys

What I do: I joined Rapleys in December 2021 as a senior associate director. I am a chartered fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and I have worked across public and private sectors where I have gained an extensive knowledge of the planning system.

I have more than 10 years’ experience of working in the planning development field and I have provided strategic and expert planning advice on a wide range of projects ranging from major infrastructure, urban extensions, and high-density town centre development schemes. I have worked alongside several local planning authorities, major housebuilders, public institutions, and private individuals. I am a key member of the day-to-day Rapleys London planning team and I work on a variety of different projects covering a wide range of planning matters.

Why I got into the property industry: Growing up my local areas were a mix of social housing (estate block with limited community recreational spaces, limited local services and increased social inequality) juxtaposed against the affluent Victorian town houses and squares of Kensington and Chelsea. Trying to understand my local urban environment, its constructs and how the urban and natural environments along with socio-economic factors are balanced was a question that stayed with me throughout my adolescent life and spurred me on to undertake a career in town planning.

How I did it: I undertook a bachelor’s degree in town planning at the University of Manchester, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at the University of Westminster. I then applied to the RTPI to become a chartered planner and then subsequently a fellow.

My first proper job: I worked at Mouchel – now WSP – as a land referencing consultant.

My first big break: My first big break working in the town planning sector was obtaining a senior planner role for Capital in Chelmsford.

My inspiration(s): My mum.

The biggest challenge I’ve encountered to date: Becoming a new dad.

My greatest achievement/proudest moment to date: Buying my first house, getting married and the birth of my daughter.

The biggest misconception people have about the property industry: That development proposals are a done deal with local planning authorities and that the general public have no say in shaping their urban environment.

My biggest bugbear about the industry/the one thing I would change about the industry: Under resourced local planning authorities.

Why I’m so passionate about DE&I: Through my career, it became evident that there was a disconnect between the demographic of planning professionals and the communities in which they served. Whilst working in the private sector, I was usually the only planning consultant from an ethnic background within my team, and I began to question whether there were more planners from ethnic minorities working in the private sector.

Where I’d like to be in five years’ time career-wise: I would like to be working on larger scale complex urban regeneration projects within London and other major cities across the UK.

My main career goals right now: To become dual chartered and obtain MRICS qualification.

Who I’d invite, living or dead, to a dinner party: Tommy Hearns (former world champion boxer).

What I do in my downtime: Keeping fit by going to the boxing gym/normal gym, watch boxing, listening to music, and enjoy socialising with friends and family and daddy and daughter time.

My advice for someone just starting out: Really understand the town planning sector, seek out work experience, find a mentor or support group (like the BAME Planners Network) to support you in your career progression and be aware of the current affairs in the sector. Become chartered.

Get in touch

Key contacts

Gain national and local expertise through our multidisciplinary teams of experts.

Associate Partner – Planning

Abraham Laker