Steve began his career as a trainee planner having studied geography at Durham. He took a post graduate qualification and became an RTPI member in 1982. His early career was mostly in Development management in Epping Forest and Dartford. Steve moved to Yorkshire to be Head of Development Control and then in 1988, he was made Head of Planning.
In 1996, Steve was appointed as a Director of Planning and Environmental services which included all front line services except for housing benefits.
During 2004/05, Steve was president of the POS. In 2008 he was appointedChief Planner at MHCLG He is also the head of Profession within the Civil Service and has done significant work to promote and champion the role of planning in the civil service. A current objective is to raise the profile of the benefits of good design across Whitehall and beyond.