Our People

John Gaskell Planning Consultants (JGPC) believes in a strong relationship with our clients and consultant teams to provide the best possible service and achieve the best possible results from our business. JGPC values our client relationships in every project.

We also believe that the workplace should be a positive work environment, with team spirit, some fun and a motivated group of people achieving results. We are also committed to professional learning and development and regular constructive feedback on projects.

John Gaskell


Planning (Distinction), Queensland University of Technology. Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, Queensland University of Technology

John has over twenty four years experience in the planning profession, ranging across a number of development assessment and strategic planning roles, in both local government and the private sector.

John has extensive experience in strategic planning including the preparation of planning schemes and local plans for different local authorities in Queensland. John's ten years experience at Brisbane City Council (culminating as one of the key authors of the Brisbane City Plan 2000) is excellent background for his consulting roles with local and State Government.

John is also an experienced planner in the preparation of complex development applications, having prepared numerous residential, commercial, industrial, schools, and extractive industry applications over many years.

John also provides expert evidence for both Land Court and Planning and Environment Court. John has strong leadership and communication skills and is a recognised leader in the planning profession.

Joanna Blyth


Bachelor of Built Environment, and Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning, Queensland University of Technology.

Joanna Blyth is a Principal Planner in our firm and has around seventeen years experience as a Town Planner. Joanna is a great communicator, outstanding project manager and enjoys working with clients and consultant teams.

She worked for Brisbane City Council for approximately twelve years in both development assessment, and strategic and local planning. In development assessment she assessed and managed a range of applications in both the West and South Development Assessment Teams. She also was team leader of the RiskSmart team assisting in extending the program to receive applications for multi unit and single unit developments.

In her employment with Council, she was responsible for and assisted in the preparation of more ten local plans which included extensive community consultation.

Since leaving the Council in 2007, Joanna has broadened her planning experience and skills in this firm undertaking a wide variety of large and small development applications, and preparing strategic and policy projects. One of her strengths is her project management skills, managing large projects and input from up to fifteen consultants to achieve the project brief and budget.

Joanna has extensive experience in preparing planning schemes. She has assisted several local authorities over the past couple of years to prepare new planning provisions and undertake peer reviews of draft planning schemes in accordance with the Queensland Planning Provisions.

Chris Simes


Bachelor of Multi-media, Griffith University and Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning, Queensland University of Technology

Chris Simes is a Senior Planner in our office with seven years experience. Building on strong academic performance prior to joining the firm in 2006, Chris has had a diversity of experience in development assessment and strategic planning work during his time with the firm.

Chris has developed a strong attention to detail in his development assessment experience that has included a wide variety of projects ranging from small domestic development to significant infill development projects such as Newstead Riverpark. Chris has an excellent understanding of planning schemes and of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and is well versed in the processes of local governments.

Chris also has strong research, analytical and technical planning skills with experience in a range of strategic planning projects including planning scheme drafting and peer reviews for a range of local government authorities including Gold Coast City Council, Toowoomba Regional Council, Mackay Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council. Chris also has experience in local area planning through involvement in a range of local planning projects for Brisbane City Council and Gold Coast City Council.

Jen Wheeler


Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning, University of Queensland.

Jen Wheeler is a Senior Planner in our office with around seven years experience in the field of planning and development within the private sector and has worked in both Queensland and England. During this time, she has undertaken a broad spectrum of projects covering multiple fields including preparation and management of development applications; and strategic, master, social, and retail planning.

Jen has in depth experience in the preparation and management of development applications, preliminary planning investigations, research and policy advice, and preparation of Retail Impact Assessments and Statements. Her planning experience has involved the preparation of development applications for a variety of development types in Queensland, including residential, retail, industrial, and commercial developments.

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