In the first of our ‘Employee Spotlight’ series, we meet Charlotte Potts, Associate Director of Land Referencing here at Ardent. Get to know Charlotte, her journey through land referencing and what it means to be a member of the Ardent team.

Q1. What do you do at Ardent?

My current position at Ardent is Associate Director / Regional Land Referencing Lead for the North West. I joined Ardent in 2015 as a land referencer and have seen the company grow and progress exponentially. Day-to-day, I manage the Land Referencing team in Warrington.

My technical interaction with clients is advisory driven these days. I advise clients and wider project teams on land referencing methodologies, best practices, ensuring diligent enquiry can be achieved and thinking out of the box, problem solving and identifying ways in which Ardent can provide advice above and beyond our contractual duties to our clients.

”I always aim to make clients feel heard, respected, and comfortable. I think there’s a lot to be said for nurturing relationships with people/clients that you may work with on a project for years. I think people always remember a friendly face and a helpful attitude, which I endeavour to bring to each project I work on.”


Q2. What are your credentials/past experience, for working in your position?

I studied BSc Hons Real Estate Management at Liverpool John Moores University, graduating in 2012. Graduating during a recession wasn’t ideal, however, I started out as a graduate at a housing association. The role was varied, interesting and gave me a solid grounding in people and the world of work, post-university!

I then went on to join Mouchel (now WSP) as a land referencer. On my first day at Mouchel, I was joined by Lee Hartigan (our Regional Land Referencing lead for the North East) and the rest is history. We worked on a variety of projects, mainly based in the North West; from site visits, to late finishes hand-drawing parcel plans, to getting drenched by kids with water guns as we posted CPO notices! It’s safe to say we learnt a lot. In 2015, I joined Ardent, starting as a land referencer and now, seven years later, an Associate Director leading the North West team.

Q3. What do you like about working at Ardent?

My favourite thing about working for Ardent is that I feel my opinion and advice is always heard and valued. I’m sure this might not be the case at some organisations, so for that I am very grateful. I believe this ethos allows people to develop, form opinions and gives a sense of self-worth in the workplace, which for me is very important.

Ardent is a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals, who are also friendly and supportive. Asking for advice from colleagues is always met with positivity and helpful attitudes. We work as teams to deliver quality to our clients and overcome, together, any challenges along the way.

Q4. How has your career grown since joining Ardent?

I joined Ardent in 2015, with thanks to Mike Crowther, Managing Director of Land Referencing at Ardent. There were approximately 25 people working for Ardent back then. It was a steep learning curve, full of opportunities to project manage and really carve a role out for yourself. In 2016, with minor experience (!), I took on the project management of MetroWest Phase 1. I will always look back on MetroWest fondly, it taught me so much and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. Since then, I have managed a number of large nationally significant projects and smaller CPO’s, helped to grow, manage and nurture my Land Referencing team, whilst getting more involved in aspects of helping to run a business. I have a soft spot for the smaller projects. I really enjoy working with the client closely and being more involved in the details. The pace in which smaller CPO’s progress enables a real sense of achievement when you can see the project come to life!

Q5. What does a day in the life of an Associate Director look like?

A general day will usually consist of team check ins, reviewing budgets and invoices, meeting with members Land Referencing senior leadership team, checking in with project managers to report on progress of deliverables and advising on any queries from the team. I generally meet with clients now as a project director, giving high level advice and overseeing the referencing team with delivery.

Q6. What is something in your industry that you deal with and want to fix?

Promoting the importance of land assembly from ‘cradle to grave’ is key. Identifying restrictions and risks, early in the project programme, has several benefits to the project as a whole. At Ardent, we are proud problem solvers and understand the CPO process from start to finish. We think outside of the box and can provide expert advice at all stages to ensure an efficient and considered approach to land referencing and land strategy.

Q7.What are the values that drive you?

”Ensuring all voices are heard is really important to me. I’d like to think I try my best to give my team the opportunities that were given to me over the years. Valuing opinions of others, adapting to new ways of working and giving people the confidence to be the best version of themselves, personally and professionally, is something I feel very strongly about.”

Q8.What part of Ardent’s vision do you connect with?

I think it’s quite easy to forget the overarching aim of projects when you’re working on them for long periods of time. ‘Deliver life-improving change’ may be as simple as a new highway which improves someone’s journey home each night, or as large-scale as acquiring land for renewable energy sources, which will benefit future generations. Being able to work on such a variety of projects really embeds this message.

Q9.What is the best advice you have ever received?

“Don’t burn bridges, you never know who will come back around.” Very appropriate for the CPO industry!

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