Peter Nears is the Strategic Planning Director for the UK-based developer The Peel Group, with a remit to oversee the multiple planning projects of a group that has grown from humble beginnings to be one of the most important, if low-profile, property developers and landowners in the United Kingdom. He studied planning and urban design at Newcastle University and, in the 1980s, had Design and Conservation Officer roles in local government with Macclesfield Borough Council and Durham County Council. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool. He has a unique combination of perspectives: design, planning and development in both the private and public sectors.