We believe in a strong relationship with our clients and consultant teams to provide the best possible service and results.


John Gaskell


Simon Grice
Principal Planner


Helen Caswell
Senior Planner

John Gaskell

John is a Director of John Gaskell Planning Consultants (JGPC), a firm of town planners providing strategic planning, development assessment and expert witness services to Government and the private sector.

John Gaskell has around thirty years experience in the planning profession, ranging across a number of development assessment and strategic planning roles.

John has experience in senior positions in both the private and public sector. John’s ten years with Brisbane City Council provides an excellent basis for many planning projects that involve the full process of planning from strategic policy preparation to detailed regulatory frameworks.

John’s standing in the planning profession was recognised in 2015 by the Planning Institute of Australia’s elevation of John’s membership to Fellow.

Simon Grice

Simon has 12 years planning experience in Queensland working in both Townsville City Council and Brisbane City Council. Simon has shown strong leadership in his roles in Brisbane City Council in managing complex and challenging major development applications as well as mentoring a number of graduate and student planners in professional development.

Simon brings his local Government expertise to each project with great insights and working knowledge of Council requirements and the key ingredients for a successful approval process.

Helen Caswell

Helen is a planner with urban design skills and experience and expertise in policy development, the formulation of planning instruments and urban design review. This expertise has been gained over twenty plus years’ experience working at both the state and local governments in Queensland on projects ranging in scale from a single lot to a region.

Stakeholder negotiation and community consultation are also strengths that Helen has developed through her work on high level complex projects such as the SEQ Regional Plan review, new Brisbane City Plan project, Carseldine Urban Village Master Plan, RiverWalk strategy and projects, establishment of the Centre for Subtropical Design and various local planning projects.

During Helen’s time at Brisbane City Council she was also responsible for the delivery of key strategic planning projects with associated capital works. In her role with the Urban Land Development Authority (now EDQ), Helen gained an appreciation of “fit for purpose” planning instruments and fast tracking of the development assessment process.

Lauren Higgins

Lauren Higgins is a Planner in our office with around three years experience.  Lauren graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Urban Development, majoring in Urban and Regional Planning. Lauren has previous experience working in development assessment for the State government in regional Queensland.

Within this role, Lauren facilitated pre-lodgement meetings, liaise with other state agencies, industry and local governments to coordinate timely referral agency responses, prepared ministerial correspondence and addressed enquiries from the public. During her time at JGPC, Lauren has gained experience in preparing and managing development applications, providing town planning advice, and preparing submissions and due diligence reports.

Lauren has developed a thorough understanding of Queensland’s planning legislation, policies and regulations and is familiar with a range of planning schemes throughout the State.

Dirk van der Kamp

Dirk van der Kamp is a Planner with approximately five years experience as a student and Planner working in both the private and public sectors. Dirk is a highly motivated and passionate Planner and has experience in development assessment, managing a range of applications for commercial, residential and subdivision developments.

He works collaboratively with his client and project team to achieve great results for the client and community. Dirk has a sound understanding of the development industry and good understanding of the planning legislations that apply to the preparation, lodgement, management and assessment of development applications. Dirk is a full member of the Planning Institute of Australia and holds a position on the committee for the Policy and Advocacy Committee – Planning Institute of Australia.

Cassie Benfell

Cassie Benfell joined John Gaskell Planning Consultants in October 2018 as a Planner. She graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2018 with first class honours. Cassie’s studies included Geography, Spatial Analysis (GIS), Urban Design, Master planning, Placemaking, Strategy and Project Management. Cassie also completed a final year research project on the nexus between flooding and land use planning.

Upon completing her studies, Cassie was employed with Sunshine Coast Council as a Development Planner in both the planning assessment and Fastrack teams.

Her planning experience includes a broad range of development assessment from small to medium scale developments, submission review and development advice. Cassie has a good understanding of the Planning Act 2016 and application of local government planning schemes.