Claire Tester grew up in the central Sussex area and has worked in local government planning at district and county level in Hampshire and Sussex since 1990, including as the Head of Planning at Mid Sussex District Council from 2008-2016. She has an MSc in Town Planning and is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. She is also qualified and has practised as a Parish Clerk, gaining a valuable insight to working at the grassroots of community planning.
Since the birth of neighbourhood planning in 2011, Claire has been a strong advocate of these plans as a means for communities to shape their own places. In the context of the High Weald she believes that neighbourhood plans provide an opportunity for communities to learn more about and connect with their places; appreciating how they have evolved over time and how they can grow in a sustainable way that conserves and enhances the character of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In her spare time Claire runs her own business supporting neighbourhood planning and can be found walking the footpaths and bridleways of Sussex with her family.