Our Team

Established in 2011, KDC employs a highly experienced team combining more than 30 years’ experience to deliver successful outcomes through expert knowledge of the planning industry.

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Benjamin Young

Managing Director

Ben established KDC in 2011 to provide specialist planning and development consultancy advice and project management services to clients in the property development sector.

Ben has significant national and international town planning knowledge and project management skills. He has led and managed teams to deliver projects to a wide variety of world-leading organisations.

Ben’s ability to form strong relationships with staff, clients, council representatives and regulatory authorities is key to providing high-quality outcomes for clients.

With an outcome-driven focus, Ben and his team will guide you through the entire planning process for the best outcome for your project.


Stephen O’Connor


Stephen holds professional qualifications in planning and environmental science.  He has been responsible for undertaking a wide range of major planning studies and environmental assessments since he first entered the workforce in 1974 and has worked as a professional planner and environmental manager at senior levels in the public and private sectors.

Stephen was appointed as a member of the NSW Natural Resource Advisory Council by the NSW Minister for the Environment in 2010.  He was appointed as a member of the NSW Independent Planning Commission by the NSW Minister for Planning in 2015.  Steve is a Registered Planner, a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), is currently a Director of PIA and a National President of PIA.  He has participated as an Expert in the NSW Land and Environment Court and the NSW Supreme Court in relation to over fifty appeals/ disputes.

He has been the principal in charge of assessments for major infrastructure projects including the provision of water pipelines, railway lines, electricity transmission lines, sewerage schemes, gas pipelines, airport upgrades and major arterial roads.  He has also managed assessments and ongoing monitoring associated with significant new developments in the fields of mining, extractive industries, chemical industries, construction, commercial, retail, tourism, industrial and residential estates, recreational infrastructure and waste management projects.


Peter Chrystal

General Manager & Partner

Peter has over 20 years working within the planning profession, he is professionally qualified in Town Planning and Management with extensive Public and Private Sector experience. Before joining the KDC Team, Peter held various Director and Management roles across a variety of NSW Councils.

Peter’s senior role at Newcastle City Council included the overall responsibility for the 948 EFT, $265M council operation, including the announcement that the post-merger would not be proceeding. With Peter at the helm, Council steadily improved its financial performance to deliver a 2016/17 operating surplus of $2.9 million.

Peter was a key executive leading the multi-million-dollar suite of civil works across Newcastle East, which was timed to coincide with preparations for the inaugural Newcastle 500 Supercars event. In partnership with University of Newcastle, Newcastle Now and Hunter DiGiT, he successfully secured $9.8m funding from the NSW State Government to deliver the Hunter Innovation Project. With the partners contributing a combined $8M, the $17.8M project will provide services and infrastructure needed to create a "smart city".

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rod cashion

Project Director

Rod has more than 20 years experience as a Professional Development Manager specialising in Project initiation, planning and delivery across multiple sectors including Government and the Private sector.  Rod has primarily focused on Education, Retail and Residential Development and has been instrumental in providing planning, feasibility analysis and due diligence advice in the early stages of project in preparation of business cases that support highest and best use. 

Rod has the ability to work effectively and collaboratively as a client side Development Manager. He is highly experienced in the full development project cycle. Rod has extensive knowledge and skills around development approval processes and has proven to excel in the delivery of projects with experienced roles managing the design and co-ordination of consultant disciplines. Rod is highly competent in the design procurement phases of projects with a keen focus on stakeholder engagement.

Rod is committed to providing accurate and timely advice, managing project risk and securing exceptional outcomes for his clients.




Patrick joined KDC in 2015 and has now been an Associate of KDC for over a year. He works closely with his clients and team to provide specialist planning consultancy advice in all realms of the planning and development sector.

Patrick is an individual confident in making informed decisions relating to the smooth delivery of projects, throughout the project cycle. His previous experience in the local government field has resulted in a solid knowledge base of Council processes, relevant legislation and point of contact. This permits him to provide clear to the point professional advice and guidance on all planning, policy, process and approval matters. 

This combined with a willingness to continue to grow and learn, both on the job and through further education and training, has given Patrick both the abilities and enthusiasm that is valued on any project.




Rachel has over 13 years’ experience within the planning consultancy profession. She joined KDC in 2015 and is now an Associate. Rachel’s strengths lie in her ability to multi-task, time manage and organise teams to ensure projects are delivered as required and expected.

Experience working in both the public and private sector allows Rachel to understand and efficiently navigate the approval process ensuring advice and outputs are provided from a professional and well-informed position.