Our planners have experience from both the public and the private sectors. Our experience and expertise is focused on supporting preparation of planning policy with regard to participation, sustainability and environmental aspects, including SA/SEA, HRA/AA, Green Infrastructure, stakeholder engagement, development of strategic development options, and identification of site allocations especially using the Sustainability Threshold Assessment (STA) approach.
We also support the development management planning stage with input to preparation of planning briefs and masterplans, including consideration of planning conditions & obligations, and review of supporting documentation to major planning applications.
Our expertise and the services we provide include:
- Statutory processes to inform decision-making: SA, SEA, HRA & AA
- Health, equality and social impact assessment
- Research to inform plan-making, planning briefs & masterplans, development contributions
- Consultation & community engagement; visioning workshops
- Sustainability Threshold Assessment (STA) for strategic & site options
Examples of Projects:
FRAMEWORK: PLANNING LOT 6
Planning Advisory Service
PROJECT: GUIDANCE ON PLANNING & PLAN-MAKING
Produced internal guidance for Natural England to inform staff about the plan-making system in England. The guidance sets out how development plans are made and outlines the role that Natural England plays in reviewing and informing them. It also provides suggestions on when Natural England should engage in the plan-making process, and how to most efficiently use that involvement to influence planning outcomes and secure environmental gain at the local level and more widely. The guidance forms part of Natural England’s Land Use Toolkit.
FRAMEWORK: LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION COASTAL GROUP
ASSOCIATION: TUTORING in PLANNING, POLICY & REGULATION
Integrated Environmental Management at the University of Bath
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PROJECT: MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Central Beds District Council
- Center Parcs Planning Application: independent review of developer’s Environmental Statement and Sustainability Strategy accompanying this major tourism development proposal in rural location close to M1 north of London
- Kings Reach Mixed Use Development: independent review of developer’s Sustainability & Energy Strategy to assist DC planners and inform s106 negotiations and delivery
- Stotfold Mixed Use Development: review of developer’s strategies, preparation of Sustainability Strategy and SD Design Statement to inform s106 negotiations and delivery against Council’s targets especially in respect of Code for Sustainable Homes, energy and climate change.
PROJECT: UNDERSTANDING & MAPPING MARINE NATURAL HERITAGE OBJECTIVES
Countryside Council for Wales (CCW)
Studies to inform CCW in their duties and advice to the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in respect of the evolving framework for marine spatial planning, including designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), cooperation on transboundary issues such as licensing & marine planning, and within the wider context as required through the implementation of the Marine & Coastal Access Act (Nov 2009).
PROJECT: THE LOWER LEA STUDY, EAST LONDON
Studies investigated the relationships between urban regeneration, communities and social well-being, and environmental quality. Strategic studies covering six London Boroughs, including some of the poorest in terms of employment, crime, health and education, – with major regeneration issues for derelict contaminated land and with many of the major sites adjacent to the waterfront of the River Lea & tributaries. Facilitation of workshops & innovative partnership opportunities identified including integration of regeneration funding initiatives.
PROJECT: WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE AND PLANNING: A TOOLKIT FOR AGENCY STAFF AND LOCAL AUTHORITY OFFICERS
Preparation of toolkit and briefing notes on the role of planning to implement the Water Framework Directive (WFD); guidance on objectives, timescales, key issues, and contacts for WFD; step-by-step guidance on WFD interactions with spatial planning and development control processes ; interactions with other planning processes including Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA); preparation and facilitation of workshops for local authorities throughout Wales, Dee, Severn & SW River Basin Districts.
PROJECT: GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE (GI) STRATEGY
Winchester City Council
Studies to inform the development of a GI Strategy for this area in South England under development pressure, including major urban sub-regional proposals through Partnerships for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH). Initial review of data, preparation & facilitation of workshop with key stakeholders, wide discussions with planning, conservation & landscape Officers to develop report for consultation and including suggestions for actions and partnering to help secure implementation.
PROJECT: ACCOMMODATING GROWTH IN THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND
South East England Regional Assembly
Studies to inform the preparation of sustainable water policies for the South East Plan and Local Development Frameworks in the South East of England. Wide consultation with planning authorities, development agencies, environmental regulators and technical specialists, conservation and community organisations; preparation and facilitation of stakeholder workshops. Recommendations for preparation of policy, including informing the SE Climate Change Group, and guidance on implementation with case studies for LPAs, including pilot studies in Thames Valley and Thames Gateway
PROJECT: PLANNING APPICATION & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT for GAS STORAGE PROJECT
Star Energy (UK Onshore) Ltd
Preparation of Planning Application & Supporting Statements for gas storage and gas gathering pipeline to connect to national grid; coordination & integration of draft EIAs for proposals at existing onshore oilfield within the Hampshire Downs. Consultation with statutory, non-statutory bodies & residents. Planning permission gained for the largest onshore gas storage project in the UK.