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Town planning

With most of the world’s population living in cities, town planning underpins development in the modern world. Our land use planning and urban design team offers a broad range of skills and experience which can be tailored to a variety of projects and clients.

Our planning services can be delivered independently or integrated with other services to suit clients’ needs.

Our clients include national and local government, health and education authorities, transport operators, utilities, developers, commercial companies, banks, funding agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Our town planning teams comprise experienced town planners based around the world. By leading the early stages of a project, our experts identify opportunities to increase the certainty of approval, and thereby reduce costs and accelerate development times.

Our planning services can be delivered independently or integrated with other services to suit clients’ needs. We work closely environmental scientists, engineers, transport planners and sustainability experts, to manage projects from inception to completion.

Our expertise covers a wide range of specific services:

  • Statutory planning advice – we undertake planning appraisals, negotiate and submit major planning applications and secure listed building or conservation area consents for both private and public sector customers. In the UK we are help progress S106 and other planning agreements.

  • Public inquiry and expert witness service – many of our staff are called to prepare and present evidence as expert witnesses at major public inquiries for both public and private sectors clients.

  • Master planning and urban design - we develop of master plans including the layout and density of built form, development phasing, open space, infrastructure, public access and landscape requirements, as well servicing, highway or environmental considerations. As an example, the West Croydon Gateway masterplan required strategic input from our land-use planners, urban designers and transport planners

  • Site planning and development potential review - we examine site development potential, including such issues as parking, vehicle access and servicing, daylight / sunlight, density and plot ratio to establish acceptable site coverage and development value. The Birmingham Eastside masterplan identified regeneration catalysts and development opportunities for land adjoining the central canal district.

  • Public consultation - our town planners lead and support public consultation, including planning workshops, public presentations, awareness campaigns and media relations. We have a leading role on the HK$21.6 billion West Kowloon Cultural District development in Hong Kong, providing urban, environmental and sustainability planning and infrastructure design, developing a financial model for the district and setting out the spatial and functional requirements for all of the new venues. As part of this work we assist stakeholder consultations enabling the West Kowloon community and wider public to express their ambitions and expectations for the area.

  • Project management – our planners co-ordinate the various specialists through the planning application process to ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget.

  • Controversial applications – we help with development projects in difficult locations, including urban sites where local opinions are strongly held, and areas in designated green belt land and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

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