Creating a sustainable built environment is essential to enable people to live and work within environmental limits, whilst maximising quality of life.
Creating the link with developers
We have helped many developers understand sustainability and spatial planning by working with them throughout the pre-planning application stages.We work closely with the developer to undertake projects that benefit the community and the economy as well as minimising environmental impacts.
We have found that once developers understand the benefits they can bring to an area, they become enthusiastic about implementing sustainable practices throughout their schemes and operations.
We have been involved in helping clients achieve low or zero carbon developments that also provides a range of benefits and assets for the wider community.
Our work with landowners, developers and farmers in providing a full range of environmental planning services has resulted in many positive planning applications that have been fully integrated into the vision for the proposal, whilst being both innovative and deliverable.
We work across the UK and have worked with clients in Malta, Cyprus and Uganda.
We apply ‘real world’ thinking in identifying the opportunities and constraints in achieving sustainable developments, whilst finding innovative, cost effective and well thought out solutions.
Our aim is to help our clients understand the scope and possibilities that national and local planning policy can provide in creating sustainable developments and spatial planning policies.
At the strategic level we work with agencies and authorities to help improve their sustainability performance throughout the plan making process.
We also work with landowners and developers to identify sustainability issues and benefits of projects as they develop, and provide any necessary reports and studies to accompany planning applications.
Applying BREEAM Communities
Our clients in Lincolnshire had long wished to provide an extension to their village as a means to breathing new life into the area and to create a range of homes, businesses, open spaces and community facilities that would result in a vibrant place to live, now and in the future.
Our approach was to use the BREEAM Communities methodology as firstly this put the community at the heart of the plans for the extension, and also the sustainability criteria were flexible enough to allow for rural situations (not all local and national criteria is suitable for such areas).
We are managing the BREEAM process, handling the community consultation, ecological impact assessment, and other elements of the technical work.
Making a community sustainable involves a lot of research into firstly how the community works and interacts and then applying the right solutions to fit their situation. BREEAM Communities also rewards innovation, and so far we are pushing the methodology into the area of village planning by working alongside, and contributing to, the parish Village Plan process. Our experiences and results will be fed back to the BRE for their information and evaluation.
Innovative approach to low impact sustainable eco-lodge tourism
Our sustainability assessment approach has enabled our client to achieve a positive planning result following previous adverse planning responses.
Our approach aimed to develop an exemplar for the benefit of the site owner and local people. The model provides a sustainable tourism offer with community benefit as its main driver and this is the main difference from other competing destinations.
In terms of its innovation, the eco-lodge concept applies a new approach to sustainable tourism as it works in a symbiotic manner with local people, businesses, and groups; ensuring that each benefits mutually, and that tourism within the area is taken forward jointly and positively to underpin the future of the community. This means working in close partnership with the local town council, not for profit groups, service providers and businesses to develop a programme of activities that bring economic benefit to the area.
Additionally the eco-lodge park aims to work closely with third sector groups to support them in maintaining the viability of their activities by utilising their services and promoting their activities to visitors.
This is an innovative method of bundling the attributes of an area by designing packages and activities to enhance the experiences of both visitors and local people alike. The aim is that the eco-lodge park will become a demonstration site for other sustainable tourism proposals and offer a template for how tourism should benefit and be part of a local community. Our involvement includes appointing an events co-ordinator whose specific role is to create events and activities in partnership with local people.
To enable the client to deliver the concept, our work also includes:
Our client won their appeal in Spring 2014.
We were asked to carry out a sustainability assessment relating to a fruit farm for a planning application which had been in process for over 10 years. Our client was undergoing the appeal process and our brief was to conduct a wide ranging sustainability assessment of the proposal and of the enterprise.
Our approach was to respond to the issues raised through statutory and stakeholder consultation responses and the requirements of the NPPF and local planning policy.
We were able to successfully identify the full range of sustainability contributions that the farm had on the local community, economy, and environment and were pleased when the applicant received a positive planning response that both enabled them to continue as a long standing farming family within their area and help to secure their farming enterprise.
Our client won their appeal in Summer 2014.
Air quality at the MOD
Our approach was to liaise with the relevant agencies and equipment providers to establish the most optimum times for operation of a facility to reduce smoke impacts to surrounding villages.
We conducted assessments based upon 5 years worth of meteorological information to establish trends and provide a well thought out and practical range of options to the client.