Consents & Planning
SYSTRA provides practical advice and work with the design team to avoid, remedy or mitigate potential effects on the environment or prepare consent application documents where they are required. We liaise with Statutory Authorities to discuss consent requirements and where required we can undertake surveys to confirm presence or absence of protected species, types of waste on site (via GI surveys) and baseline noise surveys to inform Section 61 consents.
The planning and consents team has coordinated consents on a variety of projects from large infrastructure rail and highways projects to residential developments. The team has a breadth of experience from feasibility stage to outline and full planning applications, transport and works act orders, right down to the individual consents required for design and construction. Members of the team have experience working as consents managers on a variety of projects ensuring that all required consents are identified and captured in the programme, resulting in a successful project. At the feasibility stage we can work with the design teams to identify and avoid key constraints saving both time and budget.
Section 278 consents
The team works with the design and legal teams through the process of obtaining Section 278 consents. Building relationships with the highway authorities, understanding the requirements of each highway authority and navigating clients through a complex process.
The team’s knowledge and understanding of environmental legislation means that we can direct clients through the complexities of environmental permitting regulations. Through our experience we understand the importance of getting the right permit at the right time. We work with design teams to avoid costly constraints and work with the regulators to provide the right permit submissions to deliver the project.
Consultation and Stakeholder Engagement
Effective consultation is a core skill for town planners, in particular, who must mediate between a diverse range of interests, some of which may be conflicting. Planning Agents must typically maintain excellent relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including clientele, designers, environmental specialists, local communities, and regulators.
Early engagement and pre-application consultation with planning authorities allows for the effective preparation of focused and proportionate application submissions. Thereafter, the maintenance of high-quality working relationships with officers of local authorities and statutory bodies to the point of determination and beyond avoids delays, maximises the probability of approval, and minimises the number of conditions that may be imposed.
Members of our team are experienced in hosting public consultation sessions to which local communities are invited to attend and comment upon development proposals, leading to modification of schemes where appropriate to improve community support. We also frequently, in combination with relevant specialists, prepare written responses to comments that are received by planning authorities during the application determination process.
The delivery of representations in support of the proposed development at planning committee provides an opportunity to persuade councillors that may be undecided of the merits of the proposed scheme.
Environmental Impact Assessments and Coordination
Coordinating the EIA well is essential to its delivery. The planning and consents team have coordinated several EIAs, directing technical specialists, delivering proportionate EIAs with consistent content covering the required environmental topics. They have experience of the whole EIA process from screening, scoping, producing the environmental statement and post submission. The team works hand in hand with design teams for an accurate and robust assessment.
The consents team includes town planning specialists, chartered with the Royal Town Planning Institute, who are experienced in the preparation and multi-discipline co-ordination of planning applications, environmental impact assessments, and supporting documentation on behalf of public and private clients for a wide range of development types and scales, with particular focus on highway, rail and other major infrastructure developments.
The team specialises in approvals in accordance with the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Act 2017, and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended). Members of the team are also experienced with the Transport and Works Act 1992 and the Planning Act 2008.
Additionally, the team is experienced in the formulation of consents strategies, the application of permitted development rights, approval of reserved matters, the discharge of planning conditions, policy review, and comparative site assessment and site appraisal.