Allison Pritchard has been appointed as Director of the new Environment and Planning at Dalcour Maclaren as we continue to grow and develop our services.

We discussed the plans for the department and what to expect from them in 2019:

Who’s in the team?

I have joined the firm alongside two further environmental planners, Rory Hollings and Caroline Morris, as well as RTPI planner, Rebecca Lock, who started in late 2018 with inauguration of a specialised Planning department.

What kind of work will your team be doing?

We envisage Environment and Planning to take form in two main workstreams: Utilities and Development Planning.

“Using a ‘least risk, highest value’ approach, Environmental Planning will soon become an absolutely essential element to the advice we provide.”

On the utilities side we will be able to cover a vast array of services. The initial stage of our appointment by a client often starts with providing planning and permitted development advice. This can also include providing advice on Environmental Impact Assessment and whether the proposed development may trigger the need for EIA screening. This advice can then identify the need for other technical work that may be needed to inform any of these pieces of work, and trigger consultation, and negotiation with key stakeholders to facilitate consent for the development. This aspect is key to the service that we offer. However, we can provide so much more in the form of a full range of environmental advice from ecology and protected species surveys, archaeology, flood risk, arboricultural surveys, and many more!

On the Development Planning side, our Planning specialist, Rebecca Lock, is already heavily involved in client property portfolios, working on routine planning advice and applications for all clients on operational sites. More strategic work includes whole estate reviews, pre-application requests, site promotion and local plan monitoring to enhance the value of client landholdings ready for development and/or disposal.

The department is already growing in order to keep pace with the fantastic level of interest and project work we‘ve received from clients. So, we are already looking to recruit more Environmental Impact Assessment specialists to work alongside Rory, who are able to apply their expertise to a utilities context.

Already we have been able to add value to projects where previously our clients would have needed to outsource the specialist knowledge from sub-contractors. Being able to provide advice, arrange surveys for ecology and arboriculture, as well as submitting applications for planning, permitted development and statutory consents is already starting to help streamline our processes and increase the standard of service to clients.

How will Geomatics be involved?

As the Geomatics department, along with Connect, goes from strength to strength I am very encouraged by the opportunities that we will have to develop the Environmental Planning service. The skills and services that DM’s Geomatics team have demonstrated far outweigh any other comparable service we have used previously.

In terms of utilities work and linear schemes, we have already been working with the Geomatics team to produce plans alongside our reports and as much of the work we do, plans and drawings will continue to be an integral part of our reporting.

What makes the service unique and stand-out from what others can offer?

Our Environment and Planning departments are going to further our ability to provide an even more rounded service to clients. We will use our in-depth knowledge of client objectives, and how those change over time, to deliver an unrivalled level of service, not just in terms of capital and maintenance schemes but also in terms of oppurtunities within their property portfolio management, disposals, and even development.

The whole team Environmental planning team is client focussed. Understanding clients’ needs and facilitating pragmatic dialogue with stakeholders to deliver credible solutions is key. Using a ‘least risk, highest value’ approach, Environmental Planning will soon become an absolutely essential element to the advice we provide.

To find out more about what Environmental Planning team can do for you, please contact Allison Pritchard on 07717 483 600 or Allison.Pritchard@dalcourmaclaren.com.