1 Dale Radford, Chris Lindley, Ellie Dukes - rg+p's planning team-9beab809

Positive Growth For rg+p’s Planning Division

The planning division at multi-disciplinary design practice, rg+p continues to grow with director, Chris Lindley reporting two new appointments alongside instructions from across the development industry including strategic land promotion, affordable housing, later living, commercial, energy and heritage projects.

“Since I joined the practice circa 18 months ago, the team and our work has evolved quite significantly,” says Chris. “Two new senior planners, Ellie Dukes and Dale Radford have joined with backgrounds in planning policy and development management respectively, meaning we’ve been able to collaborate more closely with our design colleagues, especially on the architecture and placemaking sides.

“We’ve also increased the diversity of our portfolio, undertaking several projects in historic environments involving listed building and scheduled monument consent regimes. This includes the Butterley Engineering site in Derbyshire where our work is supporting a significant regeneration project. Further diversification has seen us appointed on renewable energy schemes including solar PV installations in sensitive environments such as the Grade II listed St Mary’s College in Oscott, West Midlands.

“Of course, this is not to discount our work in the housing sector, where we remain especially active, working for five leading affordable and specialist housing providers across the UK as well as promoting strategic land opportunities including an outline planning application we have recently submitted in the Derbyshire Dales for respected land promoters, Richborough Estates.

“Looking ahead, there are inevitably challenges to navigate. Firstly, urgent reform is needed in the planning sector to rebalance resources and unblock the sheer volume of cases so that development can progress. Secondly, more effective and constructive communication between public and private sector colleagues is absolutely essential as it can overcome these resource challenges and focus professional debate.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic has exacerbated a reliance on virtual communication and this prohibits building natural rapport. There are some local authorities positively addressing this by re-introducing forums for discussion, and their officers and members should be applauded for this, but it’s needed as standard practice on a national scale to bring professionals together and promote positive dialogue.

“From an rg+p perspective, we anticipate several significant instructions maturing over the next year as we continue to support our architecture and project management colleagues and diversify further into the commercial, student and education sectors, meaning we are therefore likely to recruit in the near future. We’re also seeking to become more knowledge-led, using our expertise and awareness of legislative reform to add value for clients,” concludes Chris.