Planning Consultancy


Planning Consultancy

Planning consultancy services include:

  • Site appraisal
  • Pre-application discussions
  • Planning applications and Project Management
  • Technical studies, including Retail Impact Assessment; Housing Land Availability & Urban Capacity Studies
  • Public Inquiry appearances
  • Planning due diligence
  • Negotiation of planning agreements
  • Representations to emerging planning policy 
  • Public consultation and Statements of Community Involvement


Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment

GVA HOW’s environmental planning team is an integral part of our planning advisory service. Our overarching knowledge of environmental issues and commercial focus allows us to provide proactive environmental and sustainability advice as part of an overall planning strategy. Our extensive network of trusted specialists enables us to build a bespoke technical team to suit the specific needs of every project.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

GVA HOW acts as the lead consultant on development projects that require EIA, co-ordinating the work of the technical team, acting as the main point of contact for the client and ensuring that Environmental Statements are legally robust, consistent in their approach and of high quality.

We have an enviable record of success with EIA applications on a wide range of complex projects including urban regeneration, sustainable urban extensions, city centre, retail park and leisure developments. Our team of EIA co-ordinators each hold a Master’s Degree in EIA and are members of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).

EIA Screening

Where development does not require EIA but is above the thresholds set out in the EIA Regulations, it is essential for developers to obtain a Screening Opinion from the local planning authority. Working alongside the project team, we produce Screening Reports that clearly set out the reasons why a development does not require EIA. This allows the planning authority to provide an evidence-based Screening Opinion and ensures that any subsequent planning permission is not challengeable on procedural grounds.


Demonstrating that a development proposal is sustainable is a critical part of obtaining planning permission and enabling the local planning authority to apply the presumption in favour of sustainable development set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. We produce Sustainability Statements that demonstrate compliance with national and local sustainable development policy based on established local sustainability frameworks or bespoke checklists.

Environmental Risk Management

At the earliest stage of a project, often before site acquisition, we provide advice on the appropriate and cost effective management of environmental risks associated with potential development sites. This includes the identification, analysis and presentation of information on the risks that environmental constraints pose to achieving planning permission and the most appropriate means to overcome them.


Community Engagement

Community Engagement

We create bespoke strategies to engage with the public and key stakeholders in line with Legislation which include:

  • The planning and implementation of comprehensive consultation programmes
  • Engagement and liaison with community groups, stakeholders, influencers and key decision makers
  • Production of marketing materials both on and off line
  • Co-ordination and hosting of public exhibitions and presentations
  • Liaison with local media
  • Preparation of questionnaires
  • Presentation of results' review and response to feedback in line with the Localism Act 2011