Our 10 month programme of webinars has been designed to help you rise above the challenges of development in 2021. Our technical experts will guide you through legislative challenges, development risks and sustainable solutions to maximise the profitability of current and upcoming schemes. Each virtual session will be delivered live and will feature a Q&A session.

30th March - Waste management Presenter

Avoiding and managing waste on development sites

Tuesday 30th March, 11am

This presentation will provide you with the knowledge to appropriately manage your construction waste, avoid regulatory requirements and minimise development costs through CL:AIRE COP, exemptions and bespoke permits.

  • Definition of what constitutes waste, description of the waste hierarchy and waste classification vs WAC
  • How waste regulatory requirements can be avoided through CL:AIRE COP
  • Exemptions, standard rules permits and bespoke permits for waste reuse
  • Financial implications of any illegally placed waste

Jason Tose

Technical Director, RPS
CGeol Chartered Geologist, MA Oxford University
+44 1454 853 000  

Jason has over 20 years' technical and project management experience in the development sector and is a Qualified Person under the CL:AIRE DoWCoP scheme.  


4th May - Archaeology Presenter

Reducing heritage risk

Tuesday 4th May, 11am

Without early and proactive assessment and management, the historic environment can often catch developers out, presenting significant delays and additional costs to the development programme. This presentation will provide you with an understanding of archaeological risks and the best approach for proactive management to ensure a smooth planning process and minimise the implications for the development. 

  • Understanding commercial / programme risk
  • Planning policy for historic environment
  • How risk can be reduced
  • Sources of uncertainty
  • Case studies

Mick Rawlings

Director - Heritage, RPS
BA Hons - Archaeology and Geography
+44 1235 821 888  

Mick has 30 years' experience within the historic environment sector across a wide range of sectors, acting as expert witness on a number of schemes.

May - Environmental Impact Assessment Presenter

The future of EIA after Brexit and changes to the planning regime

Thursday 20th May, 11am

This presentation will discuss how the industry should respond to the Government’s desire for “a quicker, simpler framework for assessing environmental impacts and enhancement opportunities." We will also review the potential for UK law to diverge from EU law on environment assessment following the end of the Brexit transition period.

  • Overview of the likely changes envisaged in the Government’s Planning for the Future White Paper and the Environment Bill
  • EIA principles, practice and case law
  • Why have Environmental Statements become so 'complex and defensive' rather than 'concise and informative'?
  • The role of IEMA and other professional bodies
  • How can EIA be made more user friendly
  • The role of stakeholder and public participation in EIA
  • The future of EIA under two regimes – Town & Country Planning vs. NSIPs
  • EIA as a tool for sustainability

David Thomson

Senior Director - EIA, RPS
BSc (Hons) Biology, MSc Environmental Impact Assessment
+44 20 3691 050  

David has over 25 years’ experience working in the environmental consultancy market, specialising in EIA management and related roles. He has worked across a wide range of sectors including major urban regeneration schemes, commercial, retail and leisure projects, ports, nuclear, airports and renewable energy.  David is an experienced Expert Witness and also advises several local authorities on EIA and related matters.

June - Flood risk Presenter

Is your site water tight?

Tuesday 8th June, 11am

Flooding and drainage are highly topical issues in the UK at the moment and are key considerations under the planning regime. Flood risk can often constrain the type and scale of development that will be permitted at a site. This presentation will help you understand how sites interact with water, including how to ensure a development will be safe from flooding, the need to improve water quality in the wider environment and how water is a cornerstone for healthy ecological habitats. 

  • Identifying potential risk and when a Flood Risk Assessment is needed
  • Climate change allowances and their application
  • Key flood risk considerations and mitigation options
  • Surface water drainage / Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
  • Taking a holistic approach to water environment issues (e.g. new London Plan, WFD)

Rachel Shepherd

Senior Consultant, RPS
BSc Geography, CWEM
+44 20 3691 0500  

Rachel is an experienced flood risk assessor specialising in the provision of Flood Risk Assessments and drainage strategies. Rachel has provided these assessments for a wide range of schemes, from small scale residential to airport extensions. 

July - Sustainable transport Presenter

An introduction to cycling, micro-mobility and assessing sustainable travel

Tuesday 13th July, 11am

Sustainable travel is a very hot topic which is rapidly evolving. Keeping up to date with current developments and understanding your options is key to the promotion of your scheme through the planning system. This presentation will provide you with an understanding of the key guidance with respect to cycling and current micro-mobility trials, the options that are available and how these are assessed – enabling you to win support from planning officers through the promotion of innovative optimal solutions for new developments.

  • Overview of the updated Cycle Guidance and how this will affect development planning
  • Overview of micro-mobility, current trials and its place in sustainable travel
  • How the new cycling guidance and micro-mobility will affect development proposals  

Ian Dimbylow

Director - Transport, RPS
+44 20 3691 0500   

Ian is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 20 years’ experience in transport matters relating to the assessment and delivery of development projects. He has appeared as an expert witness, working on a variety of sites from large urban extensions to inner London regeneration projects.

August - Arboriculture Presenters

Ancient woodlands and aged trees: planning and design risks

Tuesday 17th August, 11am

The presence of ancient woodland and aged tress can present significant development constraints on greenfield sites. This presentation will empower you to understand when you have ancient woodland / aged trees and the protection that they are afforded under the planning regime and statute. You will learn how to design around potential planning issues and how the trees and woodland can be integrated into a development scheme in a positive way to add value and meet other planning requirements.

  • What are aged, veteran and ancient trees/woodlands?
  • Planning and Legislation relating to aged trees and woodlands
  • Issues relating to planning and designing around these
  • Opportunities for good design and integration

David Cox & Brian Wallis

David Cox
Director - Landscape, RPS
BA (Hons), DipLA CMLI, Tech Cert (Arbor.A), M.Arbor.A
+44 23 8081 0440  

Brian Wallis
Technical Director - Arboriculture, RPS
CEnv (Chartered Environmentalist) ,DipArb
+44 1908 669 898

David is an Arboriculturist and Chartered Landscape Architect with over 18 years of experience in tree and woodland management, surveying and constraint issues, arboricultural method statements, tree condition assessments and tree related negotiations.

Brian Wallis is a Chartered Forester, Chartered Environmentalist, Fellow of the Arboricultural Association and holder of the Professional Diploma in Arboriculture and also a Member of the Landscape Institute. He has worked in the private and public sectors notably for the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, the largest construction and landscape project in Europe at the time. He has worked on major projects with RPS involving estate land management, Environmental Impact Assessments, historic landscapes and other numerous projects for RPS concerning trees and woodlands.

September - Constraints management Presenter

Development constraints management

Tuesday 21st September, 11am

Ground conditions, flooding and ecology are three issues that have the potential to significantly increase development costs and programme and in severe circumstances prevent development altogether. This presentation will provide you with an insight into the key risks associated with these issues and how to quantify and mitigate them.

  • Overview of development constraints vs development costs
  • Discussion of key risks - ground conditions, flood risk and ecology
  • How risk can be proactively managed

Philip Thomas

Technical Director, RPS
BSc, CGeol, MSc, SiLC - Specialist in Land Condition
+44 1454 853 000  

Phil has over 20 years' technical and project management experience in the assessment and remediation of contaminated land.  Phil supports clients in the appraisal and redevelopment of challenging Brownfield sites for a range of residential and commercial end uses, regularly providing support to design and build contractors in relation to the management of ground related construction. 

Landscape - November Presenter

Landscape and visual impact assessment and the iterative design process

Tuesday 2nd November, 11am

The identification of potential landscape and visual impacts and the methods for mitigating these is a key consideration for the planning and implementation of development schemes. This presentation will provide an insight into landscape and visual impact assessment with a particular focus on the interaction between the assessment and design processes and will highlight ways to add value to a scheme.

  • Identification of constraints and opportunities through field surveys and desk based analysis
  • Understanding valued aspects of landscape character and visual amenity
  • Initial design concept
  • Scheme master plan
  • Final design solution
  • Case studies and examples of good design practice

Paul Ellis

Technical Director - Landscape, RPS
BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture, DipLA Landscape Architecture
+44 1235 821 888

Paul is a Landscape Architect with over 29 years of experience in private practice with a particular expertise in landscape, townscape and visual impact assessment. He has been involved in a wide range of projects including residential, leisure and energy infrastructure, often in nationally designated landscapes. He has appeared as an expert witness at public inquiries, hearings and DCO examinations.

December - Air quality Presenter

Planning for better air quality

Tuesday 7th December, 11am

Air pollution has been a regular topic in the media for some time. In December 2020, 9 year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah made history as the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death. This presentation provides an understanding of when air quality may be a material consideration and how with good design principles, emissions can be minimised and future occupants can be protected from unacceptable levels of harmful pollutants, enhancing prospects for planning and/or permit applications.

  • Key sources of air pollution and key pollutants
  • ‘Dash for Diesel’, VW ‘diesel-gate’ and real-world driving emissions tests
  • The UK’s plan to bring about compliance with health-based objectives and limit values including the introduction of Clean Air Zones
  • Cases where air quality was a major deciding factor, including Wealden
  • Emerging issues – the Environment Bill, the new London Plan (PM2.5 and domestic wood burning), COVID-19
  • Techniques used to assess air quality impacts – modelling and monitoring
  • How the results of air quality assessments are used to inform development design

Fiona Prismall

Technical Director, RPS
BSc (Hons) Pure Mathematics, CEnv (Chartered Environmentalist), MSc Applied Meteorology
+44 1273 546 800

Fiona is a Fellow of the Institute of Air Quality Management and was the committee secretary until November 2020. She has over 17 years’ experience assessing air quality impacts of planning and permit applications using advanced dispersion models and monitoring techniques.

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