Our programme of webinars has been designed to help you rise above the challenges of development. 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.

Series programme

Previous webinars

View recordings and explore our top tips from our previous webinars.

5th September - Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment Presenter


(Previous webinar) Tuesday 5th September 2023, 11am

Landscape and visual impact assessment within EIA is an important design development tool and should be an iterative process where each of the stages feed into and influence the planning and design of the project.

The early involvement of landscape architects within the assessment and design process will help to identify valued assets, influence the development of the proposals, minimise likely significant adverse effects and ensure a robust submission is delivered and a successful outcome achieved.

Paul Ellis

Paul Ellis
Technical Director - Landscape
BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture,DipLA Landscape Architecture
+44 1235 838 238

Paul is an experienced landscape architect who has worked in the discipline for over 32 years co-ordinating and managing the landscape architectural input to a wide range of multi-discipline projects. His advice and design development input has led to the successful consent and implementation of schemes in challenging environments, either within or adjacent to nationally designated landscapes/seascapes. 

6th June - TAN 15 update: Are there choppy waters ahead? Presenter

Welsh flood guidance

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 6th June 2023, 11am

Addressing potential hydrological constraints early on can save time and money during the design and application process. Tune in to our webinar to learn about the upcoming changes to Welsh flood guidance (TAN 15) and what you need to consider when identifying future development opportunities. We'll be covering the link between hydrology and planning, case studies, and breaking down the benefits of a detailed flood consequence assessment to existing and future development opportunities. 

Jonathan Morley

Jonathan Morley
Technical Director - Hydrology
BSc(Hons) Environmental Management
+44 113 220 6190

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

25th April - Don't let invasive species gatecrash your development Presenter

Invasive species

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 25th April 2023, 11am

Invasive and non-native species such as Japanese Knotweed or Giant Hogweed are typically species that are likely to cause ecological, social or economic harm in a setting outside their native range. They can alter and degrade the environment, reduce biodiversity, affect hydrology, impact land values, and hinder economic growth and development.

A variety of legislation on the prevention and management of invasive alien plant and animal species exists in the UK, and this webinar will provide an introduction to those species that frequently present a constraint to development, covering:

  • Introduction to invasive species
  • Legislation
  • Invasive flora and fauna
  • Impacts
  • Management

Peter Watson

Peter Watson
Associate - Ecology
BSc(Hons) Environmental Science
+44 1480 302790

Peter has extensive experience within the ecology sector specialising in invasive species, providing invasive species assessments, management plans, remediation strategies and control for a range of species primarily to support development. A full member of CIEEM and the RSB, he was a contributing author to the Non Native Weeds & Plants - Practical Management Book. Peter is currently an examiner for the Property Care Association Certified Surveyor of Japanese Knotweed (CSJK) qualification.

14th March - The need to be neutral Presenter

The need to be neutral

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 14th March 2023, 11am

In the UK there are few areas where development has not left its mark. As a result, many of the local rivers and the habitats depending on the water they provide are under serious pressure. Subsequently several sensitive habitats are suffering from overload of nutrients and stress from droughts. Planning authorities and key stakeholders are taking action to tackle the problem and many developments have been brought to a halt because they are deemed to contribute to these issues.

The prevailing approach being adopted by councils is that if you want to build new homes, you need to prove that these are nutrient/water neutral; in other words there needs to be zero impact on any designated sites within your development’s catchment - you need to be neutral!

Ola Holmstrom

Ola Holmstrom
Director of Hydrology
MScEng Water and Soil
+44 1454 853 000

Ola has over 25 years’ experience of working with water environmental issues in the UK and abroad. His expertise lies in hydrology, hydrogeology, flooding, drainage, water quality and eco-hydrological issues and how these are dealt with through the planning process. Ola has worked with ecologists and landscape architects to develop bespoke mitigation solutions, helping developers to achieve water environmental neutrality across the UK.

24th January - Mineral assessments Presenter

Mineral assessments

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 24th January 2023, 11am

The presence of safeguarded mineral resources or the proximity of safeguarded mineral infrastructure represents an increasing constraint for development in England & Wales. This presentation will provide you with an overview of how minerals and mineral planning can impact on site promotion and award of planning. We’ll outline the assessment approach and considerations for delivering either a Mineral Resource Assessment or a Mineral Infrastructure Assessment. We hope to show that through the early identification of mineral issues and co-ordination with other works required typically for planning, these risks can be effectively managed and the potential cost they represent (both financial and time) minimised.

Dr Adrian Green

Dr Adrian Green
Principal Hydrogeologist
BSc, MSc, PhD
+44 1454 853 000

Adrian has over 17 years’ technical experience in the field of hydrogeology and geology. He has delivered multiple Mineral Resource Assessments and Mineral Infrastructure Assessments for a range of schemes, including nationally important infrastructures, commercial and residential developments. Adrian has a proven track record of delivering the supporting technical assessments required in relation to minerals, typically through the UK planning process.

13th December - Peat and your development Presenter

Peat and your development

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 13th December 2022, 11am

Peat can have significant implications for your development in terms of abnormal foundations, ground gas and more. However, peatland environments (mainly present in north and western regions of the UK) are important carbon sinks and development on peatland environments is subject to strict scrutiny at planning and construction phases of development. This presentation focuses on the various guidance documents relating to developments on peatland environments.

David Gemmell

David Gemmell
Director - Ground Risk and Remediation
BSc Geography (Hons), MSc Envrionmental Rehabilitation
+44 131 555 5011

In his 23-year consultancy career, David has been involved in numerous projects on peatland environments, addressing the issue from planning through to the delivery stage of projects. David has also authored a number of Geology & Soils EIA chapters for developments on peatland.

8th November - The implications of the new Approved Document O Presenter

The implications of the new Approved Document O

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 8th November 2022, 11am

With the publication of the new Approved Document O, controlling overheating is now a building regulation requirement. The simplest and most sustainable method of avoiding overheating is to open a window, but this can result in adverse noise impacts. It is now a Building Regulation requirement that these noise impacts are considered as part of an overheating assessment. This presentation will explain the relationship between noise and overheating and the constraints that the new regulations will place on residential development.

Matthew Hyden

Matthew Hyden
Director - Acoustics
+44 1273 546 800

Matthew has over 22 years’ experience as an acoustic consultant. He has a wealth of experience providing acoustic planning and design advice for residential buildings. He has previously served on the board of the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC), is a member of the ANC Good Practice Committee and is one of the lead authors of the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) and ANC ‘Acoustics, ventilation and overheating guide’ document.

6th September - Reducing carbon emissions Presenter

Reducing carbon emissions

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 6th September 2022, 11am

Recent changes in Building Regulations will both increase the energy demand for residential buildings whilst significantly reducing the carbon emission requirements for non-residential buildings.

This webinar explores both individual building measures and site wide energy strategies that a development can use to meet all the social, economic and environmental tenets of a sustainable design.

Simon Bourke

Simon Bourke
Head of Building Services UK, RPS
BSc Engineering Design
+44 113 220 6190

Simon is a Chartered Building Services engineer with over 33 years’ experience of designing and implementing solutions for the built environment.

He has worked on development masterplans and site wide campus projects throughout the UK and overseas.

12th July - Green infrastructure masterplanning Presenters

Bugs, bushes and basins: an integrated approach to green infrastructure masterplanning

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 12th July 2022, 11am

The integration of Landscape, Ecology and Hydrology into the early masterplanning process is fundamental to the quality of proposals and maximising development viability. This presentation outlines the key considerations and drivers of taking this approach and what the value of an integrated approach can add to projects.

Mike Barker & Jonathan Stewart

Mike Barker
Operational Director - Ecology, RPS
BSc Environmental Sciences, MSc Environmental Management
+44 1480 466335


Jonathan Stewart
Associate Director - Urban Design, RPS
BA (Hons) Town & Country Planning, PGDip Urban Design
+44 1235 432166


Mike is an environmental scientist with more than 20 years of ecological experience. Mike has a proven track record of delivering ecological solutions for complex developments.


Jonathan has over 15 years’ experience working across the public and private sectors as an Urban Designer and Masterplanner. Throughout this time, he has gained a vast amount of experience across a comprehensive range of projects covering a wide range of scales. This includes strategic land promotion, residential and mixed-use developments, commercial, leisure and employment schemes, regeneration, and public realm projects.

7th June - Planning for the future Presenter

Planning for the future: reforms in a masterplanning context

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 7th June 2022, 11am

Since the publication of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commissions (BBBBC) report ‘Living with Beauty’ in early 2020, there have been several responses and changes to planning policy and guidance around design and placemaking, including the release of the Governments ‘Planning for the Future’ white paper. This presentation will provide an overview and timeline of those changes and what it means in a masterplanning context.

Jonathan Stewart

Director of Urban Design, RPS
BA (Hons) Town & Country Planning, PGDip Urban Design
+44 1235 432166

Jonathan has over 16 years’ experience working across the public and private sectors as an Urban Designer and Masterplanner. Throughout this time, he has gained a vast amount of experience across a comprehensive range of projects covering a wide range of scales. This includes strategic land promotion, residential and mixed-use developments, commercial, leisure and employment schemes, regeneration, and public realm projects.

26th April - Risk of UXO Presenter

Correctly assessing the risk of UXO on UK sites

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 26th April 2022, 11am

Without accurate, early and pragmatic assessment and management, UXO risk can often cause developers considerable and unnecessary expense and delays to the development programme. This presentation will provide you with an understanding of the risk UXO presents and the correct method to assess the risk and subsequent additional costs and delays to programme.

Ray Gargan

Principal UXO Consultant, RPS
+44 1291 621 821

Ray has 30 years’ experience within the UXO industry and specialises in the assessment and mitigation design for clients looking to undertake projects in areas that may or may not have been subjected to military occupation or enemy activity.

1st March - Mine workings Presenter

What lies beneath: Assessing the risk from abandoned mine workings

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 1st March 2022, 11am

Historical coal mine workings can have significant implications for your development. Significant abnormal development costs can relate to mine seam grouting and shaft treatment. Recent updates to core guidance (CIRIA C758) mean that the approach to assessment has to change.  This webinar sets out how you should consider the risk from coal mine workings and the implications of the updated guidance for your development. 

Jason Tose

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

Jason has over 20 years' technical and project management experience dealing with abandoned mine workings including coal mine works, metalliferous workings and limestone extraction. Jason acted as technical advisor to English partnerships in relation to the stabilisation of the Combe Down stone Mines.

18th January - Building near trees Presenter

Building near trees

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 18th January 2022, 11am

On greenfield sites the presence of trees can have significant impacts on foundation design and associated costs. This webinar will provide you with an understanding of the technical guidance, approach to assessment and the implications for foundation depths, allowing you to consider how trees may impact your development.

Glynn Jones

Senior Consultant
BSc (Hons), MSc
+44 1454 853 000

Glynn has over 9 years experience in the field of engineering geology and geotechnics dealing with development sites. Glynn has a detailed understanding of foundation appraisals for both commercial and residential developments.   

7th December - Air quality Presenter

Planning for better air quality

(Previous webinar) 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.

21st September - Constraints management Presenter

Development constraints management

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 21st September 2021, 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. 

17th August - Arboriculture Presenters

Ancient woodlands and aged trees: planning and design risks

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 17th August 2021, 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.

13th July - Sustainable transport Presenter

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

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 13th July 2021, 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.

8th June - Flood risk Presenter

Is your site water tight?

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 8th June 2021, 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)

Jonathan Morley

Associate Director - Hydrology, RPS
+44 1132 206 190

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

20th May - Environmental Impact Assessment

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

(Previous webinar) Thursday 20th May 2021, 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
4th May - Archaeology Presenter

Reducing heritage risk

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 4th May 2021, 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.

30th March - Waste management Presenter

Avoiding and managing waste on development sites

(Previous webinar) Tuesday 30th March 2021, 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.  


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