UK - Services



RPS has been successfully securing planning consents across the UK and Ireland for over 40 years.

We are renowned for getting permission for even the most challenging proposals whilst maintaining the highest possible professional standards. Our cost-effective approach is based on proposing clear strategies for scheme promotion and high quality argument and evidence.

With the planning system in the UK becoming increasingly complex, applications often require a wide range of specialist consultancy skills.

One of our main strengths is the scope and depth of our technical knowledge. We also continuously monitor the changing legal and administrative framework within which our clients operate and pride ourselves on our ability to adapt our strategies to meet the specific circumstances in individual planning authorities up and down the country.

Download our Planning Capability Statement here

Our core planning expertise covers:

Negotiation with planning authorities including Planning Performance Agreements

Providing witnesses for Planning Inquiries and Hearings.

Lead consultants co-ordinating DCO applications on major infrastructure projects.

Negotiation of planning conditions

Negotiation of S106 Agreements

Objective Assessment of Need using RPS Futures, our in house, Housing Need Assessment tool

Strategic and tactical advice on achieving planning, listed building and conservation area consents

Preparation, submission and management of applications and appeals.

Preparation and submission of all supporting documentation including Environmental Statements

Site layout, urban design, utilities, transport and infrastructure studies

Stakeholder management and consultation

Planning enforcement resolution

Production and co-ordination of Environmental Statements

Promotion of development opportunities through the development plan process

Appraising development opportunities.

In August 2014, RPS welcomed CgMs Consulting, an independent UK planning consultant, to the Group.

Formed in 1997, CgMs provides independent specialist advice to a range of UK clients and has achieved a number of national recognitions including securing one of the UK’s largest commercial planning permissions for Veridion’s 562,000m² inland port in north east England’s green belt.

As a result of the acquisition of CgMs, RPS is now one of the largest planning consultancies in the UK.

You can find more information on CgMs here.

Case Studies

Great Western Park

Great Western Park


Taylor Wimpey & David Wilson Homes

RPS’ involvement with Great Western Park stretches back to the mid-1990s when we promoted the site as an urban extension in the Oxfordshire Structure Plan.

We secured a strategic allocation for the site in the Oxfordshire Structure Plan in 2001, then subsequently a detailed allocation in the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Local Plans in 2006.

RPS then submitted an outline planning application for 3,300 dwellings, a secondary school, two primary schools, playing fields, supermarket/other retail development and community facilities, which was granted in July 2008.

Since then we have been submitting reserved matters applications for each of the phases of the development, and the first phases are now complete. RPS has project managed this development from start to finish, managing a team of specialist consultants (both in-house and external), producing the Environmental Statement and managing community engagement.

Greenwich Peninsula

Greenwich Peninsula

Quintain Estates and Development plc

RPS has been advising on the redevelopment of Greenwich Peninsula since 2005.

Outline planning consent was approved for the development including alterations and change of use to the Dome and a mixed use development for the remainder of the Peninsula, comprising approximately 10,000 residential dwellings, student accommodation, special needs housing, office/research floorspace, hotel floorspace, light industrial business park, retail, community uses and open space.

We led the original EIA and Sustainability Assessment for the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan on behalf of Meridian Delta Limited.

We have secured planning consent for a number of developments including 962 homes plus retail floorspace.

We also managed the Planning, EIA and Sustainability assessment process for the Greenwich Cable Car Area Masterplan (CCAM). This development scheme was founded on the need to accommodate the southern landing point and passenger station of the London Cable Car running from Victoria Dock in Newham across the river Thames to Greenwich Peninsula.

We are currently assisting to secure new planning permissions for approximately 1,250 units in the Peninsula Riverside area in addition to a residential-led, high quality, mixed-use development comprising some 1,604 new homes at Peninsula Quays.

Roosecote Biomass Power Station

Roosecote Biomass Power Station



RPS provided a multi-disciplinary planning service to support a DCO application for a biomass power station with a net output of 80MW of electricity at the site of the existing gasfired Roosecote Power Station.

In addition to the power station itself, the project includes associated development comprising a new quay with fuel handling and storage facilities at the Port of Barrow, and a railway line to transport the fuel from the port to the power station.

RPS provided a full range of planning, EIA and sustainability assessment services and completed the Environmental Permitting and Habitat Regulations Assessment in support of the DCO application.

RPS advised on the best approach to addressing sustainability issues associated with the development. These included issues concerning the sustainability of the proposed fuel supply, and the best means by which to present these considerations to the Planning Inspectorate. We provided this advice through all stages of the planning process, preparing a sustainability framework for the Stage 1 consultation, appraising the options and reporting initial findings at Stage 2 consultation, before finally preparing a detailed sustainability statement and carbon footprint statement in support of the DCO application.

The Shard and London Bridge Place

The Shard & London Bridge Place, London

RPS CgMs were appointed as planning consultants to prepare and submit a planning application for a new landmark, mixed-use building at London Bridge as part of the area’s regeneration.

The team provided strategic planning advice in relation to the proposals for the Shard and advised throughout the planning process which culminated in a Public Inquiry into the scheme and planning permission being granted. Further work has been undertaken to secure permission for amendments to the building, as well as delivering consents for a series of enabling works and condition discharges to enable the development to commence on site.

London Bridge Place

Following the original grant of consent in relation to the Shard, the planning team were instructed to advise on the redevelopment of the adjacent site, London Bridge Place, which included the provision of a new London Bridge Bus Station.

The team, working closely with Southwark Council and the GLA, initially secured approval in 2007 for a 60,000m2 office-led mixed use scheme. Ongoing discussions with all stakeholders, including Network Rail, London Underground and Transport for London in relation to the provision of the new bus station, underground entrance and position of the Thames Link viaduct resulted in the preparation of amended applications for the scheme and bus station being prepared, which received planning permission in 2011.

Wind Turbine Manufacturing Facility

Wind Turbine Manufacturing Facility

Port of Sheerness

Peel Ports

RPS designed, prepared and submitted a planning application for an offshore wind turbine manufacturing facility at the Port of Sheerness.

The project was one of the largest schemes of its type in the UK, if not Europe. The Hybrid Planning Application comprised an outline planning application for the new buildings and associated storage areas and a full planning application for the 'enabling works' to the docks, quays and the access road. 

Two listed building applications were also submitted for the removal of a Grade II* Listed Building 26 and demolition of free standing structures potentially listed by virtue of being within the curtilage of a listed building and structures potentially listed through physical annexation to be altered or demolished.

The application was reported to Planning Committee, where members resolved to approve the applications subject to a S106 agreement. During the S106 negotiations, the withdrawal of the project operator led to a lack of support for the demolition for the listed buildings. Amendments were subsequently made to the applications to retain the two buildings. The application was reported back to Planning Committee where the application was granted planning permission subject to a S106 agreement.  The S106 is currently being drafted.