Marrons Planning boosts Birmingham reach

News | New Joiner

Marrons Planning has launched a Birmingham office hub, with the transfer of five planning experts to the new location – supporting the planning consultancy’s growing client base in the West Midlands.

The team, who were previously based in the East Midlands, will now take the lead in developing Marrons Planning’s offering in the west of the region, including strategic land acquisition and promotion, town planning and urban design.

Leading the charge will be associate director Sachin Parmar and senior planner Alasdair Thorne.

Chartered town planner Sachin has a strong background in the public sector, helping him achieve positive planning results for clients across regeneration, residential, commercial, agricultural and infrastructure projects.

Specialising in residential development and town planning, Alasdair will work with clients across Birmingham and the wider midlands region to promote sites via the local plan process, including sustainable urban expansions, as well as gain planning permission and conduct planning appeals.

Also supporting the Birmingham expansion are urban designers Alex Craggs and the newly-appointed Jared McQueen-Pullen, who joins from Dudley Council, as well as Assistant Planner Isabella Ingram.

Head of Marrons Planning Brian Mullin said: “We have a growing number of team members who have lived, worked or grown up in the West Midlands and who have intimate working knowledge of planning authorities in the region. As we gain momentum in Birmingham, Worcester and Wolverhampton in particular, it made sense for key players in our team to make the move and work from our Birmingham hub in order to cement those relationships with clients and the public sector.

We have an excellent track record for successful planning applications due to our local authority experience, and as a result are seeing growing demand for our services.

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Brian heads up our award winning town planning consultancy, Marrons Planning. He is a Town Planner and chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute with in excess of 15 years of experience accrued in local government and the private sector.

Planning

Welcome to Marrons Planning. We advise on all planning matters - from co-ordinating major teams dealing with large and complex development proposals, to small scale development on infill sites.

Marrons Planning adds urban design expertise with new appointment

News | New Joiner

Midlands planning consultancy Marrons Planning has bolstered its urban design service with the appointment of Jared McQueen-Pullen.

Having launched the new service less than a year ago, the consultancy is strengthening the team in response to growing demand for architecture and urban design advice.

Jared joins the team from Dudley Council, where he was responsible for setting the vision and standard for design within in the borough. Prior to that, Jared was senior planning officer at Birmingham City Council’s City Centre Planning Policy Team.

Notable projects Jared has worked on include the Rea Valley Urban Quarter supplementary planning document – a major masterplan to provide around 10,000 residences and a major river rejuvenation project, as well as working on £1 billion worth of projects for the placemaking and regeneration within Dudley.

In his new role, Jared will be working with strategic land promoters and developers on urban regeneration projects, land promotion and urban extensions. Seeing projects from feasibility through to planning approval, including creating masterplans and urban design schemes, Jared will be utilising his local authority expertise to help clients navigate the complex planning process.

Jared said: “Marrons Planning has enviable experience in delivering placemaking and development to a high standard, consistently delivering successful outcomes for clients and the communities they are involved in. The aspirations of the urban design team are truly exciting and I'm looking forward to working alongside experienced professionals within Marrons Planning and the wider Ampa group of brands.

I love the role that urban design has in shaping the future of places. As designers, it is our role to get the best out of the site as presented to us, working with its opportunities and constraints to achieve the best situation possible for our clients and the future communities who will inhabit them.

Jared will primarily be based at Marrons Planning’s Birmingham hub, but will be working with clients nationally.

Alex Craggs, who heads up the urban design team, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jared into the team. His planning and urban design experience is a dream mix for our clients and we look forward to seeing his innovative take on projects. We have significant plans for growth across our urban design service and throughout Marrons Planning and look forward to Jared being part of that journey.

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Alex is an RIBA Chartered Architect working for over 10 years in the planning and construction industry.

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From urban extension and large-scale regeneration schemes to bespoke residential sites, we provide a clear vision for the development of your land.

Marrons planning announces two promotions

News | New Joiner

Planning consultancy Marrons Planning has announced two promotions

Planning experts David Pendle and Gary Stephens, have been promoted to partner and also take an equity share in legal and professional services group Ampa.

Specialising in strategic land promotion, David Pendle has been with Marrons Planning for three years, securing multiple land allocations for strategic developments and planning for around 700 homes on immediate sites in that time, including a mixture of market and affordable housing.

Gary Stephens is a town planning consultant with more than 20 years’ experience, working with national and regional developers and landowners to secure planning permission, or the allocation of their land for development.

Brian Mullin, partner and head of Marrons Planning, said: “We are delighted to have David and Gary join the membership and formalise their leadership positions at Marrons Planning with myself and Andy Gore. Both are first class practitioners. We are privileged to have them as colleagues and they will continue to contribute towards our growing reputation in the market place.

Over the past year, we have seen significant growth necessitated by increased demand from existing and new clients. We have launched new services areas, in socio-economics and urban design, to complement our existing service lines. We have welcomed multiple new experts into our exceptionally talented team. All of this serves to increase the quality of service and depth of expertise for our client base.

Marrons Planning is a strategically critical part of the Ampa. There are fantastic development opportunities available to our people and we have demonstrated that eligibility for membership is not limited to the legal profession. Together with Andy Gore, we look forward to continuing to work with David and Gary as part of a strong and growing group in Marrons Planning.

All brands across Ampa are recruiting lateral hires and teams.

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Brian heads up our award winning town planning consultancy, Marrons Planning.

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It's the people at Marrons Planning that make us so special. By understanding what our people want, giving them the support they need, recognising everyone’s contribution and realising the unique power of teams; together we win.

Midlands consultancy expands with expert town planner hire

Company News

Leading consultancy Marrons Planning has bolstered and expanded its West Midlands presence through the appointment of expert chartered town planner David Fovargue.

Taking on the role of planning director, David will be responsible for growing the business and will use his vast experience, skills and knowledge to successfully promote land acr chartered town planner oss the country, as well as secure planning permission for land promoters and housebuilders.

With 19 years’ experience, David joins the consultancy after 17 years at Wood Group, where he was technical director – leading development of the company’s town planning service line.

Specialising in strategic land promotion, property and sustainability, David’s planning experience covers applications, appeals and land disposals, taking sites through to delivery and implementation.

David said: “Marrons Planning shares my values and ambitions as a commercial, property-focused planning consultancy, which is clearly going places given its rapid climb up the planning league tables.

“The team has an established reputation in strategic land and development projects, which complements my own capabilities. Marrons Planning is renowned in the industry by its clients and the Royal Town Planning Institute, having received previous awards for planning excellence.

“I am looking forward to helping clients navigate what is a hugely uncertain time for the planning system and housing delivery all-round, as well as supporting the professional development of colleagues through mentoring.

David will primarily be based at the firm’s Stratford-upon-Avon hub, but will be working with clients nationally.

Recently, David has supported Suffolk County Council and Concertus Design & Property Consultants in the permission and £35 million land sale of a 1,150-home urban extension to Sudbury, Suffolk.

This sits alongside other notable projects, including consents for Bellway Homes’ strategic land division in Huntingdonshire and 800 homes for The Crown Estate on sites in Wiltshire and Somerset.

He has also advised local authorities across the UK on policy development in response to climate change, centred on the delivery of low carbon and climate-resilient communities.

David said: “I enjoy leading and working with teams and specialists across different disciplines to deliver success for my clients, often within the cut and thrust of local politics – problem-solving to balance competing planning, technical and environmental challenges.

“Knowing that I am helping to support the delivery of new homes, as well as associated infrastructure, habitats and green space, in the face of a national housing crisis is particularly rewarding.

David joins following a string of appointments by Marrons Planning, including Simon Macklen as director of economics to head up the firm’s new socio-economics service, RIBA chartered architect and urban design expert Alex Craggs in support of its recently-launched urban design service, Kevin Exley as principal planner, and Jacqueline Jackson as planning director.

Gary Stephens, partner and town planning consultant at Marrons Planning, said: “It is fantastic to welcome David to our team, particularly as we look to bolster our reputation in the West Midlands. David’s experience unlocking complex, strategic housing projects such as garden communities and new settlements – from planning to implementation – will be a real asset to our team.

“There has been a significant increase in demand for our services due to our high success rate in achieving planning permission for clients. David will strengthen Marrons Planning and bring new ideas and skills to unlock more sites across the country.

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Gary is a town planning consultant helping developers and landowners negotiate the planning process to achieve their objectives.

Planning

Welcome to Marrons Planning. We advise on all planning matters - from co-ordinating major teams dealing with large and complex development proposals, to small scale development on infill sites.

Midlands planning consultancy expands Leicester team with new hire

News

With almost 19 years’ experience working in local government, Jacqueline Jackson has joined Marrons Planning – expanding the leading Midlands consultancy’s Leicester office hub.

Taking on the role of planning director, Jacqueline joins the consultancy after more than three years as development management group leader at Charnwood Borough Council – a role she worked her way up to after joining the local authority as a trainee planning officer in 2003.

Jacqueline will be developing and growing the company’s Leicester team, and liaising with its Stratford-upon-Avon, Nottingham and London hubs, as well as taking on a leading role in a wide range of projects – from medium to large-scale residential, commercial and mixed-use schemes.

With a strong leadership and management background, Jacqueline will nurture and mentor junior team members, maintain and foster a high-performance culture, and play a key role in making strategic decisions to drive the business forward.

Jacqueline said: “I am very excited to have joined the Marrons Planning team and be taking on this new challenge.

As I have spent my entire career in the public sector, there isn’t much I haven’t come across or dealt with – from small applications and listed buildings all the way through to sustainable urban extensions. I am looking forward to using the knowledge I have learned in local government, as well as my leadership and business management skills to drive Marrons Planning forward.

During her time in the public sector – which also included two years at Rushcliffe Borough Council as a senior planning officer – Jacqueline was the case manager for Leicester City Football Club’s world-class training ground, as well as a sustainable urban extension in Loughborough. She has also written and implemented a number of new policies and procedures to ensure better efficiency.

As Charnwood Borough Council’s development management group leader, all the district’s planning applications and strategic projects and developments – as well as planning enforcement, and customer service and administration – fell under Jacqueline’s remit.

She said: “No two days are ever the same in the world of planning. There’s always a new challenge or a different problem that requires a solution. It is also great seeing a site’s regeneration and the impact those improvements have on a local area.

Jacqueline joins following a string of appointments by Marrons Planning, including Simon Macklen as director of economics to head up the firm’s new socio-economics service, RIBA chartered architect and urban design expert Alex Craggs in support of its recently-launched urban design service, and Kevin Exley as a principal planner.

Brian Mullin, partner and head of Marrons Planning said: “We are delighted to welcome Jacqueline to the team – her excellent technical and working knowledge will help us to develop a strategic vision for the company to ensure the delivery of key business goals, including supporting with the growth of our design, socio-economic and other emerging practice areas.

There has been a significant increase in demand for our services due to our high success rate in securing planning permission for our clients. Jacqueline will strengthen the team and bring new ideas and skills to unlock sites. Her leadership and business management qualifications add another string to her bow and will be highly beneficial in driving the team forward and nurturing the next generation of planning talent.

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Brian is a Town Planner and chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute with in excess of 15 years of experience accrued in local government and the private sector.

Planning

Welcome to Marrons Planning. We advise on all planning matters - from co-ordinating major teams dealing with large and complex development proposals, to small scale development on infill sites.

Expert chartered town planner further strengthens Midlands consultancy

News

With more than 18 years’ experience working in local government, chartered town planner Kevin Exley has joined Marrons Planning – bolstering and expanding the leading Midlands consultancy’s strategic planning offering.

Taking on the role of principal planner, Kevin – who joins the consultancy after 16 years as a planning policy officer at South Derbyshire District Council and two years as a planning officer at North West Leicestershire District Council – will be offering expert planning advice to clients and formulating strategies that ensure development projects have the best chance of obtaining planning permission.

With a strong public sector background, Kevin understands the complexities of the planning system, the role politics plays in planning, and the ways in which to negotiate the balance in favour of development. He said: “I have worked in local government for many years, working with developers to bring forward housing and other developments. However, by the time local authorities see many emerging projects, much of the ‘planning’ has been done.

Working for Marrons Planning will provide an opportunity for me to use the skills and knowledge I have learned in local government to get involved with potential development sites at an early stage, supporting developers to bring forward much-needed sustainable schemes.

“Like most people, I care about the environment, but equally there is chronic need to build more houses and commercial premises to provide the homes and jobs local communities need. I enjoy the challenge of trying to balance the issues of environmental protection with the need for growth and trying to create good quality developments that don’t cost the earth.

During his time at South Derbyshire District Council, Kevin drafted numerous sections of the authority’s local plan document, which has successfully delivered the housing and employment land needed to meet local and wider Derby housing market area needs since 2011. He has also assisted in selecting the sites earmarked for growth and helped draft the policies included in the plan to minimise the effects of the large-scale of expansion proposed.

Kevin said: “Years working in the Derby housing market area have provided me with a good understanding of the housing and employment issues facing the area. This experience will enable me to provide insight to clients by explaining how local authority planners would likely view their proposals and how they can be enhanced, as well as assist site promoters to adjust to the challenges these issues bring.

More recently, Kevin produced the district council’s local green spaces plan and has been involved in a number of large development projects, including major urban extensions, retail developments, road infrastructure, and energy generation schemes, such as solar farms and battery storage facilities.

Kevin added: “My extensive knowledge of environmental assessment and related legislative requirements and guidance has allowed me to get involved in a wide range of development projects for South Derbyshire District Council, as well as gain experience in dealing with a number of emerging environmental issues including in respect of nutrient neutrality – which is becoming a major bottleneck to development in a number of locations around the UK – and biodiversity net gain, which will become a mandatory requirement for most development over the next few years.

Andy Gore, partner at Marrons Planning and head of the Nottingham team, added: “I’ve worked closely with Kevin for a number of years and know there are few planners out there who can boast a better understanding of the housing and economic issues the East Midlands faces. Kevin is an articulate and hugely experienced planner and I’m genuinely excited about the additional strength and depth he will bring to the growing Marrons Planning team.

Kevin joins following a string of appointments by Marrons Planning, including Simon Macklen as director of economics to head up the firm’s new socio-economics service and RIBA chartered architect and urban design expert Alex Craggs in support of its newly-launched urban design service.

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Andrew works primarily with house-builders, land promoters and landowners across the country in securing consent for medium to large-scale residential and commercial development, including a number of SUEs and new settlements.

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We advise on all planning matters - from co-ordinating major teams dealing with large and complex development proposals, to small scale development on infill sites.

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Setting our sights on B Corp Status

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Legal and professional services group Ampa – which includes full-service law firm Shakespeare Martineau, consumer-focused law firm Lime Solicitors, planning and design consultancy Marrons Planning, and debt, asset and uninsured loss recovery firm Corclaim – has announced its pending B Corporation (B-Corp) status and a raft of ambitious responsible business pledges, including achieving net-zero by 2025 and delivering 10,000 volunteering hours.

Organisations with certified B Corporation status are legally required to consider the impact of business decisions on their people, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment; ensuring a balance between purpose, people and profit. The benchmarks in order to achieve accreditation are incredibly high and Ampa will be one of the first UK legal service providers to be accredited.

As part of its commitment to using business as a ‘force for good’, the group of legal and professional services brands has committed to 30 responsible business ‘ambitions’ to support its communities, its people and the environment, all to be achieved by the end of 2022.

Highlights from those commitments include increasing female representation within the membership (those with equity in the group) by five per cent (currently 33%) and racial diversity by two per cent (currently 8%), as well as supporting teams by training 100% of managers in wellbeing.

To support the environment, the group looks to be carbon negative by 2030, with all registered office hubs using 100% renewable energy as well as increasing the use of sustainably sourced or recycled office supplies and furniture.

Working with communities, Ampa will be introducing a group-wide pro-bono programme, and has committed to 10,000 volunteering hours and supporting a minimum of 350 young people through mentoring, employability or virtual insights programmes over the next 12 months.

Driving the ambitions forward and rallying people across the firm to support these initiatives are 40 ‘responsible business champions’, which are voluntary positions taken up by people across all levels of the business spanning a variety of disciplines.

Group CEO Sarah Walker-Smith, said: “Achieving B-Corp status is something that’s really important to us; it’s not a box-tick exercise, but a reflection of how we do business by enshrining our people, client and community commitments at our core.

“We believe good business can be both purposeful and profitable and we want our clients to be confident that we not only do we provide excellent service and advice, but that we do it responsibly.

“Our ambitions provide us with targets to challenge ourselves on, while being open about both what we want to achieve and how we are going to do it. We have a lot to do over the coming years, but not only is it the right thing to do for our people, our clients, our communities and our planet – it is also the commercial thing to do for our business.”

Ben Buckton, group chief marketing and people officer, said: “Not only do we want to ensure we’re holding ourselves to account on the decisions we make, but we also want to help our clients on their journey to improving business practices to the benefit of both the planet and people, as well as profit.

“We’ve already made headway in our plans: in particular, our environment and sustainability proposal – encouraging our people to be more environmentally focussed in both life and work; from local litter picking campaigns to a reduction in printing. And we’ve begun the transformation of our office hubs, increasing the use of recycled furniture and sustainable products.

“Over the next quarter, we’re focussing internally on strengthening our inclusive work culture, not least by reinvigorating our ‘More in Common’ community, which brings together people from all backgrounds to celebrate both our differences and what we have in common.

“Our ‘More in Common’ principles help educate our teams, diversifies our thinking and embraces the intersectional reality of all people – we recognise that people are complex and multi-faceted, which in turn helps us to appreciate the diversity of our clients and our communities.

“For us, achieving B Corporation status will simply be a by-product of the work we’ve already been doing to become a better and more responsible business for our people, clients and the planet.

There are currently more than 4,000 certified B Corporations across 77 countries in more than 150 industries. Household names include Simply Business (SME insurance provider), Ben & Jerry’s, Coutts Bank, and clothing brand Patagonia. Ampa will be one of the first legal and professional firms with B Corporation status in the UK.

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Marrons Planning launches urban design with new associate director hire

Midlands planning consultancy Marrons Planning has extended its portfolio of services with the appointment of architect and urban design expert Alex Craggs.

Specialising in bespoke residential projects and master planning urban design schemes, RIBA chartered architect Alex will take the role of associate director and be heading up the new Marrons Urban Design service, which will complement the consultancy’s existing planning services: including planning applications and appeals as well as promoting developments and planning strategy.

With more than 10 years’ experience working with a range of clients from strategic land promoters and developers to private clients and home owners, Alex will be responsible for setting up the new service line and growing the team in the future.

Andy Gore, Partner at Marrons Planning, said: “This is a really exciting new venture for Marrons Planning and one that will allow us to provide illustrative layouts, design and access statements, promotion documents, concept plans and more.

“We’re well known for providing planning advice that helps inform our clients’ decision making process, driving projects forward and using our close working relationships with Local Planning Authorities to help unlock strategic sites; but now we will also be able to provide our clients with brilliant designs that are underpinned by a deep understanding of commercial complexities, local authority requirements and planning strategy.

“We’re thrilled to have Alex join our team.

Alex has experience working in a variety of sectors including residential, conservation, mixed-use, commercial and leisure, taking projects from inception through to completion.

Alex, who was previously associate director for BHB Architects said: “I was attracted to Marrons Planning because of their enthusiasm and track record in gaining successful outcomes for their clients. I’m excited to bring design expertise to Marrons Planning to allow them to offer their clients a high quality design offering in conjunction with their established planning services.

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Promotions announced at Marrons Planning

Leading planning consultancy Marrons Planning has announced two new appointments and four internal promotions.

Karen Brightman joins the consultancy’s Leicester hub from Charnwood Borough Council, taking the role of associate director, bringing significant experience working on strategic projects. George Smith joins the Stratford hub, as senior planner, after 6 years working with Cherwell District Council.

Based in the Nottingham hub, Jenny Keen and David Pendle have been promoted from associate director to planning directors.

Jenny_Keen-circle
Jenny Keen
David_Pendle-circle
David Pendle

Jenny is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) with more than 12 years’ experience across a range of sectors including the residential, commercial and retail planning fields and working for a number of developers and national housebuilders in promoting sites through the development plan, co-ordinating major planning applications and managing planning appeals.

David Pendle has a wealth of local government experience works with landowners, developers and consultancies, specialising in land promotion and strategic developments.

Meanwhile, principal planners Daniel Robinson-Wells and Sachin Parmar have been promoted to associate directors in the Stratford and Leicester hubs, respectively.

Daniel_Robinson_Wells-circle
Daniel Robinson-Wells
Sachin_Parmar-circle
Sachin Parmar

Daniel has more than 14 years’ experience in planning, from the implementation of strategic allocation to application planning and planning appeals, working with individuals, small companies, major house builders and developers.

Sachin has been with Marrons Planning for two years, having worked for more than a decade in public sector planning authorities across rural and urban locations.

Sachin said: “We understand the complexities of the planning system and I genuinely enjoy working on highly challenging, contentious projects. At Marrons Planning we help to shape major development schemes, working alongside our legal colleagues, formulating winning planning strategies to provide the best possible chance of obtaining planning permission for development.

Brian Mullin, head of Marrons Planning, said: “We’re thrilled to be expanding our team and rewarding experience.

“We have built an exceptionally talented and creative team of town planning experts, with extensive public and private sector experience. We maintain a close relationship with our legal colleagues in Shakespeare Martineau to deliver legally well-grounded advice from the outset. This top quality professional service ultimately supports decision-making authorities and benefits our diverse and growing client base.

The promotions and appointments follow the consultancy’s launch of an urban design service.

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Marrons Planning has been recognised at prestigious planning industry awards

Our planning consultancy team Marrons Planning, alongside Leicester City Council, has been highly commended in the category for Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy at the national Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2021.

They received the commendation at last night's virtual awards for their involvement in the Great Central Square project in Leicester.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

Great Central Square is a £60m regeneration scheme connecting the Waterside area of Leicester to the heart of the city centre. The scheme comprises two hotels, 33,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space and the refurbishment of the former Great Central Railway Station to 20,000 sq. ft. of leisure space. The scheme includes a pedestrian super-crossing and public open realm and occupies one of the most prominent positions in Leicester city centre, directly opposite John Lewis and Highcross Shopping Centre. It has been a catalyst for a £200m regeneration renaissance in the city and its delivery is a great exemplar of public and private sector co-operation.

Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy

The award for 'Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy' recognises projects that support and promote a successful prosperous economy.

On awarding Marrons Planning and Leicester City Council with the commendation the judges said:

"They were impressed by the development of this long standing brownfield site in the Leicester city centre. The project kept multiplier value in the local area by keeping the majority of investment within a 30 mile radius of the site and provided apprenticeships, employment and training. The judges were impressed by the community benefit of the project."

Commenting on the recognition, Brian Mullin, head of Marrons Planning, said:

"I'm absolutely thrilled that the team has been endorsed by our RTPI peers, especially at national level, and being up against some excellent projects. This achievement is a fantastic acknowledgement of the contribution that Marrons Planning and Leicester City Council has made to the city, as well as recognising the value of working partnerships with the public sector.

"The team are worthy winners and we are all very proud of the positive difference our work makes to help transform local communities, environments and economies."

Planning Consultancy of the Year finalist

In addition for being commended for our work on Great Central Square, Marrons Planning was also recognised as a finalist in the prestigious national award for 'Planning Consultancy of the Year'.  This follows being named as the winners of the coveted award at the regional East Midlands awards back in November 2020.

On being recognised as finalists at the national awards Brian Mullin said:

"I'm absolutely thrilled that the team has been endorsed by our national RTPI peers. As a firm we are proud and fortunate to have a team with great depth and superb technical knowledge who strive to consistently deliver excellent results by understanding our clients' objectives and building lasting relationships."

Read more about Marrons Planning and how we can help our clients plan for every eventuality.

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