SYSTRA environmental consents and planning specialists provide environmental impact assessments, project design support, public consultations, planning advice and guidance to help clients gain approvals for new transport and infrastructure developments.

Managing environmental approvals for infrastructure schemes

Any new infrastructure or construction project needs to be carefully planned and designed to ensure it delivers the intended outcomes for people, the environment and the economy – without causing harm or disruption to the wider environment.

Securing planning permission or consent for new infrastructure projects is a specialised process in a highly regulated landscape. Planners and developers need to navigate complex consent and planning issues to give their projects the greatest chance of success. Planning applications may require data and insights from research, surveys and forecasts into environmental and economic impacts, as well as engagement and consultation with multiple stakeholders, to achieve success.

The environmental consulting specialists at SYSTRA have wide-ranging expertise in dealing with complex planning consent issues. Our highly qualified specialists have the necessary depth of experience to unlock essential planning permissions within tight deadlines – preventing delays to critical infrastructure programmes.

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SYSTRA has all the environmental consulting expertise required to help clients navigate the highly regulated planning consent process, engaging with multiple stakeholders to ensure permissions are granted within key project deadlines.

Our environmental planning expertise means we can provide practical advice to clients on infrastructure, environmental or construction projects on any scale to help avoid, remedy or mitigate potential environmental impacts. We can work closely with design teams to give projects the best chance of achieving environmental consents, and we can help to prepare consent application documents.

We liaise with statutory authorities to discuss consent requirements and can undertake surveys to confirm the presence or absence of protected species and types of waste on site (via GI surveys), as well as conducting baseline noise surveys to inform Section 61 consents.

Successful planning permission applications

Our consents team has experience in preparing planning applications, environmental impact assessments and supporting documentation for a wide range of development types and scales, with a particular focus on highway, rail and other major infrastructure developments.

The team specialises in approvals in accordance with the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), the Transport and Works Act 1992 and the Planning Act 2008. We have expertise in formulating consents strategies, applying permitted development rights, reserved matters approvals, the discharge of planning conditions, and comparative site assessments and appraisals.

Environmental consent management

Our team includes specialists who have worked as consents managers on a variety of projects, ensuring we identify all required environmental consents for each project. We support clients from the feasibility stage through to outline and full planning applications, transport and works act orders, and even the individual consents required for design and construction. At the feasibility stage, we work with design teams to identify and avoid key constraints – saving both time and money.


  • Planning permission & consent management
  • Environmental permits
  • Consultation and stakeholder engagement
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs)

Section 278 consents for highways projects

For projects that involve making alterations or improvements to the public highway, we can support design and legal teams through the process of obtaining Section 278 consents. Our specialists work closely with the highway authorities and understand the requirements of each authority, so we can guide clients through this complex process.

Gaining environmental permits

Our knowledge and understanding of environmental legislation means we can direct clients through the complexities of environmental permit regulations. We understand the importance of getting the right permit at the right time. We work with design teams to avoid costly constraints and with regulators to provide the right permit submissions for each project.

Consultation and stakeholder engagement

Effective consultation is a core skill for planners, particularly in urban settings where mediation is required between a diverse range of interests. At SYSTRA, we understand the importance of early engagement and pre-application consultation with planning authorities, to ensure we deliver focused and proportionate application submissions. We also appreciate the need to maintain excellent working relationships with local authority officers and statutory bodies to avoid delays, maximise the likelihood of approval, and minimise the number of conditions imposed.

We host public consultations with local communities, giving people an opportunity to comment on development proposals and improving the chances of gaining support. In combination with relevant specialists, we prepare responses to comments received by planning authorities during the application determination process. We can also deliver presentations to planning committees in support of proposed developments.

Environmental Impact Assessments

Successful Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for any new development require careful coordination. Our team is experienced in coordinating targeted EIAs, including directing the work of technical specialists and delivering proportionate EIAs covering all necessary environmental topics. We can support the whole EIA process, from screening, scoping and producing the environmental statement through to post-submission support.

How can our experts help?

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