Green Infrastructure (GI) describes the network of natural spaces and corridors that intersperse and connect our cities, villages and towns. These areas provide multiple benefits to local communities, including recreational space, improved health and well-being, natural habitats for wildlife, and vital environmental services such as pollution control, water supply, fisheries and flood alleviation. GI planning requires an understanding and articulation of “ecosystem services” relevant to the study area.
TEP has very strong credentials in green infrastructure advocacy, strategy and planning. We specialise in developing GI plans that take account of environmental, economic and social priorities, and balance these to support a project or area holistically.
We work collaboratively brokering agreements and establishing consensus across a wide spectrum of stakeholders to create spaces that balance the needs of people, wildlife and habitats.
We have developed GI plans at a broad geographic scale (for example our work on the Cheshire and North-East Wales GI Framework) and at a very local scale (for example our action plan for the Flintshire Coast).
At TEP we understand the importance of ecosystems and the services they provide to society. Through surveying and understanding individual ecological systems, we can identify the potential ecological constraints to a development and seek realistic, cost-effective solutions to benefit both our clients and biodiversity.
We provide advice on how constraints can be mitigated, or even made into a valuable feature, and, with our design teams, produce detailed drawings to illustrate this. We recognise the unique nature of each site and ensure our approach reflects this.
We work on a full range of developments from housing, commercial and industrial schemes to major infrastructure projects. Often this requires us to present surveys, assessments and mitigation schemes to regulators and at public inquiries and hearings.
Our 30 in-house ecologists are all members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and adhere to CIEEMs strict guidelines both in their technical work and their professional conduct. We offer high quality habitat assessments for all stages of a development proposal and we are licensed by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales to undertake terrestrial and freshwater protected species surveys for all the regularly encountered species such as great crested newts, bats, otter, dormice, badgers, water voles and birds.
Our ecology team is supported by a network of professional sub-consultants, also CIEEM members, who provide detailed habitat and botanical survey and habitat enhancement, creation, restoration and management skills.
A picture says a thousand words. We use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to describe our world in terms of its spatial relationships, patterns and trends. This applies as much to our social and built environment as it does to the natural environment for which GIS was first developed. The most common GIS product is a map, but using layers of information, GIS can also be used for strategic assessments, identifying priorities and needs within an area, helping decision-makers and focussing investment. Maps are also a vital visual aid in community and stakeholder engagement.
TEP has a large mapping and GIS team which uses ArcGIS and MapInfo software to analyse and illustrate environmental, social and economic data and trends. It is a powerful tool in our design and assessment services, for example: in landscape and visual impact assessment, we use Spatial and 3D analysis techniques to assess the impact of overhead transmission lines, wind farms and large building proposals; in our urban design work, our Walk-Zone maps help us to assess the accessibility and quantity of neighbourhood open spaces.
Our clients include central and local government, large corporate landowners such as Forestry Commission and HCA; and infrastructure providers like National Grid.
The potential contribution of trees to the urban environment and development proposals is significant. Their role in green infrastructure is considerable, providing habitats and wildlife corridors. They also provide important environmental services through absorption of carbon dioxide, the provision of shade and improvements to air quality. There are also many economic and societal benefits to be gained from trees. Not surprisingly, trees are also a “material consideration” in Planning Law.
TEP has a team of consultants with expertise in managing trees in rural and urban landscapes offering a range of professional services in accordance with the British Standard (BS5837:2012) for trees in relation to design, demolition and construction works. Our team undertakes detailed surveys and inspections of trees, woodlands and hedgerows offering comprehensive advice for our clients. Recommendations for tree work are specific to local ecological features and future land use. We also provide detailed reports to accompany our assessments and survey work, which provide the necessary information to accompany planning applications and to discharge planning conditions.
We are experienced in a wide range of projects concerning construction close to trees. Reaching resolution regularly involves consulting with developers, architects, structural engineers and Local Authorities to develop innovative and specialised design solutions.
‘Historic environment’ is the term used to describe all of the surviving physical remains of past human activity, encompassing built heritage, the historic landscape, and buried archaeology. Public interest in, and concern for, the historic environment has never been greater and at TEP we understand the value of the historic environment for its contribution to the quality of life to this and future generations.
Our historic environment team provides professional advice on how constraints can be identified and mitigated. We tailor our response to the needs of each unique project and can provide any level of support including feasibility appraisals, heritage statements, EIA, consultancy, design and commission of archaeological work, identification of heritage benefits, and expert witness services including appearing at public inquiries.
We produce conservation plans for historic parks, gardens and landscapes. These build on comprehensive site survey and background research to ascertain the significance of the asset. TEP can provide expert advice on appropriate repairs, interventions and development in association with our landscape management and design teams. We regularly work on Heritage Lottery Funded schemes and assist with grant applications and project management.
Our team has worked on a large range of developments including housing, commercial and industrial schemes as well as renewable energy and large scale infrastructure projects. Our historic environment and archaeology team is a Registered Organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.
TEP integrates environmental, social and economic aspirations in its Masterplans and urban design schemes to deliver sustainable solutions to complex systems. We acknowledge that creating new spaces for leisure, business and housing involves balancing a number of interconnected and sometimes competing priorities. There is a need to shape the setting of a town or development to create a sense of order, place, continuity and identity. We also recognise the need to design for resilience to future uncertainties such as climate change and economic instability.
TEP’s track record in developing area masterplans, development frameworks, public realm strategies and design guides illustrates this approach. We work closely with clients and engage local stakeholders, using a variety of tools and techniques, to develop high quality designs which achieve the necessary approvals to go on to successful implementation.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) assesses the effects that certain new developments may have on the environment and recommends actions to enhance environmental benefits and reduce adverse effects. Whilst large scale regeneration projects, housing developments, new roads and electricity connections are necessary for the economy and society, TEP recognises that so too is a quality environment.
TEP is an Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) registered Environmental Impact Assessor with a Quality Mark for commitment to excellence. We have extensive experience in managing the EIA process, regularly working in multi-disciplinary teams of ecologists, engineers, designers, surveyors and planners.
We coordinate the entire EIA process, from screening opinions to the production of the Environmental Statement which will accompany a planning application. We manage the range of specialists required to deliver an EIA and engage with all of the relevant stakeholders. Our priority is to identify all of the potential environmental effects from a proposed development and provide innovative and practical measures to reduce the effects.
Our team includes experts in Sustainability Appraisal, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Regulation Assessment, allowing us to carry out high and mid-level appraisals of plans, strategies and major infrastructure schemes.
Our public green spaces, a critical component of green infrastructure and sustainable communities, can decline quickly without effective management by skilled professionals. Well managed, high quality green spaces offer places for recreation, improve property value, support healthy communities and offer habitats for a range of wildlife.
TEP’s Stewardship Team of Chartered Landscape Architects and Landscape Managers have a high level of expertise through long standing commissions from public and voluntary-sector bodies as well as commissions on one off developments.
We believe that practical, forward thinking landscape management requires planning at strategic and site specific scales. Our team provides professional services including policy development and broad-scale planning, feasibility studies, bespoke site management plans, and procurement and administration on site
We have developed bespoke software systems to facilitate integrated land management to suit the requirements of individual landholders. The systems map and record information covering landscape, arboriculture, ecology, land access, and contract management to enable efficient integrated estate management.
We carry out estate risk audits covering void property, waterside safety, trespass and tree safety. We then implement remedial works and bring estates and void property into good management. Our landowning clients value our services because they identify, manage and reduce risks. Currently we are managing estate risks nationwide from former barracks in Dover to a quayside in Berwick.
TEP takes a holistic approach to design, with Landscape Architects working closely with other in-house professionals to produce designs that are both sensitive to the environment and considerate of long-term management. We have a creative, dynamic and skilled team committed to producing distinctive, innovative and sustainable landscape designs.
Our design services include all aspects of hard and soft landscape, including planting design, habitat creation, construction detailing, public art coordination, project management, contract administration and CDM.
In recent years we have undertaken a wide range of landscape design projects within residential and commercial development, school grounds, historic landscapes, parks and open spaces.
Delivering sustainable solutions requires the active involvement and the support of a number of different stakeholders; TEP has considerable skills and experience in identifying, and engaging with, a large variety of interested parties, groups and organisations. Our priority is to develop and maintain good relationships, creating the environment for effective two way dialogue.
We use a range of tools and techniques to support this process, tailored for individual stakeholder groups within each project. We do not apply a “one size fits all” approach. We work with stakeholders at a number of levels; from individuals, such as local residents, to focus groups, through to large scale public events.
We are experienced in dealing with contentious development projects and can address stakeholder concerns and expectations throughout the process, which can sometimes be over several years.
In addition to fostering good relationships, we use other methods to engage stakeholders, such as tailored questionnaires, design competitions, leaflets and exhibitions. For all of these, we produce the visual materials ourselves, using high quality graphics programmes.
TEP can undertake a variety of acoustic services, including baseline noise monitoring, predictive modelling (CadnaA™), occupational noise assessments and noise verification surveys.
TEP also helps clients understand and meet their ambient air quality obligations as part of the environmental permit conditions, or to understand possible impacts from a new development. We combine our understanding of industrial processes, knowledge of air quality regulations, and experience in air quality management and provide a comprehensive regulatory compliance service which includes: ambient air quality, monitoring/verification surveys, emission inventory compilation, BAT assessment and air dispersion modelling using AERMOD™.
We can undertake Greenhouse Gas (GHG) studies for organisations required to report their annual quantity of emissions in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from activities for which that company is responsible pursuant to Section 7 of the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. TEP also assists companies to carry out GHG inventories, forecasting, monitoring and reporting.
In today’s business environment, companies must understand the adverse effects of exposures to environmental stressors as well as the regulated permissible exposure limits for these stressors. TEP can undertake indoor occupational hygiene assessments ranging from workplace air quality/noise to light and ergonomics.
Our RTPI qualified team at TEP has significant experience in guiding development proposals, from the feasibility stage through to the discharge of planning conditions. We give strategic advice on proposals, manage consultations and prepare applications for planning consent. This may include the production of supporting materials such as Design and Access Statements. We also provide expert evidence on planning issues at public inquiries and appeals, and underpin all of these processes with our stakeholder engagement services.
TEP is especially skilled in preparing planning applications for developments which may have significant effects on the environment. Our planning team includes experts in Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal and, supported by our urban design specialists, landscape architects and ecologists, can provide a broad spectrum of advice on the likely environmental and sustainability effects of proposals.
TEP has co-ordinated numerous large projects and delivered consents for residential and mixed use schemes; roads; power generation and transmission projects. We work nationally and overseas and have a strong record with private and public sector clients.
BREEAM sets standards for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and is a widely recognised measure of a building’s environmental performance. Many new building developments now require that a BREEAM assessment, which includes the BRE Category of Land Use and Ecology, is undertaken. The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes and offers credits for certain ecological credentials.
TEP’s ecologists are accredited to act as Suitably Qualified Ecologists, which is a requirement of the assessments. We evaluate the performance of new buildings and help maximise the ecological value, and number of credits, that can be obtained.
Recognising the unique requirements of BREEAM and CfSH we have a dedicated team who are on hand from design stage through to project completion. Our in-house landscape design and arboriculture professionals support our ecologists to provide comprehensive reports to support new developments. Over the past 5 years, we have carried out over 1000 BREEAM and CfSH assessments across the UK and we are on framework contracts with many of the major social housing providers and their delivery partner contractors.
Landscape is about more than just how an area looks. The European Convention on Landscape describes it as “our living natural and cultural heritage, be it ordinary or outstanding, urban or rural, on land or in water”. Landscapes underpin our economy, support health and well-being and have unique qualities which contribute to the development of community identities and a sense of place.
TEP has extensive experience of undertaking Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (LVIA). Through LVIAs, we are able to work with our clients to address landscape and visual impact issues at an early stage, ensuring proposals work within the landscape setting, deal effectively with any constraints and are visually acceptable. A project which works with the landscape character of the area is more likely to be acceptable at a local level and to local planning authorities.
Working with our photomontage and visualisation experts, our landscape architects are able to advise on appropriate design and mitigation measures; often leading to appearances at public inquiries to present detailed evidence on development proposals.
TEP also carries out Landscape Character Assessments (LCA) at a Local Authority level, identifying the unique qualities and features of an area which contribute to local distinctiveness. Our LCAs are used in Local Plans, Transport Strategies and Supplementary Planning Guidance to improve the design quality of new development and to promote good countryside management.