HDA’s landscape architects and ecologists are experienced at presenting evidence to Planning Inquiries and Appeals, and appear at Examinations In Public and other hearings.

We have acted as expert witnesses at numerous successful Local Plan inquiries and Section 78 appeals.  Our approach is robust and always based upon careful site work and detailed analysis, often recommending changes to the proposals to ensure integrity of the case and working with the client and their advisors as part of an integrated team.

The breadth of work where HDA staff have been involved with inquiries, hearings and written representations include:

  • Housing, either defending a Council’s decision to refuse permission, or supporting a private developer seeking dismissal of an appeal;
  • Mixed use developments;
  • Minerals and waste, e.g. supporting West Berkshire Council in its refusal of an extension to a sand and gravel quarry at Chieveley, and supporting Stroud District Council as a Rule 6 party in the Gloucestershire Energy from Waste Facility off the M5;
  • Developments in nationally designated landscapes, such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
  • Holiday parks and mobile homes/lodges, including 82 homes at Warfield Park, Bracknell;
  • Ecological impacts;
  • Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG);
  • Effects of nitrogen dioxide concentrations on habitats;
  • Footpath diversions, e.g. Tommy Moor Lane to accommodate the extension of Whitwell quarry in Derbyshire;
  • CROW Act;
  • Local Plan Examination in Public, including Wokingham and Uttlesford.
project examples


HDA prepared a Landscape Capacity study for potential development sites within the Vale of White Horse District, which were considered as part of the Local Plan Part 2. The study provided the foundation to HDA’s Green Belt study and forms part of the evidence base used in the site selection process for the Local Plan. …


Working with ASP, HDA helped Knight Developments achieve a resolution to grant planning permission for this scheme of 103 homes in Wealden District. The site is within the High Weald AONB and within 7km of the Ashdown Forest SPA/SAC. HDA’s inputs included landscape, ecology, masterplanning and expert witness.


Harwell Campus is a world-renowned science and technology campus. To help ensure the continued success of the Campus, the Vale of White Horse District Council has allocated 1000 dwellings to provide new homes for both permanent and transient employees. HDA is working closely with the District, Campus Partnership and key stakeholders to prepare a masterplan …


HDA played an important long-term role in the creation of the Olympic standard rowing lake at Dorney for Eton College, with involvement in the planning, design, construction and management of the lake. HDA was responsible for co-ordination of a team of consultants which prepared a detailed construction scheme, and contributed to the Environmental Statement that …