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Emery Planning is made up of a team of 32 across two offices in Macclesfield and Chester. The consultants have vast experience of the planning system from both local government and private practice perspectives. The team comprises chartered town planners with extensive experience in the public and private sectors. We draw upon a network of other professionals involved in development to provide a multi-disciplinary team.

Stephen Harris

BSc (Hons) MRTPI

Managing Director

Stephen has experience of an extensive range of planning matters across the North West, but also across the country; in particular Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall. He has appeared as an expert planning witness at numerous Section 78 appeals and Examinations in Public for major residential and mixed-use developments.

Stephen’s work includes the preparation of pre-application advice and reports incorporating development briefs, the assessment of development sites and their potential, preparation of planning application submissions, liaising and negotiating with planning authorities, and appeal work.

Caroline Payne



Caroline started her career in development control in local government and subsequently moved into private practice in Manchester.

Caroline has extensive experience negotiating a wide range of planning applications, through both the application and appeal processes. She is also involved in the strategic promotion of sites through the Local Plan process, preparing both representations and evidence. As an Associate Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, Caroline has responsibility for the co-ordination and project management of Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Statements.

Rawdon Gascoigne



Rawdon has extensive planning experience across a diverse range of nationally based planning matters. Rawdon’s experience on enforcement and conservation issues enables a constructive approach, particularly when dealing with historic buildings and protected environments.

Rawdon’s expertise includes conflict resolution in enforcement matters, representations at appeal, including expert advice at Public and Development Plan Inquiries, and the assessment of development sites and their potential in the commercial, retail, tourism and leisure sectors.


Ben Pycroft

BA (Hons) Dip TP MRTPI


Ben specialises in residential planning applications and appeals on behalf of house builders, strategic land companies and private individuals. Ben has prepared and presented evidence as an expert witness at a number of public inquiries in relation to housing land supply issues. He also prepares and submits representations to emerging development plans on behalf of clients, and promotes their interests at Local Plan Examinations.

Ben is involved in a number of ongoing appeals in Cheshire West and Chester for house builders and strategic land companies, and represents a number of clients in the examination into the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy.

John Coxon

BSc (Hons) MPlan MRTPI


John joined Emery Planning in 2008, and has a wide range of experience in planning matters across England and Wales. He has appeared at numerous Local Plan Examinations and as an expert planning witness at Section 78 appeals.

John’s experience includes: advising upon and promoting major residential developments, commercial and mixed-use developments, Green Belt matters, and the development potential of sites and planning strategy. He also works on promoting sites through the Local Plan process, preparing planning application submissions, liaising and negotiating with planning authorities, and work on planning appeals.

Emma Bennion

BSc (Hons) CIM Dip M

Operations Director

With an extensive background in marketing and business management, as Operations Director, Emma plays a pivotal role in the operation of Emery Planning.

Gareth Salthouse

BA (Hons) MPlan MRTPI

Associate Director

Gareth started his planning career in local government and subsequently worked within the planning team at The Emerson Group.

Since joining Emery Planning in 2014, Gareth has worked on various projects relating to planning applications, appeals and promoting sites through the local plan process. He is able to draw upon his experience of working within the public and commercial sectors when advising clients and resolving complex planning issues.

Helen Leggett

BSc (Hons) MSc MRTPI

Associate Director

Having started her career with a good grounding in local government development management, Helen joined Emery Planning in 2006 and since then has played a key role in our general planning service.

Helen has responsibility for the co-ordination and project management of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and preparation of Environmental Statements. Her work also includes undertaking community consultations in respect of major development proposals.

Helen has extensive experience successfully negotiating with local authorities and consultees on a range of projects, including work on conditions and legal agreements. She also has experience of successfully representing clients at appeal.

Jill Naylor


Associate Director

Jill joined Emery Planning in 2006 and has experience in both the public and private sectors. Her areas of expertise include: Green Belt and countryside issues, replacement dwellings and building conversions, large and small scale housing developments, enforcement cases and certificates of lawfulness, commercial and leisure developments, listed buildings and conservation areas, and all types of prior approval procedures and residential care homes, especially children’s residential care.

Nick Smith

BSc (Hons) Dip TP MRTPI

Associate Director

Nick began his career in local government development management before joining Emery Planning.

Nick is a highly experienced consultant, having worked on variety of residential and commercial developments, including those within the urban area, Green Belt/open countryside and the historic environment.

Nick has worked with a number of architects and external consultants on various projects. These have involved the preparation and submission of planning applications and appeals, including proposals for small and large scale residential developments, infill developments, barn conversions, replacement dwellings and certificates of lawfulness.

Alexa Burns

BA (Hons) Dip TP MRTPI


Alexa has a broad range of experience in advising on commercial, residential, leisure and mixed-use projects.

Her experience includes undertaking detailed site appraisals, protecting land interests through active involvement in the emerging plan process, and the drafting of strategic regeneration frameworks. She also works on the preparation, submission and negotiation of complex planning applications and engages in active dialogue to achieve appropriate conditions and S106 agreements. Central to many of her projects has been the need to advise on the appropriate planning strategy for any given situation. Her experience also extends to working on planning appeals, submitting written representations, attending hearings, and preparing for public inquiries.

Tom Smith

BSc (Hons) MPlan MRTPI


Tom is a Chartered Member of the RTPI with 16 years’ planning experience in the UK and Australia.  He has significant planning consultancy experience and has also worked in statutory planning for a local planning authority (LPA) and client-side for a major foodstore operator. 

Tom has a wide variety of experience including preparing planning application submissions, town centre and retail planning (both for public and private sector clients), environmental planning for water infrastructure companies, advising LPAs on Article 4 Directions and residential planning.

Lynn Jones



Lynn is a Town Planner with a specialist training in landscape planning issues.

She has used this knowledge within multidisciplinary teams to assist in the design and delivery of large residential and mixed use schemes. Her experience covers a breadth of areas, including: site appraisal, landscape and visual issues, rural diversification, green belt development, planning appeals, enforcement cases and Environmental Impact Assessment.

Clare Gascoigne


Senior Consultant

Before joining Emery Planning, Clare worked for the Peak District National Park Authority for over 15 years, gaining a vast knowledge in rural, agricultural, conservation and heritage planning matters.

At Emery Planning, Clare has a diverse caseload including agricultural and equestrian matters, lawful use, conservation and listed building consent. Clare’s area of expertise is within retail and commercial planning matters for the bar and restaurant Industry nationwide.

Sarah Sands

BA (Hons) Msc MRTPI

Senior Consultant

Sarah has considerable experience working on a wide range of projects from minor amendment schemes to replacement dwellings, barn conversions, changes of use, permitted development and certificates of lawful use.

Sarah’s expertise lies in her commitment to achieving a positive outcome for clients through her persistence in progress-chasing applications.

She is also responsible for dealing with costs awards following Inspector’s decisions on appeal cases. She has negotiated many successful costs claims for clients against a variety of local planning authorities.

Louise Whinnett


Senior Consultant

Louise joined Emery Planning in February 2018 and has over 13 years’ experience working within both the public and private planning sectors.

A substantial amount of this time has been spent working within the development management field, therefore she can offer a wealth of practical experience in relation to pre-application advice, site appraisals, submission of planning applications and appeals on a wide range of proposals. She also has considerable knowledge of new development within the green belt and countryside.

Louise also has experience as a lead consultant managing multidisciplinary teams, putting together complex strategic planning application submissions and preparing detailed Local Plan representations for major residential and commercial schemes.

Victoria Wood

BSc (Hons) MPlan MRTPI

Senior Consultant

Victoria joined Emery Planning in 2017 after working for multiple planning consultancies in the private sector. In which time she gained experience working on a broad range of planning applications and appeals.

She has worked on a wide range of projects including: certificates of existing and proposed use, planning applications, appeals for extensions to dwellings, and replacement dwellings in the green belt, commercial development projects, site appraisal and planning appeals.

Aaron Marrs

BSc (Hons) Msc MRTPI

Senior Consultant

Aaron joined Emery Planning in 2019 after 4 years of planning experience with another planning consultancy.

He has experience in preparing and submitting a range of planning applications from conversions, diversification schemes, residential development proposals and land promotions through the Local Plan process.

Jill Paton

BA (Hons), MSc

Assistant Consultant

Jill joined Emery Planning as part of the Planning Support Team after completing her undergraduate degree in 2015. She gained invaluable experience on the planning process in this role before going on to complete her Master’s degree in 2019.

During her time at Emery Planning, Jill has gained experience working on a broad variety of projects, including assisting with: five year housing land supply assessments, planning appeals for large housing developments, development plan representations, site appraisals, and a wide range of planning applications.


Wiktoria Sypnicka

BA (Hons)

Assistant Consultant

Wiki joined Emery Planning as part of the Planning Support Team in 2019 after completing her undergraduate degree at Newcastle University. She has gained a broad range of experience from technical and administrative planning to assisting with various projects including: small scale residential developments, householder projects, certificates of lawfulness, change of use and development plan representations.


Emily Sykes

BA (Hons), MSc

Assistant Consultant

Emily joined Emery Planning in 2021 after completing her Master’s degree in 2020 and gaining planning experience in the public sector.

She has experience dealing with a range of planning
applications, including small scale residential development, certificates of lawfulness and advertisement consent.


Molly O'Sullivan

BA (Hons)

Graduate Consultant

Molly joined Emery Planning in July 2022 after having completed a four-year integrated masters in Town and Regional Planning from The University of Liverpool.


Kayleigh Neild

business support

Kayleigh joined Emery Planning in 2005 as part of the administration team. After completing courses in CAD/Photoshop and website design she joined the Planning Support team.  Kayleigh has gained wide experience creating masterplans, site analysis/context plans and website design as well as assisting with the collation and submission of planning applications. 


Alysia Davidson


Alysia joined Emery Planning in 2007.  She has extensive knowledge of development management technical and administrative matters and manages our planning application and appeal submissions. She also deals with public consultations, Land Registry matters and assists with preparation of Environmental Statements.



Emery Planning’s foundation is built on values which distinguish us and guide our professional integrity. Our values provide the foundation for consistently providing the very best service, they bring us together as a business and give us a clear sense of purpose and direction


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