Consultancy GVA acquires HOW Planning

Consultancy GVA has acquired Manchester-based HOW Planning, creating what it calls the 'largest planning business in the north of the country'.

Merger: (from left) GVA's Manchester head Chris Cheap, How's shareholding partners Richard Woodford, Gary Halman, and Jon Suckley, and GVA's chief executive Gerry Hughes
Merger: (from left) GVA's Manchester head Chris Cheap, How's shareholding partners Richard Woodford, Gary Halman, and Jon Suckley, and GVA's chief executive Gerry Hughes

According to a joint statement issued today, GVA has acquired HOW Planning which will merge into GVA’s existing planning, development and regeneration team.

A spokeswoman for GVA said that all 35 of HOW’s staff would be integrated into the firm’s Manchester office.

"HOW will dovetail with a wide range of related services including regeneration, development, compulsory purchase, economic planning and finance, reinforcing GVA’s multi-service approach to planning and development advice", the statement said.

It added that the move "establishes the largest planning business in the north of the country".

Gerry Hughes, chief executive of GVA said: "This is another key move in advancing our ambitious growth strategy and cementing our position as the leading real estate advisory business in the UK and Ireland. It will reinforce an area of business where we are traditionally very strong and is a major step forward for our Manchester office.

"We now have the undisputed leading planning team in the north of the country, and we will continue to build on this strength."

Gary Halman, managing partner of HOW said: "HOW has many synergies with GVA in terms of its strong regional positioning, work ethos and commercially focussed approach to planning and development.

"Joining such a highly regarded national practice with such a strong consultancy and planning pedigree will allow us to better service our clients’ needs, enhanced by GVA’s wide experience and activity within key markets in the UK, as well as offer a strong pathway to growth for our talented workforce."

According to the Planning Consultancy Survey 2017, HOW Planning had 16 chartered town planners in September 2017 and 23 planning fee-earners.


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