About us

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The town planning system can be complex and, without experts on hand, can delay the delivery of schemes across the country. What’s more, it’s hard to understand and it keeps changing.

We understand the steps needed to take a site through the planning process from advising on the planning prospects of a potential land acquisition through to works starting on site.

There’s nothing simple about securing planning permissions. Our clients know that our value is in our clear and pragmatic professional advice and input from the outset of a project and through every stage.

We see things differently

We understand the planning system and appreciate its importance for building brilliant places. We know how to work with it, and with local planning authorities, in order to deliver the right results for our clients and for places.

We’re a team of proactive and pragmatic planners who cut through the complexities of the planning system and provide straightforward advice.

Established by Bill Davidson in 2013, P4 has been steadily growing ever since. But we’ve held tight to our original values of close relationships, collaboration, inclusivity and flexibility.

With decades of combined experience under our belt, we’re experts at finding the right solutions: unlocking tricky sites for new uses, adding value to underused land and, through our collaboration with professionals across the industry, helping to build great places.

We focus on what we’re good at

As an independent planning consultancy we don’t spread ourselves thinly trying to master all the built environment specialisms. We focus on what we do best: providing pragmatic planning advice, delivering bespoke planning strategies that work commercially and helping our clients to navigate the planning system.

We understand the planning system with all its technicalities and quirks. We’re proud of our people and our work, and we think outside the box to offer clear, refreshing, proactive advice.

Our clients trust us

As a founder and owner of an SME business, we tend to work best with those that share our scale, our outlook, our values and our commitment to getting the job done. We have worked with Bill Davidson in both of his ‘phases’ – as a Board Director at Indigo Planning and then as the founder of P4 Planning. Bill has skillfully taken those big company procedures, rigour and professionalism into the business and grown them, and in term his team around them.

Peter Swift
Planit-IE

P4 Planning is a trusted and essential part of our team. They go the extra mile and think creatively to deliver results. The team is always personable yet professional and I would not hesitate to recommend them.

Tim McCormac
NWTC

P4 Planning worked in a professional and creative way, which resulted in successful planning applications that are aspirational but reasoned and deliverable.

Louise Turner
Beechlane Group

More recently, P4 Planning inherited and quickly got to grips with a complex planning brief relating to part of a World Heritage Site and devised and implemented a successful planning strategy that enabled us to deliver a new retail unit to the market.

Simon Clarke
ARKE Property

P4 Planning has been assisting Columbia Threadneedle and offers high quality town planning advice with a personal touch that a small firm can provide. Bill Davidson’s experience in his profession is invaluable in helping us add value to our property assets.

Jeremy Collin
Columbia Threadneedle

Bill Davidson has been instrumental in helping secure our pipeline of new homes in Cheshire East where he has provided expert planning evidence at four successful Appeals in the last two years alone

Michael Johnson
Seddon Homes Ltd

Bill Davidson has been a valued planning advisor to Peel Holdings for many years and has helped secure consent for some of our key projects including Port Salford and Chatham Waters. These major regenerations schemes required a robust commercial approach and considerable tenacity. They were undertaken in very good spirit and Chatham Waters comprised the most positive and thorough planning application I have worked on.

James Whittaker
Peel L&P

P4 have provided an exemplary level of service to Seddon over many years on a range of planning related matters and we look forward to continuing to work closely together on future projects.

Jamie Seddon
Seddon Developments

P4 Planning worked with us from the outset on this project, providing input to the masterplan and coordinating other consultants to a tight programme. The scheme involved extensive public consultation and pre-application discussion with local authority but the application as submitted on schedule. During the whole process right through to the grant of consent we found P4 Planning to be pro-active pragmatic and commercial in their approach and we would not hesitate to recommend them for similar work in the future.

Kenton Whitaker
White Acre Estates

P4 Planning provided sound practical advice and input to our masterplan. We have been particular impressed by their friendly straightforward approach and have no hesitation in recommending them.

Ian Eccles
CAFT

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you from virtually the day I started at CHS! Your calmness and expertise have been outstanding and invaluable and we wouldn’t have managed to deliver on the master plan without you. I will definitely miss working on capital projects with you. Hopefully we will keep in touch.

Sue Kershaw
Cheadle Hulme School

Meet the team

Bill Davidson BA(Hons) Dip TP Dip UD MRTPI (Managing Director)
Bill Davidson BA(Hons) Dip TP Dip UD MRTPI (Managing Director)

Bill graduated in 1990 and is an established expert in his field. He worked in planning consultancy in London for 10 years before relocating to Manchester in 2000 to set up an office for a small London firm that he helped grow into a top 10 national practice. In 2013 he founded P4 Planning and works closely with clients enhancing the value of real estate assets of all types through the planning system. Bill often leads project teams on major and complex proposals in sensitive locations. His experience encompasses retail, residential, education, commercial and major mixed-use developments in urban and rural environments across the UK. He thinks strategically, has great attention to detail and is an experienced expert witness.

In his personal time, Bill enjoys many sports, including rugby, golf, cycling and skiing and one of his personal goals is to ski in Japan. He has his work cut out being Grandpa to 8 grandchildren (so far)!

What was No1 in the UK charts when you were born? Procol Harum’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’

Rhian Thomas MTCP (Hons) MRTPI (Director)
Rhian Thomas MTCP (Hons) MRTPI (Director)

Rhian graduated in 2000 with a Masters in Town & Country Planning and has since worked in private sector planning consultancy advising on a wide range of planning matters, joining P4 in 2018.  She has held senior and managerial positions at previous firms and has considerable experience of development planning, policy formulation, masterplanning and environmental impact.  She acts for a variety of clients across all property sectors including residential, education, commercial and town centre uses and seeks to find pragmatic solutions to suit her client’s property and development needs.

In her spare time, Rhian loves walking, yoga and dreaming up interiors.  She loves live music and performances, and has even performed on stage at the Albert Hall (just don’t mention that her skirt fell off).  She would love to visit Patagonia and wishes she could be a regular sea swimmer.

Give us a fact about you that not many people know? I’m pretty good at grabbing team selfies with celebrities on work nights out – so far that includes Gino D’Acampo, Vernon Kay and Andy Burnham!

Gillian Worden BA(Hons) MPlan MRTPI (Director)
Gillian Worden BA(Hons) MPlan MRTPI (Director)

Gillian graduated from the University of Manchester in 2009 with a Masters degree in Planning. She has worked both in consultancy and client side and joined P4P in 2019. Gillian previously worked at Indigo Planning and Walsingham Planning as well The Peel Group working on a range of projects, with a particular focus on residential and commercial planning. Gillian has experience in dealing with a wide range of planning matters and managing large multi discipline project teams, with in depth knowledge of residential development and in working with designated heritage assets.

In her spare time, Gill loves skiing and camping with her family and friends.  Her love for all things heritage spills over into her personal life and she enjoys visiting castles and stately homes.  A lifetime fan of Gary Barlow, when at home, she loves cuddles with her gorgeous silver tabby British Shorthair cat, Hugo.

What was No1 in the UK charts when you were born? It was ‘When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going’ by Billy Ocean, but my mum would have preferred it to be something by George Benson!

Thomas O’Kane BA MA MRTPI (Senior Planner)
Thomas O’Kane BA MA MRTPI (Senior Planner)

Thomas graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2013 with a Masters degree in Town and Regional Planning. Since graduating, he has worked in private practice in Leeds and Greater Manchester and joined P4 Planning in 2020. Thomas has worked extensively with private developers, local authority and community sector clients. This has enabled him to have a commercially minded and detailed understanding of the planning process, enabling him to advise clients on a variety of different projects. Thomas is keen to forge relationships and is often networking with fellow professionals.

In his spare time, Tom loves football (the red ones), hiking, cooking and golf.  A lover of travel having lived in Canada and Japan before settling in Manchester, he would love to attend the Hong Kong Sevens championship one day.

Who is your favourite music artist or group? Without a doubt, Dire Straits!

Alexandra Gavin BA(Hons) MPlan MRTPI (Planner)
Alexandra Gavin BA(Hons) MPlan MRTPI (Planner)

Alexandra graduated from Newcastle University in 2019 with a Masters degree in Town Planning. During her placement year she worked at Walsingham Planning, assisting on a range of retail and commercial development schemes. Upon graduating, she secured employment at GL Hearn where she contributed to the submission of planning applications for new schools and hospitals. Alexandra then welcomed the opportunity at P4 where she has completed her APC and become a chartered Town Planner.

In her spare time, Ally loves cooking and going to the gym, and one of her goals is to complete a triathlon.  She enjoys travelling and would love to do a road trip visiting all the Real Housewives states in the US.

Give us a fact about you that not many people know? I have the same dentist as Marcus Rashford!

Olivia Carr BA(Hons) MPlan (Assistant Planner)
Olivia Carr BA(Hons) MPlan (Assistant Planner)

Olivia joined P4 Planning in 2020 after graduating from The University of Manchester with a First-Class Masters degree in Planning. During this time, she developed her skills through various activities and projects. Notably, her final year dissertation on Design-led Waterfront Regeneration, which was awarded the 2019 RTPI Moss Madden Student Award. Olivia also held managing positions in both the ‘Student Urban Development Network’ and ‘Planning and Landscape’ Societies, which aided the growth of her professional and social network.

In her spare time, Olivia is a keen cyclist and expert houseplant cultivator.  As another globetrotting member of the team, Olivia has lived in South East Asia for 14 years and would love to travel around India.

Who is your favourite music artist or group? Anything from Harry Styles to Korean rap… diverse taste!

Jayshree Astley MTCP(Hons) MRTPI (Consultant)
Jayshree Astley MTCP(Hons) MRTPI (Consultant)

Jayshree graduated with a Masters in Town Planning from The University of Manchester in 2007 and acts as a Consultant for P4.  She has over 14 years experience in private consultancy and has been a chartered member of the RTPI since 2009.  Jayshree specialises in retail, commercial and residential projects including retail impact assessments, EIAs and appeals. She has previously worked for Manchester City Council, Savills, Walsingham Planning and Indigo Planning.  She is commercially minded and is experienced at managing projects from inception to completion.

Jayshree is a self-taught bricklayer and tiler, recently having built her family their very own pizza oven. To add to her varied skill set, Jayshree hopes to one day learn how to snowboard. In three words, Jayshree would describe herself as: energetic, committed, mother.

What was No1 in the UK charts when you were born? Wham. But a couple of months later it would’ve been Last Christmas which is infinitely better.

Claire Robertson Office Manager
Claire Robertson Office Manager

Claire has worked with large consultancies such as Cap Gemini and Vertex throughout her career and is in charge of P4’s office management, providing the team with administrative support as well as being responsible for HR, Project Research and IT systems. Claire’s experience in large corporate businesses as well as SMEs means that she is used to working to tight deadlines and in different working environments, and has a personable and approachable style when working with customers and clients.

Claire describes herself as a former 90s raver so loves all dance music.  These days she is more likely to be found running, walking and cycling and recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge with friends, raising over £2k for charity.

Give us a fact about you that not many people know? I am a fully qualified florist.

Anne Davidson Support
Anne Davidson Support

Anne provides the team with part time admin and HR support and book keeping, alongside running her own online retail business Giggle Knickers!

In her spare time Anne loves gardening, swimming and yoga and has recently taken up golf (describing herself as terrible at the moment!).  Anne also loves a wide variety of music from the Prodigy to Maria Callas, with her favourite song being ‘Ticket to Ride’ by The Beatles.

What’s on your bucket list: to see the Northern Lights.

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