2023: A year in review

Monday 22 January 2024

Welcome 2024!

Reflecting on the past 12 months as an employee-owned company, the constants have been the hard work, dedication, and professional attitude of everybody who works at PFA Consulting. It is our people that make us the successful business that we are. Becoming employee-owned is indicative of our ‘people first’ approach and our resolution to remain independent with the aim to retain and attract the best talent that is out there so that we can continue to provide the expert service to our clients that they have come to expect from PFA Consulting.


3 of the biggest PFA successes in 2023

So, after a year of hard work with some thought-provoking projects, notable successes in 2023 were:

  • Our Transport Planning team building on earlier successful planning applications for Robert Hitchins for its sites at Ashchurch in Tewkesbury, where more recently, in December 2023, planning consent was granted following successful appeal, and the provision of expert witness services, for a further 120 dwellings on land east of Fiddington Lane. The past 12 months also saw huge successes in our Travel Plan Co-ordinator roles, Transport Statements and Transport Assessments for a wide spectrum of sites nationwide.

  • Our Highways and Infrastructure Design team has enjoyed a great year, the most notable seeing the Fiddington Infrastructure Scheme be awarded runner-up in the Civils Project of the Year award at the Constructing Excellence South West (CESW) Awards Evening. This was on top of the team’s prominent role in support of both the Shepperton Studios expansion and successful approval for the Yarnbrook and West Ashton Relief Road.

  • Our Water Management team has been linked to a successful portfolio of large to small scale schemes, including: Preparing Flood Risk Assessments, Sustainable Drainage Strategies and Foul Water Drainage Strategies for major residential schemes; helping a farmer in North Yorkshire successfully navigate the Sequential Test and obtaining planning permission for a flood resilient agricultural worker’s cottage in Flood Zone 3; preparing a SuDS Retrofit design for a Parish Council, and; utilising Natural Flood Risk Management measures for renewable energy schemes across the whole of England.

An excellent year to say the least!

7 things to consider for 2024

Moving on to 2024, our aim is, of course, the success of all our commissions and continued dedication to our clients. Be it within any of our specialist teams, we will be on hand to provide expert advice and seek out appropriate and cost-effective solutions.

  1. New Manual for Streets – Looking forward to the release date!

  2. Greater application of ‘Decide and Provide’ guidance - Oxfordshire County Council is the first authority to formally adopt policy for the preparation of Transport Assessments within its document ‘Implementing ‘Decide & Provide’: Requirements for Transport Assessment that require Assessments’ and is believed to be one of the first, if not first, Local Highway Authority to expressly require new developments to take a ‘Decide and Provide’ approach to Transport Planning rather than the traditional ‘Predict and Provide’. It will be interesting to see if other authorities follow.

  3. The Sequential Test - Local Planning Authorities are becoming more aware of the importance of the sequential approach to locating built development. In particular, recent Appeal decisions have highlighted that Planning Inspectors can take the view that any pre-development flood risk from any source (no matter how minor or seemingly trivial) is enough to trigger the requirement for a Flood Risk Sequential Test.

  4. Schedule 3 of the Flood & Water Management Act 2010 Is 2024 the year that it will finally be implemented in England?

  5. Verification Reports’ are becoming an increasingly common requirement for many developments – something PFA Consulting has been providing for some time.

  6. Greater use of new data/technology for Origin/Destination data – With the 2011 Census now very dated and no suitable data provided in 2021, which alternative data sources should be considered (mobile phone or satellite navigation)?

  7. Escooter trials in Oxford, Essex and Greater London are set to end in 2024 and the results of such studies may determine the role this mode of travel will play in the future. One to watch!


To summarise, we had an absolutely fantastic year here at PFA Consulting, with all of our teams seeing success! We’re all looking forward to the exciting things in the pipeline for 2024 and are excited to see where the year takes us - definitely a year to look forward to!