Swindon’s DPDS Consulting celebrates thirty years in business

By Anita Jaynes on 5 May, 2015

This month DPDS Consulting Group is celebrating its 30th anniversary in operation.

The company based on Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, was established in 1985 by current chairman, Les Durrant. The firm is a leading professional practice providing expert advice in the fields of town planning, architecture, masterplanning and urban design, environmental impact assessment and landscape architecture.

With an initial staff of just four, the practice has grown to now having a highly skilled team of town planners, architects, chartered surveyors, environmentalists, landscape architects and urban designers.

The DPDS client list now contains many well known organisations from the mainstream property sector as well as government agencies and departments, major manufacturing companies and numerous private clients.

Since its formation DPDS has achieved an impressive record of successful projects; the diversity of these has been vast; from representing Redland PLC at the Whitely Local Plan Public Inquiry in the early days; the submission of a planning application for the new District General Hospital in Swindon; the design, planning and supervision and project co-ordination of a state-of-the-art wind tunnel for a major Formula One racing team; the submission of the first planning application for Wichelstowe- a town expansion development for 4,500 homes, employment land, retail and community uses, primary and secondary schools and community open spaces.

More recently, the group has been involved in securing outline planning for the Ministry of Justice for a development of 84 dwellings on land adjacent to a Young Offenders Institute on the edge of Barnard Castle, County Durham; a Hampshire-based developer on appeal for a residential development of up to 78 homes; a regional house builder successfully promoting a development site for 450 homes, securing removal of the land from greenbelt, its allocation within a Core Strategy and obtaining a grant of planning permission following the withdrawal of Secretary of State “call-in” involvement; private landowner clients for a 350-home proposal in Swindon. In addition to the 350 new homes, there is provision for a two form entry primary school and recreation area along with public open spaces and a retail outlet.

In terms of keeping up with technology, DPDS have re-launched their website and introduced their redesigned development plan monitoring system, now called planinfo. First launched in 1986, and arguably still the best in its field, the database is a professional tool monitoring changes in planning policy and development plan activity for all Local Planning Authorities across the UK, providing comprehensive information on key pieces of information, programmes, critical dates and key statistical data.

Looking back, Chairman Les Durrant said: “Thirty years of growth has been both fun and at times, a challenge. It has been a pleasure to work with a great and professional team on so many interesting projects across the UK.”

Les continued: “I have always believed that our professional team is one of the best in our sector and we all look forward with as much, if not more, enthusiasm as in the first 30 years. The practice could not have achieved the success that it has without the commitment and loyalty of all the team and, of course, the support of our clients.”