Planning consultancy changes hands in deal by NFU commercial services arm

Ken Sutherland, left, Paul Walton

Preston-based planning consultancy PWA Planning Group has been acquired by NFU Commercial Holdings.

The organization is the commercial services arm of the National Farmers Union and is based in Kenilworth, near Coventry. The value of the deal is undisclosed.

PWA Planning’s founders, Paul and Stella Walton, remain as directors of the business with Paul continuing in the role of managing director.

PWA was founded in 2013 and provides a wide range of planning and land advisory services to the housing, commercial and industrial, sports and leisure, and energy sectors. The practice has 18 staff and works on projects across the UK.

In 2021 PWA launched Energy Planning, a specialist division focused on renewable energy projects including battery energy storage schemes, solar and wind developments.

Paul Walton said: “This is great news for our clients, staff and consultancy partners because it gives our business firm foundations on which to build for the future.

“While our ownership structure may have changed, it’s very much business as usual. On a day-to-day level our clients won’t notice any changes as we’re still the same team, we’re keeping the same name, and we’ll continue supporting our clients with their projects across all our chosen sectors.”

He added: “Coming under the NFU umbrella allows us to benefit from additional resources and expertise, which allows us to add extra value to our present and future clients.”

Ken Sutherland, NFU commercial and investment director, said: “We are thrilled to welcome PWA to the NFU family. The acquisition is in line with our plans to grow a national consulting business focused on all aspects of land use.

“PWA’s sector expertise, in particular its residential and energy specialisms, together with its experience advising on a wide range of land diversification projects, also means that it is a perfect fit with our other businesses, such as NFU Energy.”

PWA advises a wide range of housebuilders, registered providers, landowners, developers, renewable energy companies, commercial businesses, leisure operators, sporting clubs and others.

Clients include Booths, Asda, Story Homes, Onward Homes, Tilia Homes, Community Gateway Association, Jigsaw Homes, EG Group, Amber Taverns, Harmony Energy and Parkwood Leisure.

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