Neo Environmental is one of the fastest growing environmental consultancies in the UK and Ireland, with offices in Glasgow, Warwickshire, Belfast and Kildare. We took some time to speak to Paul Neary, who provides us with a fascinating insight into the company and the wide range of services it offers.

Neo Environmental as a rapidly expanding environmental consultancy firm, has completed work on over 500 projects to date. Our staff have completed environmental and technical assessments for over 80 residential developments in Scotland, England and Ireland, as well as for major infrastructure, energy, commercial, utilities and extraction projects.

With a number of offices now established, our company has extensive geographical coverage across the whole of the UK and Ireland. We have been commissioned to complete works for public sector organisations and on industry research projects with academic institutions. Our team consists of experienced multi-disciplinary consultants, including EIA Project managers, landscape architects, ecologists, heritage and archaeological consultants, environmental engineers, acousticians, hydrologists, arboriculturists, air quality consultants, geophysical surveyors, graphic designers and specialist technicians.

Our various environmental and technical consultants provide market leading expertise, which has resulted in an enviable track record in helping clients attain consent and discharging conditions. We work across many different sectors for a diverse range of clients, and are equally adept at conducting full EIAs or bespoke environmental and technical assessments. Our staff have been involved in numerous appeals, acted as clerks of works, conducted due diligence assessments, full EIAs, standard environmental reports and much more.

We have an enviable list of clients which includes McLaughlin and Harvey, Gaelectric, Savills, CKD Galbraith, Colliers, Arka Architects, Stride Treglown, Ferguson Planning, Intelligent Land Investments, Lightsource, Lark Energy, and Kingspan as well as undertaken work for public bodies including Dumfries and Galloway Council, and the Dalbeattie Community Trust.

Working within such a competitive market, it is imperative that we diversify ourselves from our competitors, which we achieve by offering extremely competitive rates and with our integrated, multi-disciplinary packages, clients can rest assured that all the various consultants are liaising in-house on all aspects of the project. We are a ‘one stop shop’ for environmental and technical solutions for developments. Where Neo Environmental are employed to complete all environmental aspects (such as EIAs), this ensures that everything is being collated by our project managers and clients have one point of contact. We are equally as effective when producing bespoke assessments.

In order to ensure efficiency we find that when starting a project, it is imperative that we undertake an exhaustive initial desk based assessment and consult with the relevant consultees and local authority specialists to agree the scope of works and ensure we liaise effectively prior to conducting any on-site works. Our staff are experienced in conducting this process in a professional and yet commercially savvy way. Although we need to be comprehensive we also want to ensure the best and most cost effective results for our clients. We will always undertake some initial consultations and constraint analysis while producing fee proposals to try and ensure there are no hidden surprises or costs later in the project.

We follow best practice industry standards to ensure compliance at all levels for our clients and are thorough in our research, site investigations and report production.

This ensures that there are less chances of planning related environmental issues later in the project.

The future will be an exciting and busy time for Neo Environmental. We have recently expanded into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and have gained significantly traction in these markets, with a number of large residential and energy projects already commissioned and work currently underway with some large developers and planning consultants.

We have 12 archaeologists on a solar farm site in Cambridge and are also conducting ecological clerks of Works for McLaughlin and Harvey on the 1km River of Leith Flood Defence scheme in Edinburgh. There are also a number of projects on the horizon, so we expect to be busy and to grow our experience.

Within our industry we have also identified a number of exciting opportunities, and we believe it will be interesting to identify what will happen with environmental legislation should Brexit become a reality. A lot of the current legislation is derived from EU Directives, so what implications there are for these is as yet unknown. The energy market, particularly renewables has stagnated due to cuts in subsidies and the current UK government’s stance. This has resulted in a significant amount of uncertainty. However, there are significant policy drivers affecting housing with a significant shortfall in supply. Dr Alan Holmans, from the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research at Cambridge University has stated that housing requirements are on average around 240,000 – 245,000 per year. This provides great opportunities for Neo and our clients and we look forward to taking advantage of these in the years to come.