PlanningSphere is a small, well-connected and highly experienced planning consultancy based in Bath and headed by Chris Beaver. We are able to offer the same professional planning skills you might find in larger corporate planning consultancies, but with a more personal, cost-effective and responsive level of service.

Chris Beaver BSc (Hons) MA MRTPI

Chris founded PlanningSphere further to establishing a 20-year track record of navigating complex projects through the planning process.

During the 1990s, Chris worked in property valuation and planning roles within central and local government. This public-sector experience provided a deep insight into public service and the various processes that influence the planning system.

In 2001, he joined a Bath-based architectural practice and established an in-house planning consultancy team that subsequently grew to function as a planning consultancy in its own right. In 2008, he became a director of a nationwide planning consultancy, and went on to relocate its Bath office to Bristol and become head of a team of 17 property professionals.

These private-sector roles gave Chris valuable experience of commercial and corporate planning across the region, and have influenced the responsive, client-centric approach to planning consultancy that underpins PlanningSphere’s bespoke planning services.

Through PlanningSphere, Chris also supports the charities Wateraid, Zhest and Trees in Trust (a local woodland planted and managed by volunteers near Tintern, Monmouthshire).

Chris Beaver, Director, PlanningSphere

Claire Durbin BA (Hons) MA MRTPI
Senior Planning Consultant

Claire joined PlanningSphere in February 2014. With 14 years’ experience as Chartered Town Planner at the Planning Inspectorate, she is a planning professional with a wide-ranging knowledge of planning policy and procedures.

Her ability to adapt to new challenges and rapidly absorb new information is coupled with a determined focus on delivery. She has excellent analytical, research, report writing and problem solving skills. She also has considerable experience of dealing with complex planning and legal issues, and is highly adept at getting to the heart of difficult planning problems and resolving conflicting priorities.

Outside of her work at PlanningSphere, Claire enjoys art, knitting and crochet, and is one of only 15 people from around the world who have been selected to be a volunteer ambassador for the knitting brand, Rowan Yarns.

Claire Durbin, Senior Consultant Planner, PlanningSphere

Tracie Axford BSc (Hons)
Planning Consultant

Tracie joined PlanningSphere in 2022, and provides research and technical support to the practice.

She has had an ambition to move her career into the planning sector for some time, and has a keen interest in the built environment. In support of this, she has been studying for an MSc in Planning and Urban Leadership with the University of the West of England.

Previously – and further to gaining a BSc in Geography and French – she worked in the telecoms industry. She managed implementation projects and major network incidents for a global communications network. This helped her develop strong skills in project management and communication as she managed and co-ordinated engineers based around the world. With much of her team being based in India, this required strong personal leadership and management qualities.

She recently resettled in the UK further to 10 years living in Qatar.

Tracie Axford, PlanningSphere

PlanningSphere and AssetSphere

We work closely with our sister company AssetSphere on promotion sites and larger developments.

AssetSphere, headed up by Richard Edge and Alex Orttewell, is a highly reputable, independent and specialist rural property consultancy that advises farmers, landowners, government agencies and utility companies, to manage their assets and maximise returns.

Having collaborated for over 10 years, Chris, Richard and Alex are delighted to work together on complex sites that complement their geographic coverage and areas of expertise.

Richard Edge, Director, AssetSphere
Alex Orttewell, Director, AssetSphere
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