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Spotlight On Richard Parmee

Joining the agb Environmental team in November, Richard Parmee has taken on the role of Principal Arboricultural Consultant at agb Environmental. Providing all aspects of our arboriculture offering, including surveys and reports in accordance with British Standard, with Richard’s input we can now give our clients a complete service, including assistance with every step of the development process from the initial concept through to environmental surveys, geotechnical assessments and on to planning consent, and thus construction completion.

What does the role of a Principal Arboricultural Consultant at agb Environmental involve on a day to day basis?
My main role involves working alongside developers to help them secure planning permission when their sites have trees that could impact upon the project. I also work on a range of issues associated with the management of woodland and individual trees, as well as seeking ways in which we can expand our business and improve the high quality of service we already provide.

What’s your favourite aspect about the job?
I have two. I enjoy the fact that every site is different and that they each bring new challenges, and I also like being part of a small but expanding, supportive team.

What made you want to join agb Environmental?
Although I enjoyed my previous role, it was time for a change. I was looking for a new challenge that would stretch me and help me develop. I had looked at a number of consultancies, but only agb Environmental offered me the right mix of work, and the opportunity to develop.  As a bonus it’s also a shorter journey to work than I had before – I’m lucky they are based relatively locally!

What previous experience did you have before joining the company?
I have over seven years’ experience within local authority planning departments covering the arboricultural aspect of planning applications and development, together with statutory protection (Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas). This gives me extensive experience of what local authorities will be expecting in terms of both information and proposals, enabling me to deliver reports that will help gain planning permission and prevent future problems arising.

I also have the same length of experience in managing local authority trees and woodland, including risk assessment, work scheduling, contract management, client and public liaison. My previous roles also covered both landscape and biodiversity issues, so I can provide an holistic approach that links arboriculture with these other fields as relevant, meaning I can see how it fits into the bigger picture and so avoid possible conflicts that may delay or derail schemes.

What advice would you give to developers looking to remove/retain trees on their site?
I’d recommend getting an arboriculturist on board at the start of any scheme development. This can save both time and money, avoiding later costly set-backs and alterations if you’ve failed to consider trees properly from the start.

Why should a developer choose agb Environmental to carry out their arboriculture needs?
I have extensive local authority experience of managing trees and development sites, so I am well placed to know what LAs will be looking for. I’ve been on the receiving end of the reports I now provide, and I also have experience of other aspects of planning which, combined with the range of expertise we have at agb Environmental, gives us a better overview of a wide range of aspects affecting development. Why go to several different consultancies when we can do it all here in a far more coordinated fashion?

For more information on agb Environmental’s services, please contact Alex Brearley on 01638 663226 or email

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