Tony Collins
Director - Retired


Professional Qualifications

Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Post Graduate Diploma in Town Planning
Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute
Member of the Chartered Institute of Transport
Member of the Institute of Transport and Logistics
Member of the Expert Witness Institute

Career Profile

Director, Collins and Coward Ltd – Planning and Development Consultancy (2007-)
Director, CgMs Ltd (2005-2007)
Director and Head of Planning & Development Consultancy, Atisreal Ltd (1999-2005)
Equity Partner, Weatherall Green & Smith – Chartered Surveyors (1987-1999)
Senior Planner, Commission for New Towns/Basildon Development Corporation (1977-1987)

Tony has over 32 years experience advising on planning and development matters. He started his career at Basildon Development Corporation where he was involved in obtaining permission to develop the town centre and other retail and commercial projects. He was transferred into the Commission for New Towns where his work involved providing planning advice and seeking permissions to enhance the value of public land and buildings for disposal in the open market.

In 1987 Tony joined Weatherall Green and Smith (WGS), Chartered Surveyors as a Senior Planner and progressed to Associate, Partner and Equity Partner. He was made Head of the Planning and Development Consultancy Department in 1999. Following the sale of WGS to the French Bank, BNP Paribas, he joined CgMs Ltd as a Director. He set up a new consultancy with two colleagues in 2007 under the name of Collins & Coward Ltd.

Relevant Experience

Tony acts for both private and public sector clients providing top-level strategic property and planning advice to enable clients to move their businesses and projects forward from inception to completion. Operating across the whole of the UK his experience is across the whole spectrum of professional advice ranging from financial appraisals and viability to litigation and public inquiries.

Tony often leads projects instructing other consultants, providing strategy advice and problem solving. He has specialised in planning obligations under Section 106 agreements dealing with complex financial and implementation issues including the delivery of affordable housing.

Public Sector

Tony’s experience has covered all aspects of planning related work in the public sector. He has advised local authorities, county councils, regeneration companies, health authorities, the Department of Health, other Government Departments including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and many Quangos. Tony led the team who advised HM Treasury on the Review of the UK Planning System, which resulted in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 which led to the introduction of Local Development Frameworks.

In particular, Tony has advised on the development and disposal of public assets and necessary operational development including for example a new regional police HQ for the Wiltshire Police in Swindon as well as advising the Metropolitan Police on various projects.

Private Sector

Tony has advised a number of private clients of significant net worth including an overseas Royal family.

Tony has been retained by many major corporate clients including, Hewlett-Packard, Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays Bank, BAE Systems, Freightliner, National Express, Scottish & Southern Energy, Royal Mail, IBM, Canary Wharf Group, Ballymore Properties, British Waterways, MOTO, News International, EDF, Network Rail, and EWS.

Scope of Expertise

Over the last 30 years Tony has been involved with thousands of planning applications covering the whole of the property market providing practical advice to clients, unlocking value of land or clearing complex legal issues. He has advised in relation to: planning and enforcement appeals; the Lands Tribunal; County Court hearings; local plan, town green and footpath inquiries; CPO and highways inquiries, and; assisted in High Court Challenges.

He has undertaken a number of forensic planning investigations for a bank and corporate clients concerned about fraudulent activities.

Tony has recently completed an expert determination required under a contractual dispute relating to the development potential of a site. He held an informal hearing as part of the process at which there was legal representation for both parties.

He has written many published articles over the years and has co-authored for the RICS a book on “Dispute Resolution in the Planning System”. Tony has given a number of conference papers dealing with all aspects of town planning and the property market – most recently dealing with the housing market.