Extensive and experienced planning knowledge.

This means that what we do, we do well, very well.

Murray Ross

Murray Ross

Planning Director

Murray has an unrivalled breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm for all areas of planning and development. Having worked for large multi-disciplinary property companies in the capital and Bristol, Murray formed Avalon in 2014 with the aim to provide a professional and honest planning and heritage consultancy dedicated to client aspirations. Originating from the West Country, Murray knows how to make best use of what the region has to offer, whether it be cycling up the many steep climbs or kitesurfing when the winds howl onshore. Murray is a fully accredited Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Nick Bishop

Nick Bishop

Heritage Director

Nick joined Avalon Planning in 2019 to meet growing demand for its heritage services. He brings a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors, including a number of years acting as Regional Planning Advisor for Historic England, and almost a decade in planning and heritage consultancy.

Nick is particularly active in the South West, being ICOMOS representative on the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site steering group, and RTPI representative on the South West Historic Environment Forum. He is a full member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and a licentiate member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Alex Farnell

Alex Farnell

Associate Director, Heritage

Alex is a life-long archaeologist and heritage enthusiast with twenty years of professional archaeological experience. With a background in archaeological field-work management and more recently in commercial heritage consultancy, he has a wide breadth of knowledge across the full range of planning related archaeological and heritage services.

Alex has worked on projects nationwide but has a particular affinity with the South West where he has lived for over a decade. He is a full Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and is an active member of the CIfA Advisory Council, providing input into improving professional standards in archaeology.

Naomi Shingler

Naomi Shingler

Heritage Assistant

Naomi joins the team this Summer as part of the Avalon’s graduate internship scheme. Naomi has a History degree from the University of Southampton and is undertaking archival and planning research into a variety of historic sites as part of Avalon’s heritage service.

Keegan Ferreday

Keegan Ferreday

Senior Planner

With Avalon’s continued growth Keegan joined the team in June 2020, bringing with him extensive experience in local authority planning. Beginning his career at Devon County Council in 2015 before moving to Exeter City Council in 2018, he has held a variety of roles including working in strategy and policy, development management and enforcement.

Keegan is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and Chair of the RTPI Devon & Cornwall Young Planners Steering Group. He also represents the regions Young Planners on the RTPI Regional Activities Committee.

Richard Bailey

Richard Bailey

Associate Director

Richard joined Avalon Planning in 2020 as part of the further expansion of the planning team. He has been working in planning consultancy roles for over 15 years, so he has a broad range of experience working with both public and private sector clients to promote their sites for development and advance planning proposals through the system. This has included eight years at a national planning consultancy in Birmingham followed by over six years working at planning consultancies based in Exeter. He also has extensive experience of coordinating Environmental Impact Assessments for development projects. He is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Practitioner of the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment.

Dawn Ross

Dawn Ross

Director

Dawn has over 12 years experience as a heritage planning specialist, working in both the public and private sector. Dawn works proactively with clients to deliver commercially robust schemes which protect and enhance the historic environment. When not delving through the archives, Dawn can be found tucking into a good book or taking pickle and flossie for a long walk on a sandy beach. Dawn is a fully accredited Member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and is an Affiliate of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Planning & Heritage Associates

Avalon has a dedicated team of Associates who work hard to provide professional advice, updates on recent changes to planning and heritage policy and legislation together with support to complete robust planning submissions. Our Associates help to ensure Avalon can deliver an exceptional level of professional service across all spectrums of development which helps to ensure we achieve a favourable outcome with every project.

Peter Gibbons

Peter Gibbons

Exec Chairman

Peter started his career in advertising over 30 years ago working as an Advertising Executive for the Birmingham Post, moving onto Business Pages, Country Life magazine and finally the Builder Group.

Peter founded his first business, RAA Sprague Gibbons in 1989 and it grew it to become the UK's largest independent recruitment advertising and communications agency which he sold in a £multimillion deal in 2008. Since selling RAA in 2008, Peter has set up and is involved in several other high profile businesses. As well as being a non-exec director for Avalon Peter is the founder of Sprague Gibbons Advertising (a boutique full service advertising agency which recently acquired Genius Advertising).

In 2009 Peter founded Medical Web Designs which is the UK's leading website business which designs, builds and hosts websites for surgeons and other medical professionals. He is also a director of the Chairmans Network, an exclusive paid for membership website for Chairmen, Board members and other non-exec directors. In January 2014 Peter co-founded Kingfish Consultants who are business transformation specialists based in Chicago and Bristol.

Outside of work Peter is married to Jane and has two boys aged 20 and 15. A keen road cyclist he cycles thousands of miles a year for charities. He is a patron of Bristol Rugby Community Foundation and key sponsor of their annual 'Break the Cycle' charity cycle event. He also enjoys running and clay pigeon shooting.

David Lowin

David Lowin

Non Exec Director

David became a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1982 and he is currently the Senior Vice Chair of the South West branch of the Institute and a member of the Institute's lifelong learning and education committee.

David started his planning career at Stratford on Avon District Council where he was quickly promoted to Assistant Area Development Control Officer, which included managing the development of the Swan Theatre. Following this, David worked for a number of medium sized house builders in the Bristol area acting as their chief planning advisor before joining MVM Planning in 1989. David was appointed Director of MVM Planning in 1992 and formed one of the three owners until 1997 when the company merged with White Young Green (now WYG) in 2001.

Whilst at WYG, David specialised in retail planning whilst also acting on behalf of a number of house builders. Following the sale of MVM to WYG in 2001, together with other Senior Directors, David was tasked with building a nationwide planning consultancy. In the period of 2001 to the commencement of the recession in 2007 the planning function grew from some 21 professional staff to in excess of 100, and the number of planning offices grew from two to eleven.

In 2013 David was appointed to lead the planning discipline at WYG, being responsible for some 75 planners. In late 2014 following the identification of a new head of discipline and David's desire to retire from WYG, David started his years notice period. It was during this period that David commenced work for Stroud District Council as the Principal Planning Consultant responsible, with other officers, for dealing with major applications.

External Development Team – Avalon regularly work alongside an array of built environment experts. They are professional connoisseurs in their particular field and we enjoy working alongside them. Such experts in our team include...

  • Architects
  • Landscape Architects
  • Flood Risk
  • Contaminated Land
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Daylight and Sunlight
  • Rights to Light
  • Planning Lawyers
  • Financial Viability
  • Ecology
  • Transport and Highways
  • Masterplanners
  • Property/Land Agents
  • Arboriculture
  • Structural Engineers
  • Noise and Vibration
  • Community Engagement