About Green Balance

Green Balance was established in 1991 to help our clients benefit the environment, principally through the planning system. We are a partnership of Richard and Jennifer Bate providing a professional service personally to clients.

We aim to be prompt, reliable and responsive to detailed requirements.  Where necessary we work with other specialists or subcontract colleagues appropriate to particular tasks.

We think planning matters.  Many planning decisions affect the way land is used for the foreseeable future, so we want to get them right.  Green Balance helps provide the evidence base for good policies and good decisions, high quality advice on courses of action, and skills in presentation and advocacy to maximise the likelihood of sound results.  Our commitment to planning and the environment means that we offer honest opinions on what can and cannot be achieved, which saves our clients time and money.

Environmental policy

We have a practical approach to minimising our use of resources, to using environmentally friendly products, and to recycling where feasible. Our office is a new conversion to the latest Building Regulation standards and designed to maximise the use of natural light. We have black roof-mounted PV arrays, a hard standing with a runoff-friendly porous surface and water butts for roof drainage. We minimise the impact of our travel by having no journey to work and by using trains rather than cars wherever practicable. The daily operation of our business is based on avoiding environmental impact so far as practicable, notably:

Reducing energy requirements, for example by:

  • turning off appliances not needed;
  • minimum heating in the office environment;
  • using telephones and teleconferencing rather than meetings;

Reducing use of materials, for example by:

  • avoiding single-use ‘disposable’ products. 
  • double-sided printing;

Purchasing environmental products, such as: 

  • entirely recycled paper products (except for specialised uses where only FSC-certified is available);
  • refilled inkjet and toner cartridges;

Undertaking comprehensive recycling:

  • paper, plastic, cans, glass, foil, computer hardware;
  • composting (tea bags, food waste, cardboard).


Richard Bate

Richard Bate MA MPhil MRTPI has degrees in geography (Cambridge University) and Town Planning (University College London). He worked as a planner in local government and the voluntary sector before establishing Green Balance. He has expertise across the range of the firm’s work and is the lead consultant on almost all contracts. Since 1998 he has been Planning Adviser to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee and its predecessors in the House of Commons. He also speaks frequently at conferences in the UK and abroad on a variety of subjects, and contributes articles to a range of publications.

Jennifer Bate

Jennifer Bate BSc has a degree in geography from Aberdeen University, and diplomas in Business Skills and in Quarry Operations.  Her career spans a wide variety of environmental work covering use and management of waterways and Public Rights of Way, minerals planning, countryside management, farm diversification and planning advice for protected landscapes.  Much of her work has been as a planning officer, using her expertise notably in planning practice issues such as quarry restoration, ecology and assessing the environmental effects of development proposals.  She runs training courses on a variety of rural topics.