Our Team

Here at Zesta, we have the freshest talent in Town Planning. We have combined forward thinkers, experience and a strategic approach to drive your project. 


Oliver Rider


Oliver has over 17 years experience in the planning industry.  Having completed his Masters in Planning whilst working for Tewkesbury Borough Council, Oliver has gained extensive experience in development management, planning appeals and local plan representations.


He has extensive experience in housing, commercial, care, major infrastructure, agriculture and developments within Green Belt’s and AONBs. Working within Local Authority for 12 years, and Private Practice for the last 5 years has given Oliver a great insight to both sides of the Industry.

Oliver’s client portfolio includes looking after the planning and development needs of a regional airport, historic estates, housing developments, large businesses, as well as smaller private developers and landowners.  

Contact Oliver on: 

t: 01242 335 544

m: 07817 903 943

e: oliver@zestaplanning.co.uk


James Griffin MA MRTPI


James has been in the planning industry for over 15 years. He began his career at Tewkesbury Borough Council, whilst working towards his MA in town planning. Following a period working at Cotswold District Council as Senior Planner, he stepped into the private sector with Hunter Page Planning before they became Ridge and Partners LLP where he worked as an Associate. 


As a chartered town planner, he  has gained wide ranging experience in all sectors including commercial and residential development, rural and land promotion. He has led at all appeal types including acting as expert witness at Planning Inquiries.


His key areas of work have been large scale business parks, commercial development, extensive heritage  projects, town centre regeneration schemes and new build care village development. 

Contact James on:

t: 01242 335 567
m: 07841 707 062

e: james@zestaplanning.co.uk

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Rob Ellis

Associate Director

Rob is a highly experienced chartered town planner, having worked several roles within local planning authority, to large multi-disciplinary and smaller private consultancies. More recently, alongside running his own planning consultancy, whilst working in the construction industry, as Development Director at a UK-wide construction company.  


He has an in-depth knowledge on all aspects of the development process from initial site assessments to practical completion on site, covering all sectors from residential and commercial, to leisure and rural development.


Rob also specialises in urban regeneration projects, sustainability in proposals and development on highly constrained sites, including issues such as Green Belt, AONBs and SPAs. He has also worked on projects across the UK and retains a significant base of clients in South West and South East England.

Contact Rob on:
t: 01242 896 566
m: 07736 936108

e: rob@zestaplanning.co.uk

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Kelly Prosser 
BSc (Hons), Msc


Kelly has been working in Planning since 2019 with experience in Public Sector Planning (Development Management). After gaining her Masters in Urban Regeneration and Development from The University of Manchester, she began working within Local Authority for Cotswold District Council as a Planning Case Officer.


Kelly has gained considerable experience within development management and planning appeals across a varied range of residential, commercial and rural development.

Contact Kelly on 
t: 01242 
896 570 

e: kelly@zestaplanning.co.uk

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Kessia Rider
BA Hons

Operations Manager

Kessia has worked for some large companies, across Insurance and Retail Sectors in various Sales Development and Marketing Roles. Within Zesta Planning she is responsible for all aspects of Accounts, Marketing and Business Operations.


She brings her varied experience to the role, to ensure a smooth running business supporting the Planners, to ensure their Clients receive the service they expect. Kessia is able to deal with any queries you may have around your account.

Contact Kessia on: 

t: 01242 335 544


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Matt Tyas

Principal Planner

Matt is a chartered Town Planner with significant local authority experience in both plan making and development management.  Matt joined Zesta Planning from Tewkesbury Borough Council where he worked as a Senior Planning Policy Officer and played a lead role on the production of the Tewkesbury Borough Plan from its inception through to its examination in public.. Prior to that Matt worked as a Senior Planning Officer within the Development Management Team at Tewkesbury Borough Council where he dealt with a range of major and other complex planning applications including proposals for new housing on greenfield sites.  Matt’s other roles include working as a statutory consultee at the Environment Agency advising LPAs and developers on flood risk and water environment related issues, and as a Planning Officer at Bromsgrove District Council where he gained significant Green Belt experience. 


Matt specialises in land promotion, policy development, housing land supply, rural housing, Green Belt and environmental matters including flood risk and water management, green infrastructure, habitats sites and biodiversity.  

Contact Matt on 
t: 01242 896 096 

e: matt@zestaplanning.co.uk

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Bex Verhaeg

Senior Planner

Bex is a chartered town planner, with experience in both Public Sector Planning Policy and Private Consultancy. 

After graduating from the University of the West of England with a dual honours degree in Architecture and Planning, Bex moved to Guernsey, where she worked for the States of Guernsey as a Planning Policy Officer. Bex has since worked in the private sector, gaining valuable experience across a variety of projects.


Some key projects she has been involved in include bespoke residential schemes, such as a paragraph 79 dwelling and heritage projects, commercial developments as well as policy work such as writing supplementary guidance and monitoring reports. Her background in planning policy and architectural training equips her with the skills needed for both policy and strategic planning.

Contact Bex on: 

t: 01242 896 568

e: bex@zestaplanning.co.uk


Andy Powick MSc

Senior Planner

Andy has been in Planning since 2010, gaining his Masters in Urban Planning, and began working within Local Authority, initially in Planning Enforcement and later as a Town Planner. He moved to Gloucester City Council taking on a role as a Planning Enforcement Officer in 2014. Andy has since worked in Private Sector gaining invaluable experience along all spectrums of the planning process. Andy has gained much experience across development management, planning enforcement and planning appeals, being involved in a wide variety of projects predominantly covering residential, commercial and rural developments. 

Some of the key projects he has been involved in include, a large commercial extension, town centre apartment scheme, major rural housing development, new truck stop facility, and a student accommodation block.  

Contact Andy on:

t: 01242 896 569 

e: andy@zestaplanning.co.uk