Welcome to Black Box Planning

A specialist planning and development consultancy

Black Box Planning is a specialist consultancy advising landowners, developers and investors in all planning related matters.

Our approach is personable and commercial, meaning we are quick to understand our clients’ objectives, identify appropriate planning strategies and add value to portfolios.


Led by Directors Conor Flanagan and Ben Read, our planning team has a wealth of experience in dealing with a variety of complex residential, commercial, retail and urban regeneration development schemes.



Conor Flanagan

Conor has over 15 years experience in private sector planning. During this period he has acted for various private landowners, property developers and housebuilders to successfully promote development opportunities and unlock planning permissions. His expertise lies in devising strategies to align his clients’ commercial requirements with those of decision makers and establishing consensus among all key stakeholders in the planning process.

Prior to founding Black Box Planning, Conor was lead planning director at an urban design and planning practice in Bristol. Away from the office, his young family keeps him busy and he occasionally enjoys pursuing his passions for rugby and national hunt racing.


Connect with Conor on LinkedIn »


Ben Read

Ben has gained a range of experience over the last 14 years advising landowners, operators, developers, and local planning authorities on a range of commercial and residential development projects both big and small. Whilst he adopts a pragmatic approach to finding a negotiated solution, he is also extremely competitive where getting a buzz out of a good result remains high on the agenda.

Before founding Black Box Planning, Ben was a Partner in a multi-disciplinary property consultancy. Ben has acted as an expert witness at public inquiries on numerous occasions. Outside of work Ben is a season ticket holder at Southampton FC and also enjoys shooting.

Connect with Ben on LinkedIn »


Latest News:


Black Box Planning has secured planning permission 49,000 sq/ft of B1 (office) and B8 (storage/distribution) on a greenfield site. 

Black Box Planning was lead consultants for the project, coordinating the application submission and negotiated the application to a successful determination.