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The consultancy won this category by a nose last year but appears to have consolidated its position since then.

As can be seen from the graphs below, ERM also enjoys a huge amount of respect from other consultants but does not seem to enjoy the same level of reputation among would-be customers.

Click the image above to view the full results

Click the image above to view the full results

RPS, Entec, Babtie and Enviros also perform strongly in the sector, all having earned a solid reputation among their peers and clients.

In terms of growth potential and perceived need, impact assessments retain a comfortable spot, hovering in the middle of the table with both consultants and those looking for their services recognising that new assessments will always be needed as they are a legal requirement for any large development.

Over recent years EIAs have become firmly entrenched as a mainstream part of the planning process and even when they may not be a statutory requirement have a proven track record of helping to appease public concern or opposition to a development and reassuring planners.

· Graph of consultants answers

· Graph of customers answers

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