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Mabbett targets growth following acquisition of planning and design specialist GH Johnston Building Consultants Ltd

2nd February 2022 - Written by Suzanne Lindsay

We have taken the first step in a strategic growth journey by acquiring Inverness-based planning and design specialist, GH Johnston Building Consultants Ltd (GHJ). The acquisition of GHJ will enhance our combined offering of comprehensive planning and design services bringing together the extensive depth and technical expertise of GHJ and Mabbett’s team of planning, design, environmental, engineering and safety professionals.

Established in 1994, GHJ has gone on to establish itself as the Highlands’ leading planning and design consultancy. From its Inverness base, GHJ offers a range of services, including feasibility and site studies, development appraisals, masterplans, appeals and hearings, local development plans, planning applications, community engagement, architectural design, project management and supporting studies. Its wide range of clients include: developers, landowners, tourism and leisure operators, retail and industrial facilities.

All GHJ employees will be retained following the acquisition with Mabbett relocating its Inverness team to GHJ’s offices at Stoneyfield Business Park, Inverness. A recruitment drive is planned by GHJ to gear up for the new opportunities brought by joining Mabbett. Speaking about the investment, Mabbett Managing Director, Derek J. McNab, said:

GHJ has a strong profile and long-established reputation for delivering planning and design consultancy services. Their values and attributes make them a great fit for Mabbett and together we are looking to benefit both our clients and ourselves from new opportunities that will be available to the combined entity, with the aim of doubling the size of the business within three years.

Gary Johnston, Kenny Shand, Shane Rodgers and the rest of the GHJ staff are a highly respected and experienced team so we are proud they have chosen Mabbett to continue GHJ’s legacy. They join us at an exciting time in our development and we have already witnessed the strength and benefit of our combined teams working in partnership having recently won new projects together.

GHJ Director, Planning and Design, Gary Johnston, commented:

Joining the Mabbett family is a great opportunity to expand GHJ’s service offering and enhance our geographical coverage. I look forward to continuing to work with my team, enhancing the personal and first-class service offering we are renowned for and embracing the new opportunities the deal will bring.

Mabbett’s acquisition of GHJ comes on the back of a year of double digit growth. In that time they have added 20 new staff positions across the UK. This is the first of a number of planned acquisitions by the leading consulting firm, with another major announcement expected in early Spring.

About Mabbett

Established in 1996, we are a leading consultancy offering Planning, Design, Environmental, Engineering and Safety services with a focus on helping you to “See a Difference”.  Our team support you through the planning process; deliver innovative design solutions; and achieve your Net Zero goals.  We save you money; reduce your risk; and keep you compliant. For further information on Mabbett, please contact Derek J. McNab, Managing Director, T: +44 (0) 141 227 2309, Mobile: +44 (0) 773 336 6848, E:

About GH Johnston

GHJ was established in 1994 and quickly grew to become the Highland’s leading planning and design consultancy. It manages a range of planning and design related projects from their offices in Inverness. Further information can be found at

Suzanne Lindsay

I am an experienced business development professional and Chartered Marketer with expertise in strategic marketing planning, client relationship management, networking, event management, marketing communications, social media.