Our Story

MZA has offered a comprehensive and personal planning service to both private and public sectors nation-wide, since 1997.

From Broom Cupboard to Office

After leaving school, MZA’s Managing Director Yussuf landed a job at the London Borough of Brent as a Junior Planning Assistant, in a day release role that allowed him to work gaining essential planning experience, whilst at the same time studying and working towards a professional planning qualification. From Brent, Yussuf moved to different London boroughs and continued his studies whilst working as a Planner. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Yussuf worked in his spare time on providing planning advice and submitting applications for a handful of clients.

Humble Beginnings

After moving to the private sector for a stint on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link project, Yussuf decided to set up his own consultancy as an independent Planning Consultant. Initially working from home in a broom cupboard, the business moved to a serviced office suite and a we more times. From the outset, the vision was to provide an outstanding service to clients, with a particular focus on helping those from minority groups and those unfamiliar with the planning system. Over the years the practice has grown and submitted scores of applications and appeals across London and beyond.


At MZA today, we are proud to have a small but experienced team from a diverse range of professional backgrounds. We believe this gives us a fresh approach to the work we do, and this allows us to look at projects from different perspectives. We work closely with a multidisciplinary network of professional consultants to ensure that all necessary relevant expertise is available as required. Some of our associates include highway consultants, architects and noise specialists.

At MZA you can be sure of:


✓ Friendliness

✓ Approachability

✓ Efficiency

✓ Openness and fairness to you about our charges

✓ Regular case updates

We are located in the heart of Chiswick, West London

Our Team

Yussuf Mwanza BA(Hons) MRTPI Managing Director
Discover more about Yussuf

Yussuf has drawn on his experience with the planning departments of the London Boroughs of Brent and subsequently Hounslow to take the step into private practice. He founded MZA in 1997 and has never looked back. His planning skills, tenacity and integrity of his work are widely admired. His planning work for Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, London Borough of Camden, London Borough of Enfield, London Borough of Redbridge and Elmbridge Borough Council especially at appeal hearings and Public Inquiries defending the Council’s decisions, was highly praised. Yussuf has gone onto work on Major projects including Channel Tunnel Rail Link, West London Tram Project and Reading Station Redevelopment. Yussuf has also worked as a consultant Inspector for the Planning Inspectorate handling a wide range of appeal cases. Yussuf has been a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute since 1994.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Without a doubt Time Travel. Imagine being able to traverse continents in a fraction of the time it normally takes.

What are two things still left on your bucket list?
1. Get fit and stay fit, go to the gym more often – This is a work in progress. My excuse is that my wife is an amazing chef…
2. Go Scuba diving

What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching the Alien Movies. The first 2 movies were the best.

What was your nickname growing up?
Megastar – My school friends thought that my hairstyle at the time resembled that of the King of Pop!!

What is your favourite place in the world?
After my bed which I don’t see enough it would have to be the Volta Lake, Akosombo, Ghana with its breathtaking views

Gareth Evans MRTPI Senior Planning Consultant
Discover more about Gareth

As MZA’s Senior Planning Consultant, Gareth brings a wealth of experience to help people through the planning system. Having worked in private practice in the London and Surrey areas for a number of years, Gareth has a postgraduate MSc and degree qualification from Cardiff and Sheffield Hallam universities. Given previous work with various organisations including local authorities, Gareth is well-placed to negotiate proposals and has an interest in regeneration and the positive impacts this can have. Gareth is a keen walker and explorer of scenic and historic places.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To be all rounder with DIY – home improvement/car mechanics etc!

What are two things still left on your bucket list?
Visit family in Canada and run a classic car

What is your guilty pleasure?
Films of all kinds and ages

What was your nickname growing up?

What is your favourite place in the world?
Pembrokeshire coast

Chantelle Nylander – Quartey Practice Manager
Discover more about Chantelle

Chantelle graduated with BA Hons in Psychotherapeutic Studies which enabled her to work with young people therapeutically and more recently, become involved in educating them about careers in Construction and Built Environment, liaising with industry employers to develop programmes which inspire young people to maximise their potential in pursuing this sector. She has also led a voluntary training organisation of young professionals. Her favourite things to do include reading and going on country walks.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

– Telepathy – think this would be really useful in tough situations where discretion is needed!


What are two things still left on your bucket list?

– Learning how to ice skate
– Revisiting music composition
What is your guilty pleasure?
Millie’s cookies (almost nothing else compares for a sweet tooth!)
What is your favourite place in the world?
– Mount of Olives, Jerusalem – so much history to behold!
Thomas Wessely MRTPI Senior Planning Consultant
Discover more about Thomas

Tom is a Chartered Town Planner at MZA Planning with over 3 years of experience in the private sector. He enjoys preparing planning appraisals on properties and assets all over the UK and has experience submitting a wide range of planning applications.

Tom graduated in 2018 from Henley Business School at Reading University with a Masters in Spatial Planning & Development. Prior to this, Tom gained his undergraduate degree in Architecture & Urban Planning at Newcastle University. Tom is a visual thinker and enjoys mapping out planning strategies. He has a passion for airspace development and is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to develop existing real estate.

Away from the planning desk, Tom enjoys playing Padel Tennis, reading autobiographies, and making Victoria sponges. Tom’s dream project is to secure planning permission for Padel Tennis courts all over the UK.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to fly, so I can see my favourite cities from a bird’s view, that would be epic!

What are two things still left on your bucket list?
1. Kruger National Park in South Africa: I would love to have the opportunity to see wild elephants first-hand.
2. Bungee Jump off The Contra Dam in Switzerland, as seen in the film GoldenEye.

What is your guilty pleasure?
A slice of treacle tart with Madagascan custard, oh yummy!

What was your nickname growing up?
Weserwack – my friends from school still call me this!

What is your favourite place in the world?
Udaipur, India. I spent a week there during my gap year and had an absolute ball. The city is built around some beautiful lakes and is simply a magical place for any tourist to visit.

Charlotte Hirst Administrative Assistant
Discover more about Charlotte

Charlotte is an Administrative Assistant at MZA planning, she helps to assist in running office duties efficiently. Charlotte has prior experience working in the legal sector and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Film Studies at the University of Kent. She also completed a Professional Digital Marketing certification with the DMI (Digital Marketing Institute). Outside of the office, Charlotte enjoys video editing and going to the gym.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation – it’s feasible this could happen one day!

What are two things still left on your bucket list?
1. Learn a new language
2. Producing a film project

What is your guilty pleasure?
Dill crisps – they’re Swedish and delicious

What was your nickname growing up?
Char or Charlie

What is your favourite place in the world?
Wherever there’s sun and a sandy beach

Courtney Dawson Assistant Planner
Discover more about Courtney

Courtney is an Assistant Planner at MZA planning who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Urban and Environmental Planning from London South Bank University. Courtney aims to gain a wealth of experience as he works to achieving RTPI chartership. Outside of work Courtney enjoys listening to podcasts and going to the gym.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Time travel. I would love to see how the pyramids were built and to also see what technological advancements we created in the future.

What are two things still left on your bucket list?
1. Learn Spanish

2. Start a podcast

What is your guilty pleasure?

Jaffa Cakes. Taking one turns into eating the whole pack.

What was your nickname growing up?
Courts or Daws. Just shortened versions of my first and last names.

What is your favourite place in the world?

Difficult to say just one place but anywhere where I feel relaxed and have peace of mind.

Meet our Adorable tropical fish featuring ‘Tank Boss’, they are always on the look out for a snack from our clients.

Unsure of where to start or looking for some general advice?

Call us on 020 8995 7848 now or visit our contact page.