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Our national planning team works with clients to unlock development potential and deliver much needed infrastructure. The team’s proven ability results in our clients many successes.

As one of the UK’s largest specialist planning teams, we have the capability and the resource to provide you with the expertise needed for complex development solutions. We are amongst Planning Magazine's top 10 rated law firms and have top tier rankings in Chambers and Partners 2015. 

Our reputation as a leading UK planning firm is based on many years’ experience of helping to make development happen. Our clients include commercial developers in the energy, residential, transport, waste, manufacturing and retail sectors as well as many local authorities. We are actively involved in the sectors in which we operate, and at the forefront of evolving legislation and policy, so we ensure our clients stay ahead of the competition.

We have been involved in over 20 Development Consent Orders (DCOs) to deliver major transport, energy and waste infrastructure projects. We also have a strong reputation as experts in Compulsory Purchase compensation claims. We have advised businesses affected by the London 2012 Olympics, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Thameslink, Crossrail and HS2. 

Our regeneration work includes the promotion of compulsory purchase orders for numerous schemes including in London, Reading, Newbury, Watford, Hartlepool, Tyne and Wear and Bristol. We also advise on consenting strategies and have helped to deliver large and small residential, retail and mixed use schemes across the UK working with commercial, developers, housebuilders, housing associations and land owners.

We work hard to build tailored teams that respond to your objectives. Understanding what matters most to you is a fundamental part of that approach. We’re committed to asking the right questions so we can deliver the right answers as quickly and practically as possible.

"I am extraordinarily impressed with them, because of the quality of the solicitors and their range and depth of knowledge."

"They are extremely good. Their responsiveness and understanding of the commercial sensitivities and timing have been essential."

Chambers 2017

"They're a very strong planning team - they are efficient, with breadth of expertise and depth of knowledge."

Chambers 2015

Get in touch

T:+44 (0)113 290 4421

What we do

We have particular experience in the following areas:

  • Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects
  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitat Regulation Assessments
  • Compulsory Purchase and compensation
  • Regeneration
  • Residential development
  • Transport schemes
  • Energy consents including acquisition of land and rights for utilities
  • Retail and mixed use schemes
  • Waste schemes, including landfill, energy from waste, and hazardous waste
  • Planning Obligations, Highway and Infrastructure Agreements and Community Infrastructure Levy
  • High Court Challenges, including Judicial Review
  • Neighbourhood Planning, including Assets of Community Value
  • Town & Village Greens.

Examples of work

EON: Rampion Offshore Wind Farm (DCO)

  • We acted for E.ON Renewables in connection with their DCO application for an offshore wind farm with a generating capacity of up to 700MW. Our instruction covers the full DCO application process from EIA and scheme design, pre-application consultation, drafting and submission of application documents (including the draft DCO ), drafting and negotiation of planning obligations and infrastructure agreements, and advice during examination (including advocacy for hearings). Whilst noting the sensitivities of impacts, our advice ensured that flexibility for the final scheme layout was maintained within 'Rochdale Envelope' parameters. Consent was obtained in 2014 and we are now advising on processes for start on site.

Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey: Newcastle Great Park (Residential)

  • We acted for a consortium of national house builders (Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey) in relation to a Green Belt release in the North East of England for one of the UK's largest urban developments. Covering 484 hectares the development includes a business and industrial park, residential, educational, retail, community, recreational and countryside uses as well as a high capacity public transport corridor and a park and ride scheme. It will deliver in excess of 2,500 new homes.
  • We drafted and negotiated the agreement for the planning obligations (including subsequent variations) and infrastructure agreements securing contributions and improvements in excess of £50m, as well as the phasing and delivery of individual development cells, the provision of affordable housing and off site highway improvement work to the A1 trunk road and other primary routes. We are continuing to provide strategic planning advice in relation to the ongoing and future delivery of the scheme.

For more information, visit the Newcastle Great Park website.

Tower Hamlets: Wood Wharf (Regeneration)

  • We acted for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on Canary Wharf Group's proposals for a major £5 billion mixed-use re-development of Wood Wharf. Our team advised on a range of issues throughout the planning application process, including environmental impact assessment, heritage, phasing, conditions and issues relating to land ownership and planning obligation requirements. We also handled the negotiation of a complex, high value Section 106 Agreement dealing with a wide range of issues, including the delivery of on-site health facilities, a 420 place primary school and affordable housing with a review mechanism to secure greater provision if finances allow.

HS2 petition (Compulsory Purchase and compensation)

  • The team is acting for a number of landowners affected by the proposed phase one HS2 route including the Dowdeswells, Veolia, Post Office, Boden and Freightliner. Commenting on our presentation to the HS2 Selection Committee, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, and experienced parliamentarian, recently said, “If others want a model of how to present a case I think we have had it this morning".
  • We regularly advise on complex and high value compensation claims involving ransom, disturbance, and alternative development based claims. Our CPO experience covers both promotion and opposition.

Landhold Capital: Dartford Judicial Review (High Court challenges including Judicial Review)

  • We acted for Landhold Capital in successfully resisting a high court challenge to their planning permission, which granted consent for a medium scale housing development in Dartford. This judgment is now widely regarded as one of the Top 10 most important decisions of 2014-2015, and represents the leading case on the interpretation of 'sustainability' for the purposes of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).​

For more information, read Rolling back from William Davis? A note on the significance of Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for DCLG featured on The Lawyer website.