Planning & Environmental
The law surrounding planning and environmental matters can be complex. In any scheme, scoping potential legal issues and devising the right strategy for each is fundamental for commercial success. Our specialist team has advised landowners, developers, institutions and investors for many years. We understand the importance of practical advice, delivered when you need it, and our experience gives us valuable foresight when it comes to helping you avoid potential bumps in the road.
We advise on the full range of planning, compulsory purchase and environmental issues. Our expertise spans infrastructure planning (Development Consent Orders), development control, plan preparation, planning agreements, due diligence and compulsory purchase (objections and compensation claims). Potential environmental issues which require legal risk management include waste handling, contaminated land and water pollution, energy use, habitats and nature conservation, flooding, environmental permitting, and regulatory non-compliance.
Members of our team have advised on projects as diverse as nationally significant infrastructure projects, urban extensions, neighbourhood planning, minerals and waste, agricultural workers’ dwellings and compulsory purchase compensation claims. Such a range of work means legal issues often arise outside planning and environmental law, and clients value our ability to draw on the firm’s specialist expertise in charity, tax, finance and property to source the solutions they need.
We work closely with developers and their professional teams, navigating the planning application process from initial submission to appeal. We are adept at negotiating planning obligations (s106 agreements) and highway agreements in line with local authority deadlines. We can advise on the best approach to take when responding to objections, managing responses from statutory consultees, and on how to minimise the risks of judicial review. Our expertise also covers responding to proposals to designate property as an asset of community value, public access issues, listed building requirements, and enforcement proceedings.
We advise developer clients on their obligations to provide environmental supporting information such as environmental statements and habitat assessments. Where liability for Community Infrastructure Levy arises we can advise on any exemptions and reliefs, and assist in your dealings with the charging authority.
Our team has considerable experience in advising clients who are affected by compulsory purchase orders from preparing objections to negotiating with the acquiring authority and if necessary on claims for compensation. We also advise those involved in the development consent order process for nationally significant infrastructure projects and guide them through that process either as promoter or objector.
We recognise that finding negotiated commercial solutions to meet clients' goals is the most desirable outcome. That said, we are experienced in advising clients aggrieved by decisions made by local authorities and the Secretary of State and have strong links with the Bar such that we can work closely with Counsel to assist our clients on such matters.
We act for some of the best known landed estates in the country and we are regarded as one of the leading advisers to the sector. We advise estates on promoting land for development as part of the development plan preparation process, on permitted development rights for agricultural and other buildings, and on heritage protection for listed buildings.
Our investor clients call on us for support in the due diligence process because we can provide commercial and timely advice on planning and environmental issues and risks, including contaminated land. We take a long-term view and we will work with you to devise strategies to protect the development potential of your asset into the future.