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Who Represents Who

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One of the few teams in Wales to have a standalone planning team, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides a ‘responsive and excellent service’ to national and international clients, with particular expertise in planning matters within the transport and renewable energy sectors. Recent highlights include acting for Innogy Renewables on securing the planning and common land consent for its 16-turbine wind farm in Swansea. Senior associate Kee Evans oversees the planning team and has acted alongside ‘excellent’ associate Louise Davies on the negotiation of numerous significant planning agreements for core firm client, Annington, including recently advising it on the negotiation and drafting of a section 106 agreement for the proposed development of 135 dwellings in Oxfordshire. On the environmental front, the Welsh team has handled several manufacturing disposals and development projects for key clients including GE and GSK. Other clients across both planning and environmental work include the Forestry Commission, Gamesa Energy and Severn Trent Water.

Acuity Legal Limited provides a ‘prompt and commercially aware’ service on planning matters, acting in conjunction with its ‘top-notch’ commercial property practice, as well as on standalone planning matters from the private and public sectors. The ‘excellentSteve Morris regularly takes the lead on the most significant planning matters handled by the firm; his recent highlights include acting for Rightacres Property on the long-running and transformational Central Square development, and advising Associated British Ports on its development at Dolffin Quay at Cardiff Bay. Also recommended is Gareth Baker, who is also involved in the Dolffin Quay development. Damien Cann has particular expertise in the negotiation of affordable housing contributions. The team, which is appreciated for its ‘real understanding of the peculiarities of the public sector’, was recently appointed to the NPS’s planning and environment panel for south Wales. Other clients include Greenbank Partnerships, Lifecare Residents, Beckerly Holdings, and South Wales Land Developments.

Geldards LLP has longstanding expertise representing public utilities, private developers and public sector entities (including central government, local authorities and regulatory authorities) on major projects. Charles Felgate has tremendous experience in the area and is advising the Welsh government in the public inquiry into the M4 corridor around Newport scheme – the largest highway inquiry in Wales since 1975. On the private sector front, Felgate is currently advising on a mixed-use scheme on a brownfield site in the Heads of the Valleys. Public law expert Huw Williams has expertise across a range of planning matters, including compulsory purchase order (CPO) issues; he is advising Cheshire East Council on the CPO for the Poynton Relief Road scheme. As well as handling general planning and CPO advisory work for public and private sector clients, senior associate Tomos Phillips also advises national park clients on enforcement and certificates of lawfulness.

Tapping into the expertise of practitioners from across its property, construction and litigation groups, Hugh James’ multi-disciplinary planning and environment practice handles transactional, regulatory and contentious work for an impressive roster of clients including Welsh Water, The Crown Estate, Cardiff University and Curo Enterprise. Senior associate Shelley Ikram heads the firm’s planning team and has a strong reputation advising on large-scale residential and commercial development schemes. Ikram has been working alongside commercial property head Peter Hurn on several mandates for Llanmoor Development, including the proposed acquisition of a greenfield site in Ystrad Barwick, Llantwit Fardre, which has been heavily scrutinised by the Welsh Minsters as a result of potential flood risks. A new arrival following the merger with MLM Catwright in November 2016, David King has related planning knowledge pursuant to his niche telecoms-related property expertise. King recently advised AP Wireless on CPO issues related to a telecoms mast site for the construction of the new Newton-le-Willows railway station. Senior associate Christy Welsh is also recommended.

Darwin Gray LLP regularly handles planning work as an adjunct to the firm’s commercial property offering. Donald Gray is well versed in an array of planning matters and also benefits from a specialist knowledge of the Welsh mining industry, particularly with regard to the granting of licences from the Coal Authority and landowners, the acquisition of compulsory rights, and environmental and production issues.

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Legal Developments in Wales for Planning and environment

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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