Environment & planning in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP is the pre-eminent firm for planning and environment work in the East Midlands. In addition to providing key support on corporate transactions, it undertakes regulatory advisory work, provides governance advice, and assists with planning inquiries, as well as environmental investigations and prosecutions, among other matters. Richard Barlow, who heads up the environment practice, is the relationship manager for Natural England and the Marine Management Organisation, and also acts for local authorities and non-departmental public bodies. Laura Hughes is chair of the UK Environmental Law Association East Midlands group. Technical planning director Stephen Coult is a chartered town planner and chartered surveyor, and is sought-out for his expertise in compulsory purchase inquiries. Associate Ben Standing is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Barlow; Laura Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Coult; Ben Standing


The team comprises of experts in their field, whose knowledge and expertise is matched in equal measure by pragmatism. It does what it says it will, and always to a high standard

They provide tailored and pragmatic advice, and really put themselves in the position of their clients when they provide that advice


Key clients

Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman

Crown Commercial Services Wider Public Sector Framework

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Crown Commercial Service GLAS framework

East Midlands Housing Association

EM LawShare

Homes England

National Audit Office

NPS Wales

London Borough of Southwark

Waterloo Housing Group

West Yorkshire Legal Panel

Surrey Framework

LB Croydon

NI Audit Office

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of the Local Planning Authority at London Borough of Croydon to negotiate the terms of a complex and substantial planning agreement (under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) to accompany the proposed stadium expansion of a Premier League football club.
  • Advising The Marine Management Organisation on an application seeking permission to judicially review the client’s decision to grant the Dover Harbour Board a Marine Licence under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
  • Defending the London Borough of Enfield (in its role as Local Planning Authority) at a Planning Inquiry in relation to a challenge brought by the applicant (McCarthy & Stone) against the Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for the erection of 28 ‘retirement living’ units.
  • Acted for Natural England in Tolley v Natural England. Successfully resisted an appeal by Mr Tolley against a Remediation Notice served under the Environmental Civil Sanction (England) Order 2010 in an appeal before the First Tier Tribunal.
  • Advised Natural Resources Wales on an appeal of a consent granted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1983.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's planning and environment team acts for public and private sector clients in large and complex projects nationally, including residential, retail, commercial, mixed-use and urban regeneration developments. Chris Waumsley, who leads the planning and environment group, has more than 30 years of experience advising local authorities and private sector clients on planning matters. Waumsley works closely on the planning side with Paul Brailsford, whose expertise includes food and non-food retail developments, and residential-led urban extensions; both are widely respected in their field. The environment practice, which is led in the East Midlands by Emma Tattersdill, assists clients with managing issues connected with environmental permitting, waste management, contaminated land and environmental prosecutions, among other matters. Clients in this space primarily come from the minerals, waste, construction and housebuilding sectors.

Practice head(s):

Chris Waumsley

Other key lawyers:

Paul Brailsford; Emma Tattersdill


Freeths has a very capable and experienced team, which stands out in the East Midlands

Chris Waumsley and Mark Bassett are very good planners with a deep understanding of their field. They are people that you can rely on

Key clients

Millenium Land (10M Consortium)

Larkfleet Group

Aldi Stores and group companies

Taylor Lindsey Ltd

Redrow Homes

Simons Group

Henry Boot Developments

The Tarmac group of companies

Barratt Homes

Urban and Civic


Carlsberg/London Fields Brewery

South Lincolnshire Estates

Travis Perkins

Work highlights

  • Acting for Henry Boot Developments/Hallam Land Management in relation to the strategic urban extension of Tamworth in Warwickshire. Promoting land for residential development of up to 1,000 new homes both through the local plan process and via a planning application.
  • Advice to Helier/Millennium Land (a promoter of large-scale development schemes in the Midlands) on large scale urban extension in Mansfield, North Nottinghamshire, involving over 800 dwellings and new commercial development through the Mansfield Local Plan.
  • Acting for Henry Boot Developments/Hallam Land Management on the preparation of the planning applications for 400 dwellings in North Derbyshire including infrastructure planning application, and new outline planning application.
  • Provided planning advice to Simons Developments in respect of the redevelopment of a large brownfield site in West Bridgford, Nottingham for mixed retail, leisure and residential uses.
  • Advising London Fields Brewery/Carlsberg on planning aspects of the acquisition of London Fields Brewery in Hackney and associated regularisation of planning position via the submission of linked planning applications for brewery, tap room and venue for brand building events.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's outstanding reputation in planning work is underlined by its client roster, which includes many of the largest regional and national developers, as well as housebuilders. The firm fields a sizeable planning team in the Midlands, which is spread between the Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham offices; Simon Stanion heads up the group. In addition to advising on the planning aspects of residential developments, the group's work also spans other areas, such as energy and infrastructure, and healthcare. The firm has also won new mandates in the education sector, and is advising the University of Warwick on nine redevelopment projects across its campus to deliver the University’s Capital Plan programme until 2023. Paul Wakefield garners a significant amount of praise from clients. Abigail Walters and Richard Thurling are also highly recommended. In 2018, John Edmond retired from the partnership, while Paul Hunt moved to Howes Percival LLP.

Practice head(s):

Simon Stanion


The practice is resourced with very capable practitioners, who are courteous and diligent. They reach out to clients, including hosting clients at their offices to update on relevant legal issues which might affect the industry

Paul Wakefield is personable, diligent and very accessible. He is highly responsive to urgent situations

A solid and sound firm, which always delivers the goods

Paul Wakefield’s knowledge and expertise is a huge benefit to our company. He is my go-to lawyer for sound and robust planning advice

The team is pragmatic and patient in its work, which can be important in dealings with local authorities. Irrespective of whether they are dealing with a Section 106 Agreement or a judicial challenge, the relevant partners are efficient and insightful

Paul Wakefield is a very experienced planning lawyer, who has significant breadth of knowledge about all planning law matters. In addition to being very approachable, and understanding of what is required, he is technically astute and will assimilate large amounts of information very quickly

When dealing with the firm, we don’t have to ask twice for something to be done

Key clients

Allison Homes Limited

Avant Homes (Midlands)

Barratt David Wilson Homes

Blaby District Council

Cadent Gas Limited

Larkfleet Homes

The Lindhurst Group

National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc and National Grid Gas Plc

University of Central Lancashire

University of Warwick

Wilson Bowden

W Westerman Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the University of Warwick on the next phase of its masterplan building works comprising nine capital plan projects across its Gibbet Hill, Central and Westwood campuses in Coventry. These include new buildings for the faculty of arts and interdisciplinary biomedical research and residences for up to 1,000 students.
  • Advising East Staffordshire Borough Council on an application to vary a section 106 agreement for a sustainable urban extension near Burton-upon-Trent.
  • Acting for National Grid, on behalf of both NGET and NGG, in protecting its interests in respect of windfarm and energy generation development consent orders, including Norfolk Vanguard, Thanet, and Abergelli.
  • Advising Gallagher Estates on a section 106 agreement to provide a sustainable urban extension development at Braintree in Essex.
  • Representing developer Wilson Bowden at the North East Derbyshire Local Plan Examination in connection with the potential extension to the Markham Vale business park.