Planning in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP is a regular fixture on high-profile projects, including those in environmentally sensitive locations, and is best known for its extensive public sector client base, while also acting for notable developers and other private sector clients. Much private sector work pertains to renewable energy, housing and mixed-use projects and is frequently led by the Edinburgh-based Neil Collar and the Aberdeen-based Elaine Farquharson-Black, who jointly head the practice. Local authorities regularly instruct the Glasgow-based Karen Hamilton to assist with various infrastructure projects. Handling planning appeals and compulsory purchase orders are other key elements of the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Karen Hamilton; Niall McLean

Testimonials

‘Calm. Measured. Well informed. Always a step ahead of the game. Aware of all pitfalls and challenges. Well connected and totally on top of everything that’s happening in terms of changes in law and governance.’

‘A very good team, with real depth and expertise.’

‘Brodies’ planning team are our most trusted advisers on all matters relating to renewable energy and planning consents.’

‘Their insight, expertise, experience and strategic approach have proved invaluable to us on numerous occasions and they are a key factor in the strength and success of our work.’

‘Brodies have a myriad of experts within their team that can be called upon to give specific advice on a certain area. We cannot recommend Brodies LLP highly enough, they are worth their weight in gold.’

‘Karen Hamilton is excellent. Has a great ability to pick apart a complicated case into manageable parts. She has superb communication skills, understands her client’s needs and offers pragmatic and considered advice.’

‘Neil Collar’s calm, patient and thoughtful manner underpinned by a razor-sharp legal mind make him a joy to work with. He really stands out for his ability to explain the most complex of legal matters, sees the underlying issues and offers insightful solutions.’

‘Neil Collar and Elaine Farqharson Black are both superstars in terms of the Scottish planning world, and to find them both in the same firm is a real result. They both combine encyclopedic knowledge and years of experience, and provide a first-class service to clients.’

Key clients

Stewart Milne Homes

SRUC

Countesswells Development Limited

Drum Property Group/ Stamford Property Investments

Aberdeen City Council

Artisan Real Estate

Park of Keir/ Judy Murray

Energiekontor

Ediston/ Orion Capital Managers

Scottish Government

Work highlights

  • Acted for Stewart Milne Homes on a planning appeal for 150 houses, which saved the client circa £500,000 on education infrastructure contributions.
  • Assisted Park of Keir Partnership and Judy Murray to obtain planning permission on appeal for the Murray Legacy tennis project in Dunblane, despite the green belt location and vociferous opposition.
  • Advised Aberdeen City Council on a complex road dualling project of regional significance, including preparation of the compulsory purchase order and obtaining confirmation by the Scottish Ministers.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a strong profile for energy sector consenting work, most notably in the renewable energy sector, but also assists clients with residential and mixed-use developments. This includes assistance with planning appeals and transactions and is complemented by expertise in environmental law-related matters. Colin Innes and Ewan MacLeod jointly head the practice from Edinburgh and reflect the team's sector focus.

Practice head(s):

Colin Innes; Ewan MacLeod

Other key lawyers:

Moray Thomson; Scott McCallum; Fraser Mitchell

Testimonials

‘Shepherd and Wedderburn’s approach is always highly professional across a range of specialised areas.’

‘Excellent at helping set and address the planning case to meet clients’ requirements.’

‘The breadth of their expertise and reputation is hugely valuable.’

‘Ewan MacLeod is easy to work with and very approachable. He combines his considered views with an assessment of alternative approaches, where applicable, and an understanding of the implications.’

‘Ewan MacLeod’s communication is always clear, concise and professional.’

‘Fraser Mitchell is very knowledgeable but works in a very friendly and collaborative way.’

‘Fraser Mitchell has incredible depth of knowledge and experience. He has a very personable manner and he always takes the time to explain things in a way you can easily understand.’

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey

Miller Homes

Airbnb

ScottishPower Group of Companies

Crosswind Developments Limited

Viridor

Hallam Land Management Limited

Aldi Stores

Clydeport

Work highlights

  • Advised ScottishPower Renewables on a significant wind farm application at Clauchrie, South Ayrshire, which was considered by a series of virtual public inquiry sessions, hearings and further written submissions in 2021.
  • Advised Miller Homes on the sale of its business to Apollo Group. The project involved working as part of a multidisciplinary team preparing bespoke planning reports on nearly 30 Scottish properties.
  • Advising Ocean Winds (Moray West) on all aspects of onshore and offshore consents required for the project.

CMS

CMS‘ sector expertise is a reflection of Robin Hutchison‘s energy and infrastructure specialism and Mark McMurray‘s experience in advising on commercial and residential (re)developments alongside infrastructure projects, including associated compulsory purchase orders. Hutchison and McMurray jointly head the practice from Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively and, as experienced advocates, are equally well placed to guide clients through public inquiries and other contentious proceedings. Senior associate Keith Campbell is another key contact for contentious work. Clients include developers, energy companies and local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Robin Hutchison; Mark McMurray

Other key lawyers:

Keith Campbell; June Gilles

Testimonials

‘This is a strong planning team with complementary skills and experience, and ready access to a wider range of related skills including in-depth knowledge and experience of commercial conveyancing in Scotland.’

‘They know the industry, understand the issues involved and perform with he efficiency and confidence that would be expected from a firm like CMS.’

‘One of the benefits of working with CMS is their extensive and varied experience.’

‘The breadth and depth of experience across the firm means that there is always knowledge and experience within the firm which can be called upon.’

‘CMS provides practical, commercially minded advice rather than simply advising on the law.’

‘Robin Hutchison has considerable expertise in the environmental aspects of planning law and practice. He has in-depth knowledge in relation to renewable energy.’

‘Mark McMurray has the ability to draw out the best from a multidisciplinary team, which is often necessary in complex planning and related cases.’

‘Mark McMurray’s ability to give tailored advice in response to specific questions, but also to anticipate our interests, was appreciated.’

Key clients

Nuveen Real Estate

SSE plc

abrdn (formerly Aberdeen Standard)

City of Edinburgh Council

EDF Energy Renewables

Landsec

Community Windpower Limited

Electricity Supply Board (ESB)

Hargreaves Land

Inch Cape Offshore Limited / Red Rock Power

Stirling Council

Kincardine Offshore Wind Limited

National Grid

North Lanarkshire Council

Renfrewshire Council

The Scottish Salmon Company

Trump International

Falkirk Council (GFPS)

Resources Unlimited LLP

Copenhagen Offshore Partners

Scottish Enterprise

East Dunbartonshire Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for Nuveen Real Estate on all planning, compulsory purchase and roads matters for the £1bn redevelopment of the St James Quarter.
  • Lead planning advisor to SSE on over 4.3GW of onshore and offshore wind, including Strathy South, Seagreen 1A, and Dogger Bank A, B and C.
  • Advising Hargreaves Land on the 1,600-unit new town development at Blindwells, East Lothian.

Morton Fraser

With litigation expert Douglas Milne heading Morton Fraser‘s planning group, contentious work plays a key role and includes public local inquiries and acting for landowners in opposing the use of compulsory purchase orders. Its other key strength lies in public sector work, which is routinely led by Rory Alexander and spans both contentious and non-contentious matters, but the team also acts for developers. In the non-contentious space, the team routinely provides assistance with residential and mixed-use developments as well as with infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Milne

Testimonials

‘Excellent team – very client focussed.’

‘The team are all on the same page as far as providing efficient, timeous and valuable advice is concerned.’

‘We greatly valued Douglas Milne’s constructive approach which brought out the best in our team. His advice is always carefully considered, relevant and well informed.’

‘Kenneth Carruthers is a particularly astute and experienced lawyer able to cut straight to the nub of the matter without spending unnecessary time skirting around issues.’

‘Kenneth Carruthers’ time and advice is invaluable. We would always try to deal with him if possible.’

Key clients

Transport Scotland

Wildland Limited

Stirling Council

Transport Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

The Moray Council

Parabola

City of Edinburgh Council

Persimmon Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Transport Scotland in the public local inquiries held for the £3bn dualling of the A9 trunk road from Perth to Inverness.
  • Acting for Wildland Limited in its petition for judicial review of the grant of planning permission for the Sutherland Space Port on the north coast of Scotland.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's strength lies in renewable energy consenting, most notably onshore and offshore wind, but the team also has a strong track record in water, road and housing projects. While many of these projects are based in Scotland, the firm's Glasgow and Edinburgh teams also routinely work with other UK offices and take the lead on many cross-border and England-based projects. Property and consenting specialist Jennifer Ballantyne heads the practice from Glasgow, which includes the Edinburgh-based Gary McGovern, whose expertise spans energy, infrastructure and housing and extends to planning appeals and inquiries.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Ballantyne

Other key lawyers:

Gordon McCreath; Gary McGovern

Testimonials

‘Friendly and approachable – always willing to be pro-active.’

‘I have confidence in the team at Pinsent Masons, they are all knowledgeable and there are lots of them ensuring that even the most complex and intense projects receive the necessary support.’

‘The team are approachable and I have valued their collaborative approach.’

‘The team has a huge amount of experience in infrastructure planning in multiple sectors which, as a client, is very reassuring. The lawyers are also at the cutting edge of policy development in infrastructure planning and are able to represent clients’ interests where necessary.’

‘They have a relaxed and confident manner and are always available and willing to provide any assistance necessary.’

‘Gary McGovern and his planning team are always a pleasure to work with. Their work is thoroughly prepared with the important issues clearly identified and addressed.’

‘Gary McGovern is well known as a planning expert with a very sound knowledge of policies, process and case law.’

‘Gordon McCreath is extremely knowledgeable, quick to respond to requests and provides reasoned and practical advice.’

Key clients

Zenobe

DEME

Scottish Renewables

GreenPower (Carraig Gheal) Ltd

Berwick Bank Wind Limited

Marr Bank Wind Limited

Affinity Water

Cambridge Water

RWE Renewables UK Developments Ltd

Seagreen Wind Energy Limited

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Barratt Homes / David Wilson Homes

CALA Group

Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (JV of SSE, SDIC and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners)

Orsted

The Pilkington Trust

Robertson Homes Limited

Statkraft

Winchburgh Developments Limited

UK Space Agency

Forth Ports

Environment Agency

Anglian Water

Thames Water

National Highways

North Falls Limited

Lovell Homes

Work highlights

  • Advising Berwick Bank Wind Limited on the consenting aspects of Berwick Bank offshore wind farm, a 4.1GW project in the vicinity of Seagreen 1 and 1A, and the largest offshore wind farm under development in the UK.
  • Advising RWE Renewables UK Developments Ltd on all consenting aspects, including appeals and inquiries, with 100% success, for a large number of major Scottish onshore wind farms such as 84MW Benbrack, 48MW Camster II wind farm; 32MW Lorg, 64MW Enoch Hill, 48MW Clachaig Glen, 64MW Golticlay, 62MW Strathy Wood projects and 96MW Daer project in South Lanarkshire.
  • Advising National Highways on all aspects of its application for development consent (DCO) for the £1.9bn A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme. Following a judicial review, the team has been appointed to advise on the re-determination of the DCO application.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's planning and infrastructure team is led by the Glasgow-based Sarah Baillie, who acts for private and public sector clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious planning matters, most notably those at the transactional and environmental intersection. Much of its recent work involves energy projects alongside housing, mixed-use and retail developments.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Baillie

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Gordon

Testimonials

‘The team has a breadth of knowledge and experience which can be accessed when required.’

‘They are an incredibly talented, driven and friendly team who will always go the extra mile for clients.’

‘Sarah Baillie is uniquely qualified in Scotland as a specialist in planning law accredited by the Law Society of Scotland and as a chartered town planner with corporate membership of the RTPI.’

‘Sarah Baillie is widely experienced in planning law and practice and in related areas such as compulsory purchase.’

‘Sarah Baillie works effectively in a team to produce the desired outcome. This is done in a relaxed manner which inspires client confidence.’

‘Sarah Baillie looks for and identifies solutions before there are problems. She is quite simply very effective.’

Key clients

SSE plc

Aldi Stores Limited

Scotland Gas Networks plc

Alcemi Developments UK Group of Companies

Clackmannanshire Council

Consensus Capital Group

Robertson Property

Highland and Islands Airports

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Dandara

Strawsons Holdings

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

ERG

Redrock Power

Murray Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Alcemi Storage Developments UK Limited on consenting matters across six sites on the UK’s largest commercial energy storage developments with a mission to facilitate a zero carbon power system through the development and operation of innovative network solutions.
  • Continues to advise SGN plc on energy consenting matters across the UK, including a world-first green hydrogen heating network at H100 in Fife. Other matters include its first use of compulsory acquisition powers, which proceeded successfully through inquiry with land acquisition in 2021.
  • Continues to advise Aldi Stores Limited on its portfolio of over 100 stores including the development of new stores in 2021; this includes all contentious and non-contentious planning matters.

Anderson Strathern

Public sector players, developers and landowners routinely call upon Anderson Strathern to assist with various planning matters mostly, but not exclusively, pertaining to residential, mixed-use, energy and infrastructure projects and benefit from the team's knowledge in compulsory purchase orders alongside planning appeals and judicial reviews. Its contentious work is often handled in conjunction with the firm's property litigation group, while handling environmental matters constitutes another prominent intersection for the team. This is not least due to team head Alastair McKie's and Chris Devlin's expertise in the latter; Devlin joined the practice from Shepherd and Wedderburn in April 2021 as legal director.

Practice head(s):

Alastair McKie

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Stephen; Chris Devlin

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic and reasonable in their approach to handling advice which at times could be complicated and potentially time consuming.’

‘Demonstrate excellent understanding of issues that we face and recognise our operating environment.’

‘Access to senior people and their involvement at all stages of the process.’

‘Very good at making everyone part of the team and explaining complex matters.’

‘Chris Devlin is exceptional and his knowledge and attention to detail is second to none.’

‘Alastair McKie is outstanding. One of the leaders in this field. Very good with clients and a great knowledge of the law and tactics.’

Key clients

Shetland Space Centre Ltd

Edinburgh Airport Limited

East Lothian Council

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority

Eurowind A/S

Walker Group

Springfield Properties

INEOS

The City of Edinburgh Council

Buccleuch Estates

The Coal Authority

Chemring Energetics UK Ltd

Victoria Square Woking Limited

Livos Energy

Ross Estates Company

Pow of Inchaffray Commissioners

Dundas Estates

SESTRANS

Work highlights

  • Advising Shetland Space Centre Limited, the developer of a vertical launch space port in Shetland, from inception through to final submission of its planning application.
  • Advising Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority on planning law and related matters.
  • Acting on behalf of Edinburgh Airport Ltd in a major planning appeal relating to the refusal by the City of Edinburgh Council for a new primary vehicular and active travel route access to the airport.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP has carved out a strong practice guiding housebuilders and strategic land clients through the entire planning process pertaining to housing and mixed-use developments, including planning appeals. This is complemented by expertise in energy sector-related transactional planning matters. Craig Whelton heads the group from Edinburgh and frequently works with colleagues from the Bristol office, most notably in the transactional and energy space. In Edinburgh, he is supported by associate Lynsey Reid, who acts on major developments across the UK.

Practice head(s):

Craig Whelton

Other key lawyers:

Lynsey Reid

Testimonials

‘Strong understanding of the offshore wind industry in Scotland.’

‘Strong planning team with particular expertise on appeals.’

‘Great expertise north and south of the border, and has the ability to service clients whose interests cover both.’

‘Excellent at helping set and address the planning case to meet clients’ requirements.’

‘Craig Whelton is exceptional in terms of knowledge, tactical nous and experience. Great judgement on merits, both practical and legal.’

‘Craig Whelton has an in depth knowledge of Scottish planning law and his knowledge of the appeal system is particularly strong.’

‘Craig Whelton is incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated.’

‘Craig Whelton is very knowledgeable and easy to work with.’

Key clients

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes Limited

Elan Homes/ Amber Real Estate

Gladman Developments Limited

Wallace Land Investment and Management Limited

Stewart Milne Group Limited

West Craigs Limited (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

Octopus Investments Limited and Renewable Energy Income Partnership III

Robertson Homes Limited

BayWa

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Ashfield Land Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Drax on the 600MW £1bn extension to Cruachan power station.
  • Advising Elan Homes Limited on its new settlement proposals in West Lothian for 2,000 new homes. The team led on the judicial challenge for Elan in relation to the Scottish government’s unlawful changes to national policy.
  • Continues to advise West Craigs Limited on the 1,400 house scheme in West Edinburgh, now under construction.

Burness Paull LLP

As a reflection of team head and solicitor advocate Alasdair Sutherland‘s expertise in the contentious space, Burness Paull LLP routinely assists clients – many of which stem from the housebuilding sector, and to a lesser extent from the energy sector, – with planning appeals, appeals against the refusal of planning permissions, SEPA objections and enforcement actions. Its non-contentious work frequently has a transactional angle and involves section 75 agreements.

Practice head(s):

Alasdair Sutherland

Testimonials

‘Friendly, approachable, prompt and knowledgeable.’

‘Easy to speak with, with a good ability to explain things in a way that is easy to understand. All members are approachable and knowledgeable and provide sound advice.’

‘A very well-resourced team with a good breadth and depth of knowledge. Quick to respond to unexpected scenarios.’

‘The planning team have a good ability to simplify complex matters and will offer clear advice which looks to resolve matters in the most efficient manner.’

‘Well led by Alasdair Sutherland, who has a calm approach to the issues he is required to face. He has a great talent for taking the heat out of a client’s often exasperated position by adopting a level-headed approach to the issue at hand.’

‘Both Alasdair Sutherland and Emma Dewar have provided excellent guidance across a wide spectrum of instructions, from planning enforcement notices and challenges to planning appeals, Section 75 and unilateral agreements.’

‘Emma Dewar is highly competent and experienced.’

‘Steven Stuart is a strong member of the Burness Paull team and has proved himself very capable working alongside our planning consultants.’

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey

Barratt Homes

Cruden Homes

Guild Homes

Scotia Homes

GB Grove Limited

Carmichael Homes

ScottishPower Renewables

Brockwell Energy

Brookfield

Work highlights

  • Advising Springfield Properties plc on the section 75 planning agreement for the proposed new village development comprising over 3,000 houses, a new village centre, new schools, a business park and leisure facilities at Durieshill, near Stirling.
  • Advising Barratt Homes West Scotland in successfully defending a Court of Session challenge raised by West Dunbartonshire Council to the grant of planning permission on appeal by a Scottish Government Reporter for Barratt’s 99 house development on a greenfield site in Clydebank.
  • Advising Ogilvie Homes in a planning appeal against the planning authority’s refusal of planning permission for a major residential development at East Whitburn, West Lothian.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP's planning group, and team head Fraser Gillies in particular, are rated for their expertise in the renewables industry, which translates into regular instructions on section 36 applications and planning appeals pertaining to onshore wind. Alongside this strong focus, the team has managed to expand its activities into the hospitality and drinks sector as demonstrated by an increasing number of instructions - mostly led out of its Inverness office - on distillery and brewery developments.

Practice head(s):

Fraser Gillies

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Martin; Paul Adams

Testimonials

‘Excellent partner accessibility and involvement. Truly involved and diligently work hard to meet challenging timeframes.’

‘Excellent on strategic advice as well as planning appeals work. Great at building and cementing strong relationships.’

‘Value-added services. Excellent value for money.’

‘Fraser Gillies is an exceptional planning lawyer, able to give practical advice on projects and appeals. Very approachable and “can do” attitude. Grasps issues very quickly.’

‘Fraser Gillies and Nicola Martin both have attention to detail; hard workers; practical advice.’

Key clients

Renewable Energy Systems Limited

RWE Renewables UK Swindon Limited

Muirhall Energy Limited

Energiekontor UK Limited

Coriolis Energy Limited

Fred Olsen/Natural Power

Orsted Onshore UK Ltd (formerly Brookfield)

ESB

BayWa r.e. UK Limited

SETT Wind Development Limited/Infinergy Ltd

Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd (t/a Gordon & MacPhail)

Mellness Crofters Estate Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised SETT Wind Development Limited in relation to the proposed Shepherd’s Rig Wind Farm, a S.36 scheme of up to 17 wind turbines within Dumfries and Galloway Council planning area. Advice included the public inquiry held in November 2021.
  • Advised Coriolis Energy in relation to a S.36 Electricity Act 1989 application for the proposed Blarghour Wind Farm.
  • Secured planning permission for Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd t/a Gordon & MacPhail for a distillery set in the Cairngorm National Park on the banks of the River Spey. The team provided advice on all planning aspects of the project, including pre-application advice, proposal of application notice, planning application and completion of planning agreements.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart‘s multidisciplinary approach translates into particular expertise in handling matters at the intersection with environmental and commercial property law alongside instructions in the renewable energy sector. Other regular work pertains to redevelopment, residential and repurpose projects and includes the assistance with planning agreements and obligations alongside associated contentious matters. Director Jacqueline Cook heads the practice from Edinburgh and acts in both contentious and non-contentious spaces.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Cook

Testimonials

‘Clear & prompt communication. Directed to the key person to deal with from the beginning.’

‘Approach to billing and relationship with us as a client was spelled out clearly from the beginning.’

‘Jacqueline Cook: Straight talking, action orientated and it was clear she knew her subject matter well.’

‘Jacqueline Cook delivered when she said she would and was patient with us to outline options open to us. Would definitely recommend her in the future.’

Key clients

Peel Energy

Tartan Leisure Ltd

Ogilvie Homes Ltd

JW Muir Group PLC (including Muir Homes Ltd, Hermiston Securities Ltd)

Story Homes Ltd

Pizza Hut (UK) Limited

M & J Ballantyne

RT Overseas Settlement

WKN GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised Ogilvie Homes Limited on its successful appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session against the Scottish Ministers’ repeated refusal of their housing proposals.
  • Continuing to advise Tartan Leisure Limited on its Wavegarden leisure scheme that will deliver Scotland’s first artificial, inland surfing lagoon. This includes planning advice on consenting strategy, applications, EIA and planning obligations.
  • Advising Peel Energy on all its renewable energy projects in Scotland. Currently, this includes advice on contracts with third parties to ensure the satisfaction of pre-commencement planning conditions and enable development to begin.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper provides public and private sector clients with combined planning and real estate advice on housing, mixed-use and infrastructure projects, while transactional matters constitute another key element. Its transactional expertise has recently been called upon by asset managers, investment funds and commercial entities. Following former team head Sandy Telfer's move to Gillespie Macandrew LLP in May 2022, legal director Michael Greig, who stands out for his in-house planning authority experience, is now the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Michael Greig

Key clients

INEOS Upstream Ltd

Perth & Kinross Council

Hallam Land Management Ltd

New Waverley Advisers Ltd

Natwest Group plc

Places for People

Henry Boot Developments

Dawnfresh Farming Ltd

Highways England

Hansteen Land Ltd

Flamingo Land Ltd

Energiekontor UK Ltd

Greencoat Energy

Moorbrook Textiles Ltd

Amber Rei Holding Ltd

Pat Munro (Alness) Ltd

Campus Living Villages Ltd

Leonardo Hotels

UAB Ignitis Grupe

Work highlights

  • Advised S Developments Limited t/a Alba Developments on its £210m 800-unit development at Edmonstone Estate, Edinburgh.
  • Assisted Perth & Kinross Council with the negotiation, drafting and execution of a section 75 agreement to deliver the community and other public infrastructure needed to support the initial delivery of 1500 new homes and a 25 hectare eco-innovation business park and an 18 hectare heritage park.
  • Planning and real estate advice to John Gilmour Butchers regarding the acquisition of the former greyhound stadium at Wallyford for the site of its new £8m administrative headquarters and wholesale food processing plant.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP

In April 2022, Gillespie Macandrew LLP lost Isobell Reid (particular expertise at the intersection between property, planning and construction) to MacRoberts LLP; a loss that was offset by Sandy Telfer's arrival from DLA Piper the following month. He has niche expertise in planning issues surrounding onshore exploration and production drilling, including the exploitation of geothermal power, and joined the team led by solicitor advocate Colin Hamilton. His combined planning and environmental expertise routinely leads to instructions in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hamilton

Other key lawyers:

Sandy Telfer

Testimonials

‘Astute, commercial advice delivered with level-headed precision.’

‘Very knowledgeable and experienced team of planners.’

‘Colin Hamilton listens closely to the issue at hand before offering potential solutions and recommending a way forward.’

‘Colin Hamilton – very sound knowledge and good judgment.’

Key clients

Seagreen

Viking Energy Wind Farm

SSE Renewables

Berwick Bank Wind Limited

Dundee City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Gartmore House on judicial review proceedings pertaining to the National Park Authority’s decision to route a core path through the grounds of the centre.
  • Advised Viking Energy Wind Farm on its development of a 450MW wind farm, including two planning appeals lodged with Scottish Ministers against refusal of applications by the local council.
  • Advised Dundee City Council on a judicial review pertaining to an electric bicycle charging point.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP is best known for its extensive public sector client roster but is also routinely called upon by energy clients and other developers requiring assistance with various developments – most notably renewable energy projects – and associated transactional and environmental law matters. Non-contentious issues at these intersection are typically led by the Glasgow-based Peter Ferguson, while the Edinburgh-based Jennifer Jack is the key contact for judicial reviews, planning appeals and inquiries into decisions of public authorities, regulators, courts and other tribunals.

Practice head(s):

Peter Ferguson; Jennifer Jack

Testimonials

‘Experienced solicitors with wide-ranging knowledge and a good feel for the bigger picture.’

‘The importance given to addressing exactly the client’s brief, the quality and relevant experience of skilled staff and the motivation of all staff was clear to me as client such that I have rarely experienced such a high quality of service.’

‘Jennifer Jack: I have rarely come across a more effective leader and knowledgeable lawyer.’

‘Not only does Jennifer Jack possess the sharpest legal mind, but she also understands where we needed to be pragmatic in order to achieve the best possible outcome.’

‘I have no doubt whatsoever that our success was predominantly because of Jennifer’s significant legal knowledge and her ability to interpret how best to deploy our arguments.’

Key clients

NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)

Marine Scotland

Scottish Forestry (formerly Forestry Commission Scotland)

Cairngorms National Park Authority

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Moray Council

The Highland Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Orkney Islands Council

Fife Council

Glasgow City Council

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Greenpeace UK

Fred Olsen Renewables

EnergieKontor

Capital Dynamics

Octopus Energy

JLEN/Foresight

Maple Power Limited

Metka EGN Ltd

Statkraft UK

Maple Power Limited

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Scotia Homes

Hillhouse Quarry Group

St Andrews University

MCR Property Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Octopus Renewable Infrastructure Trust on the acquisition of a 50MW wind farm in a £75m deal.
  • Represented NatureScot at public local inquiries concerning proposed wind farm developments, which NatureScot objected to on the basis of significant adverse impacts on nationally important sensitive habitats.
  • Advising Moray Council on a compulsory purchase order required to deliver a replacement bridge at Lossiemouth.

Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths has been particularly active advising national housebuilders on residential developments, including transactional and contentious matters. The team, which works in conjunction with the wider firm’s real estate practice, includes newly promoted principal associate Geraint Hughes.

Other key lawyers:

Geraint Hughes

Testimonials

‘Very good people – friendly, forward thinking, always willing to provide some initial informal advice to help progress matters.’

‘The planning team at Shoosmiths are all extremely friendly and relatable, which, partnered with their knowledge of planning law and associated processes, is a fantastic attribute for working with.’

‘Shoosmiths have an extra edge in pairing the soft skills alongside the technical.’

‘Always responsive, friendly, approachable and technically astute, whilst having an eye on strategic matters at the same time.’

Key clients

Graham’s the Family Dairy

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

Hoxton Securities

Bellway

Taylor Wimpey

Welsh Power

Taylor Grange

Guild Homes

Coppergreen Developments

Paladin Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised Graham’s the Family Dairy in connection with its planning appeal for the residential development of Airthrey-Kerse in Stirling.
  • Advising Welsh Power in connection with all planning matters, including the negotiation of section 75 agreements, relating to the pathfinder grid stability project.
  • Advising Taylor Grange in connection with a successful statutory challenge to the South Lanarkshire Local Development Plan.