Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Environment and planning

The team at Thomson Snell & Passmore has vast expertise of handling section 106 agreements and providing community infrastructure levy advice. Mark Steggles heads up the practice, splitting his time between Tunbridge Wells and Kent.

Environment and planning in South East

B P Collins LLP

From handling corporate transactions within the waste management, recycling and renewable energy spaces, to assisting with the development of industrial and retail plans, the B P Collins LLP team is highly experienced across the board. The group demonstrates significant strength in environmental-related property matters, along with regulatory compliance issues and complex judicial reviews. Alex Zachary leads the department, boasting 20 years of advising clients on M&A in the recycling and waste sector. Craig Williams is the key litigious contact, managing regulatory prosecutions and contractual disputes. David Smellie has 12 years’ experience in assisting with environmental corporate transactions, and Alison Taylor deals with portfolio management matters and acquisitions. Jonothan Moss’ expertise lies in criminal defence and regulatory work, and Phil Hind specialises in real estate litigation issues.

Practice head(s):

Alex Zachary

Other key lawyers:

Craig Williams; David Smellie; Alison Taylor; Simon Carroll; Jonothan Moss; Phil Hind


‘An excellent go-to team at BP Collins – extremely knowledgeable within their sector and industry.’

‘The practice is well integrated with excellent communication, drawing upon the knowledge of the whole network in applying to each case which is needed in environmental matters that span so many disciplines.’

‘I work with Jonothan Moss who is knowledgeable in his subject area, quickly grasps the significant issues to be resolved, identifies pragmatic solutions and deals with enforcement agencies in a diplomatic way to foster good working relationships.’

Key clients

The Biffa Group

Summerleaze Group (including Summerleaze Limited (gravel extraction) and Andigestion Limited (anaerobic digestion)

2K Polymer Systems Limited

Utonomy Limited

Wycombe Film Studios Limited/Stage Fifty

P. B. Donoghue

Blandy & Blandy LLP

The Blandy & Blandy LLP team’s knowledge of planning and environmental law is ‘first class’; the group combines its expertise in section 106 agreements with complex SANG agreements and nitrate credit schemes. With a client roster spanning universities, construction companies, and music venues,‘brilliant’ Reading-based practice head Karen Jones specialises in providing strategic planning advice, as well as acting in appeals and public inquiries. Sabah Siddiq, who joined the team as an associate from Blake Morgan LLP in August 2022, regularly handles judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):

Karen Jones

Other key lawyers:

Sabah Siddiq


‘Practitioners provide detailed insight and the team’s knowledge of planning law is first class.’

‘Karen Jones has a brilliant way of succinctly summarising her client’s position to produce an argument that is concise yet punchy and persuasive.’

‘A small but strong planning team who are accessible, extremely knowledgeable and provide strong strategic advice.’

‘Karen Jones is extremely well versed in planning law and provides excellent strategic advice. She is always a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Hargreaves Homes Limited

University of Reading

R Collard Limited

Elegant Homes Reading Limited

Turner Estates Limited

Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Limited

Rumsby Homes Limited

Cove Construction Limited

Bourne Homes Limited

Donnington Hospital Trust

Smokeys Nightclub Maidenhead

Nexus Planning

Work highlights

  • Assisted Smokeys Nightclub Maidenhead with an objection to a RBWM Nicholsons Shopping Centre and surrounding area CPO.
  • Handled a section 106 unilateral undertaking, together with a lawfulness application within appeal proceedings, on behalf of an individual landowner.
  • Advised on carbon offsetting requirements relating to a section 78 appeal.


Known for its vast expertise in the house-building sector, Cripps’ team has recently expanded its remit to cover environmental matters, including water neutrality and biodiversity net gain. Operating out of the Tunbridge Wells office, Beth Gascoyne leads the group, bringing in-depth knowledge of handling section 106 agreements to support large scale development projects to the group. Nicole Cameron has over 10 years’ experience as a planning lawyer in local government and private practice. Jason Towell retired from the practice in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Beth Gascoyne

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Cameron; Rebecca Crosdil


‘A collaborative team that puts their clients’ needs absolutely front and centre of what they do. Their knowledge of the LPAs within which we deal is second to none.’

‘Beth Gascoyne and Rebecca Crosdil are both second to none and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services.’

‘While it is a very large multi-disciplinary law firm, it is always about the individuals you deal with and the service they deliver.’

‘The practice has produced two very complicated S106 agreements for me.’

‘Beth Gascoyne’s key strength is understanding what is required and delivering what the client wants commercially within that framework. Beth is completely at ease whether taking instructions from the client, a planning consultant or a KC, and being a robust advocate in all of those circumstances. Not just a problem finder but a problem solver.’

‘Always able to get hold of who I need to. Very knowledgeable and diverse.’

‘Conscientious and go the extra mile in providing advice.’

‘I rely on Rebecca Crosdil for her attention to detail, reliability and competence. I can’t thank her enough for the times when she has gone out of her way to take instructions at short notice. I personally would not instruct anyone else!’

Key clients


FD Attwood and Partners

Danescroft Land

Golding Homes

Redrow Homes

Kennedy Wilson

Millwood Designer Homes

Persimmon Homes

Sevenoaks District Council

Town and Country Housing

Wates Developments

Work highlights

  • Advised on the section 106 agreement for a major a new garden village incorporating 1,400 residential dwellings including care homes, affordable housing, schools and leisure facilities.
  • Assisted with a section 106 agreement for a major new residential-led, mixed-use development providing 1,500 homes through the allocation of the site in the adopted Ford Parish Neighbourhood Plan and Arun District Local Plan.
  • Advised on a development of 159 dwellings and the provision of ecology mitigation in order to ensure sustainability of the site, including advising on biodiversity net gain which stipulates that all planning permissions granted in England will have to deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain from November 2023.

DMH Stallard LLP

The environment and planning team at DMH Stallard LLP has vast expertise in advising clients on all aspects of housing development schemes and section 106 agreements, with a strong focus on judicial and statutory reviews. 'Star of the planning law worldHeidi Copland leads the group, bringing over 25 years’ experience in delivering complex development and regeneration projects both for public and private sector clients. Chloe Karamian regularly handles enforcement notice appeals and CIL reviews. Peter Rainier specialises in assisting developers and landowners in the commercial and leisure industries, while associate Daniel Frisby focuses on environmental assessments. The department operates out of the Gatwick office.

Practice head(s):

Heidi Copland

Other key lawyers:

Chloe Karamian; Peter Rainier; Daniel Frisby


‘The ability to turn matters around professionally, adding value and expertise, has been exceptional. All team members are able to deliver a professional and high-quality product in a timely manner, clearly explaining relevant technical matters to us as clients.’

‘Heidi Copland has been a godsend. So approachable, professional and knowledgeable with her planning advice. She has been our rock to what is a stressful planning process. Heidi has the ability to be caring to the client’s needs, calmly dealing with any planning problem raised, providing exceptional professional, succinct and timely advice.’

‘A very well-regarded firm in the Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire markets. The real strength is in the in-house town planning expertise which brings with it a rounded, strategic advice.’

‘Heidi Copland: a very well-regarded lawyer, a firm favourite with clients for her wealth of experience and easy-going style.’

‘Chloe Karamian – a real star. Chloe is very smart and highly efficient, well liked by clients.’

‘Heidi Copland is a star of the planning law world and is easy to work with.’

‘Heidi Copland and Peter Rainier are stand-out individuals in their field.’

‘The DMH team excels at innovation and has great commercial awareness. The team has a strong public service ethos that works especially well for not-for-profit organisations in public interest areas.’

Key clients

Wealden and Rother Councils Joint Legal Services

Gleeson Strategic Land Ltd

Crawley Borough Council

Rydon Homes Ltd

Sage Housing

CALA Homes

AGB Reading LLP

Concept Developments

Trail Riders Fellowship

Rusper Leisure Ltd

Oxted Residential Ltd/Oxted Land Company Ltd

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club/The Community Stadium Ltd

Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd

Jack and Gill Childcare and Forest School

Work highlights

  • Assisted the joint legal service team at Wealden and Rother District Councils with section 106 work.
  • Acting for the Trail Riders Fellowship – a national organisation representing motorcyclists who use and wish to conserve green roads – in proceedings for judicial or statutory review to challenge decisions relating to highways and rights of way.
  • Advising Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club on all its planning and related legal work, which has included securing a new stadium at Falmer, a training ground at Lancing, and a strategic mixed-use development adjacent to its training ground.

Holmes & Hills

Boasting ‘a broad skill set and extensive knowledge’, the planning team at Holmes & Hills routinely handles contentious issues and complex section 106 agreements. The group supports property, land and commercial premises owners affected by public infrastructure schemes, and advises local authorities on development consent orders. Steven Hopkins and Michael Harman head up the practice, with the former bringing in-depth expertise on judicial review claims and planning inquiries, and the latter handling planning appeals and compulsory purchase orders. Joanna Lilliott has vast experience of assisting local planning authorities and landowners, while senior associate Sarah Hare is a section 106 specialist.

Practice head(s):

Steven Hopkins; Michael Harman

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Lilliott; Sarah Hare


‘H&H has a very strong and well-rounded specialist team of property, development and planning legal experts. Consequently, the team offers the benefit of a wide range and comprehensive advice on such matters. Overall, they are the first choice legal team to select in the East of England for any planning, development or property work.’

‘Steven Hopkins has a very wide experience in law of property and town and country planning legislation. He responds very quickly to any enquiry that is referred to him and from my experience always provides sound and practicable advice.’

‘Joanna Lilliott has a wide range of experience and expertise in a wide range of public law issues. She is always pragmatic and authoritative in negotiations and meetings.’

‘Michael Harman has an outstanding breadth of planning law knowledge and has worked on many projects for us helping to bring successful applications for our clients.’

‘Steven Hopkins – an extremely capable and likeable practitioner who commands respect. His advice is on point, practical and given with an appropriate leavening of humour. Michael Harman – approachable, understated, timely and thorough. Jo Lilliott – no one comes close to her in speed, efficiency, accuracy and straightforward down to earth solutions in section 106 negotiations.’

‘Unbeatable Sarah Hare is quick, responsive, reliable.’

‘The team has a broad skill set and extensive knowledge on obvious and obscure legalities pertaining to planning. Experienced members of staff closely mentor junior members thereby providing the best level of service appertaining to the matter that you wish to receive advice or instruct on.’

‘Michael Harman is a dedicated solicitor who is prepared to burn the midnight oil. He is able to present a legal viewpoint with crystal clarity but also to explain the intricacies of a legal point in a simplified way for the client to understand. We are fortunate to have Sarah Hare work in tandem with Michael Harman on several matters.’

Key clients

Braintree District Council

Colchester Borough Council

Harlow District Council

Babergh Mid Suffolk District Council

Rochford District Council

Andrew Martin Planning

Aspire Luxury Homes Limited

Chelmsford Cars & Commercials Limited

Colchester United Hospitality Limited

Fristling Hall Farm Limited

George Tanner (Shalford) Limited

Hadleigh Bakery Limited

Hills Residential Limited

Humphreys & Sons

Lansbury Developments Limited

Parker Planning Services Ltd

Phase 2 Planning & Development Limited

Rose Builders Limited

Smart Planning Limited

Trustees of Marks Hall Estate

Wickford Development Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Colchester City Council on various section 106 planning obligations.
  • Advised on numerous blight and discretionary purchase applications since the summer of 2020 regarding the development consent order to undertake improvement works to the A12 and A120 roadways.
  • Acted for a local authority in a judicial review of the local planning authority’s decision to refuse to grant planning permission following its original resolution to grant.

Irwin Mitchell

Assisting clients out of its regional centres in the South, the Midlands and the North, Irwin Mitchell’s planning and environment group - helmed by Claire Petricca-Riding - has considerable expertise in handling regeneration schemes, section 106 agreements, and strategic land developments. The firm has a particularly strong presence in the education sector, regularly assisting providers with capital projects, and advising landowners on air, water and energy matters. Gatwick-based Nicola Gooch leads the team, providing bespoke strategic planning advice to residential development clients, while James Pavey focuses on contentious planning and statutory inquiry work. Senior associate Sejal Patel is knowledgeable on drafting and negotiating highways and infrastructure agreements.

Practice head(s):

Claire Petricca-Riding

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Gooch; Pamela Chesterman; James Pavey; Tracy Lovejoy; Jill Crawford; Victoria Tague; Sejal Patel


‘Irwin Mitchell has an impressive and growing environment and planning practice. They are a respected industry voice in particular due to their frequent commentary on current issues. They are efficient and helpful and have a wide-ranging practice with local expertise in particular areas.’

‘Nicola Gooch’s knowledge, passion and insight in planning-related matters is unrivalled. She is a pleasure to work with and her understanding of the sector ensures she is able to deliver client objectives.’

‘James Pavey has a broad practice encompassing landowners, developers and campaigners engaged in all types of environmental, planning and property matters. James is able to get to the heart of complex legal issues in order to achieve results. He works tirelessly to deliver them.’

‘Tracy Lovejoy is very astute to the nuances of planning law and is able to cut through to the nub of a matter. I rate Tracy’s judgment very highly.’

‘Exceptional knowledge on their subjects.’

‘They come over as experts in their field.’

Key clients

Millwall Football Club

Chase New Homes Limited

Artisan Saltaire Limited

Chesterfield House Management Limited

Whitley Parish Council

Jaspar Group

Seaward Properties

Berkeley Eastern Counties

The Caravan Club

Welbeck Land

Work highlights

  • Advising Millwall Football Club on its application for a brand new football academy and training ground in West Kingsdown, Sevenoaks.
  • Advising Artisan Saltaire on plans to redevelop the former HMRC offices in Shipley, to create a mixed-use, residential-led, development within the Saltaire World Heritage Site Buffer Zone.
  • Advising Chase New Homes on its residential planning permission, granted directly by the Planning Inspectorate under s62A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Shoosmiths LLP

The planning and environment team at Shoosmiths LLP has ‘real strength in depth’, handling contentious environmental and residential development mandates for clients across the house-building, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. Kirsten Hewson leads the planning side from the Solent office, bringing extensive experience of handling complex projects relating to highways and infrastructure work to the team. In Milton Keynes, Charles Arrand heads up the environmental offering, specialising in offences, including pollution incidents and waste matters. Senior associate Matthew Stimson focuses on mixed-use development issues. In the Thames Valley, Phil Ryan supports businesses from the automotive, retail, and leisure sectors. Principal associate Joanne Sear deals with all aspects of prosecutions relating to environmental law.

Practice head(s):

Kirsten Hewson; Charles Arrand

Other key lawyers:

Phil Ryan; Matthew Stimson; Joanne Sear


‘The team have real strength in depth over the many and varied environmental issues facing businesses. I have worked with them on noise nuisance matters, environmental crime allegations and consumer environmental issues and they have consistently delivered excellent results for their clients.’

‘Joanne Sear is a very steady pair of hands who is brilliant at getting clients to trust her.’

‘Charles Arrand is a senior statesman in this area, there is nothing he’s not seen or done.’

‘The team have a comprehensive understanding of the issues and provide practical solutions which are grounded in reality and deliverability.’

‘I have worked with quite a few members of the team and can honestly say I have found them all to be professional and a pleasure to work with, especially Kirsten Hewson.’

Key clients

Buckland Development Limited

Grainger PLC

O & H Properties Limited

H N Butler Farms Limited

Roke Manor Limited

The Grange Estate

Frontier Estates Limited

Ackroyd & Abbot Limited

Churchill Retirement Living Limited

BDW Trading Limited



St Modwen Properties Limited/St Modwen Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a specialist manufacturer in a complex internal compliance investigation.
  • Advised Buckland Development on the grant of planning permission for Welborne Garden Village, comprising 6,000 homes and a new employment park delivering strategic housing to meet the needs of urban South Hampshire.
  • Advising H N Butler Farms on the creation of a new wetland habitat at Meon Springs in the South Downs National Park, Hampshire.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Boasting in-depth expertise in environmental liability and insurance matters, Stevens & Bolton LLP’s team counts the European Commission and AXA amongst its key clients. The department covers a wide scope of environmental issues, from water pollution to soil contamination issues. Guildford-based Valerie Fogleman has extensive experience of carrying out environmental, climate change, and health and safety support work for a variety of corporate and property transactions, as well as representing insurers in disputes concerning general liability insurance policies.

Practice head(s):

Valerie Fogleman

Key clients

European Commission


RPA Europe srl

Work highlights

  • Assisting the European Commission with a project relating to facilitating enforcement of the ELD by competent authorities.
  • Assisting the European Commission with a study in support of the evaluation of the environmental liability Directive and its implementation as part of a consortium which has a framework contract with the European Commission.
  • Representing AXA in claims relating to environmental insurance policies.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors

The ‘efficient, friendly and knowledgeable’ team at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors is highly experienced in assisting local authorities, property developers and landowners with planning appeals and section 106 agreements. Department head Salvatore Amico operates out of the Hertford office, bringing vast expertise on all aspects of article 4 directions and major residential development projects to the team. The group also demonstrates considerable strength in advising clients on the community infrastructure levy and handling judicial review claims.

Practice head(s):

Salvatore Amico


‘Attwaters Jameson Hill is a really good firm. They are efficient, friendly and knowledgeable in all areas of planning and environment law. I would recommend them highly.’

‘Salvatore Amico is a first-rate partner in the firm. He works hard for clients in order to achieve practical, as well as legal, results. He has excellent all-round understanding of planning-related issues.’

‘Just a good all-round practice with professional people who all seem to know what one another is doing. All the advice I have had has been proven to be up to speed and all good and proper.’

Key clients

Three Rivers Council

Dacorum Council

Broxted Parish Council

Chalfont Parish Council

BDB Pitmans

Counting local authorities, property developers and housebuilding companies amongst its key clients, the planning team at BDB Pitmans routinely handles section 106 agreements, judicial review proceedings and issues relating to mixed-use developments. Reading-based practice head Christina Daniels has extensive expertise in dealing with the community infrastructure levy and residential developments, while senior associate Chris Holmes advises on all aspects of planning law and pre-acquisition planning due diligence. The group is also well equipped to assist clients with High Court appeals and planning inquiries.

Practice head(s):

Christina Daniels

Other key lawyers:

Chris Holmes


‘Knowledgeable and pro-active. Able to proceed straight away with the task in hand, since the team has an understanding of our requirements.’

‘BDB Pitmans work as a team and are not reliant on just one member. There is always someone available to contact.’

Key clients

CALA Group

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Highwood Group

Millgate Developments

Shanly Homes/Sorbon Estates

Ashill Land Limited

Deanfield Homes Limited

Elivia Homes Limited

JPP Land Limited

Peabody Developments Limited

Hesmond Stud Limited

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

Abode Homes

Danecroft Developments Limited

East Suffolk Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Highwood Group on planning, infrastructure and nitrogen mitigation matters relating to its 1100 unit mixed-use scheme in Eastleigh.
  • Advising East Suffolk Council on the section 106 agreement for the proposed Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station.
  • Advising CALA Homes on a 385 dwelling development with Community Hub in West Sussex.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Receiving instruction from clients across the residential and commercial sectors, Clarke Willmott LLP’s South East planning department routinely advises on major development projects and section 106 agreements. Based in both Southampton and Bristol, Neil Baker heads up the team, bringing extensive experience in dealing with planning applications, regeneration schemes, and mixed-use development projects to the group. Chris Charlton boasts 25 years in the planning field, and Caroline Waller acts for both developers and local planning authorities. Marianne Barker joined the firm from Asserson Law Offices in March 2022. Senior associate Anne Jones is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Neil Baker

Other key lawyers:

Marianne Barker; Chris Charlton; Caroline Waller; Anne Jones


‘Crucially, I’m impressed by the team’s ability to grasp and distill complex issues and arrive at clear concise legal advice or agreements.’

‘Neil Baker’s knowledge of the region and the particular issues therein is second to none.’

‘Sharp problem solving and finding creative legal solutions.’

Key clients

Abri (formerly Radian/Yarlington)

Acorn Property Group

Aster Group

Clarion Housing Group

Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd

Isle of Wight Council

Metropolitan Housing Trust

New Forest District Council

Persimmon Homes South Coast

Southern Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Advising New Forest District Council and New Forest National Park Authority on planning issues surrounding the regionally significant mixed-use redevelopment of the former Fawley Power Station to deliver over 1,000 residential dwellings.
  • Representing Southern Housing Group, at appeal, in the proposed development of three residential blocks in Bromley-by-Bow.
  • Advising Countryside Properties on planning issues arising from the mixed-use development, including over 1,000 dwellings, at Woodham Ferrers.

Lester Aldridge LLP

Demonstrating significant strength in handling section 106 agreements and the community infrastructure levy, the Lester Aldridge LLP group is highly specialised in all facets of non-contentious planning expertise. The department particularly focuses on housebuilders and developers, supporting them with environmental projects, including a recent phosphate credit mitigation scheme. Tom Alder leads the team from Southampton, regularly advising clients on residential-led, mixed-use schemes and planning appeals. Senior associate Matt Gilks is an expert on planning and environment matters, including nitrates and biodiversity net gain.

Practice head(s):

Tom Alder

Other key lawyers:

Matt Gilks


‘The teams works for a variety of clients, from housebuilders to individuals, which gives depth of experience.’

‘The team is effective, communicates well, and delivers strong instructions to counsel in a timely fashion. This efficiency clearly delivers well for clients and makes the team a pleasure to work with.’

‘It is always a pleasure to work with Matt Gilks. Both his experience, coming to the process from a number of different angles, and knowledge of the law are great. He clearly remains focused on delivering positive and practical outcomes for clients for good value, and manages client expectations and instructions well.’

Key clients

McCarthy & Stone

Bargate Homes

C & G Properties

Captiva Homes

CHG Developments Limited

Big Yellow Self Storage

Dandara Southern

Dicentra Developments

Cavanna Homes

Harry Ferguson Farms

Blake Morgan LLP

Demonstrating an ‘in-depth knowledge of both the private and public sectors’, the Blake Morgan LLP planning team specialises in all aspects of residential-led schemes and strategic development projects. The group is well equipped to advise clients from across the leisure, transport and healthcare industries, with considerable strength in supporting joint venture vehicles and local housing authorities. London-based head Amardip Healy is 'held in the highest esteem by her peers', and regularly handles contentious and non-contentious planning matters for developers and property investors. Operating out of the Reading office, senior associate Victoria Charlesson has extensive experience of strategic planning and drafting highway agreements.

Practice head(s):

Amardip Healy

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Charlesson


‘An expert understanding of the workings of the development world, informed by in-depth knowledge of both the private and public sectors.’

‘Amardip Healy – breadth of experience in all aspects of development and planning. There is nothing she does not know about the practical workings of the planning world.’

‘The firm has a highly effective and experienced planning team.’

‘Amardip Healy is a hugely experienced planning lawyer who is held in the highest esteem by her peers. She is very commercially minded and can be counted upon to give sound and practical advice.’