Planning in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP is highlighted for its strong expertise in the full life cycle of nationally significant infrastructure projects in the energy and infrastructure space; as well as in handling CPOs. Its impressive client portfolio includes local authorities and developers, which call upon the team in advisory, strategic and contentious matters. It is led by Gary Soloman who can offer extensive know-how in regeneration projects, developments and highway proposals. Energy-specialist Patrick Robinson, NSIP-experts Elizabeth (Liz) Dunn and Julian Boswall as well as senior associate Laura Fuller are integral team members.

Practice head(s):

Gary Soloman

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Robinson; Elizabeth (Liz) Dunn; Laura Fuller; Julian Boswall; Alex Minhinick


‘Quite simply, the serenity and control that they present to me as a client. It gives me enormous assurance to see the team in control, doing what they said they would and providing high quality advice. I get a real sense that lessons have been learnt from experience and that they are being utilised for my benefit.’

‘Capable and responsive.’

‘Collaboration between depts. is very strong. BS have seamlessly drawn across numerous legal specialism to provide clear and direct advice to us and importantly been able to communicate this as part of the negotiations.’

‘Very efficient with excellent knowledge and case management.’

‘Excellent experience and knowledge from key individuals with respect to the NSIP regime.’

‘Patrick Robinson is excellent; thoughtful about case strategy and excellent with clients.’

‘Alex Minhinick is my main point of contact and has become a trusted advisor. Alex provides assured advice, spots potential issues and works very well with my team. He does so with an easy charm that fits well with the way we go about our business.’

‘Concise and clear communication in negotiations; detailed understanding of all the documentation; kept the legal points of detail between the solicitors so the key commercial points remain the focus of the discussions.’

Key clients

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Environment Agency

Historic England

National Trust

Department for Transport

Highways England

YTL Property Holdings

Historic Royal Palaces

Stratford-on-Avon District Council


Wallace Land Investment and Management Limited

Torbay Borough Council

Progressive Energy Limited

North Somerset Council


Sofia Offshore Windfarm Limited


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Work highlights

  • Advised Highways England on multiple major motorway and A-road projects throughout the country.
  • Advised YTL Property Holdings on the Filton airfield site project, a major housing, infrastructure, commercial and leisure development to the north of Bristol.
  • Advised Equinor on the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Extensions, two huge offshore wind projects in north Norfolk.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP is praised for its 'brilliant capacity to offer straightforward and clear advice in complex situations.' The team has extensive experience in the full range of advisory and contentious planning matters, in particular in the areas of energy and transport infrastructure as well as commercial and residential properties. Clients regularly instruct the group in CDOs and other strategic planning mechanisms. Neil Bromwich is a dedicated planning specialist, and he leads the practice with London-based John Baird. Associate director Richard Harding is appreciated for his 'methodical and logical approach.'

Practice head(s):

Neil Bromwich; John Baird

Other key lawyers:

Richard Harding 


‘The team provide a professional yet friendly and approachable service. Work is always completed to an extremely high standard in a timely manner. I believe the work carried out is often to a higher standard compared with other firms. Work is always well distributed within the team and there is always someone able to pick up with appropriate background if other members of the team are unavailable.’

‘The team always responds well in a focused manner and provides clients with a range of solutions to problems. Its planning team is well resourced and well informed. OC have regularly undertaken virtual seminars on key topics during lockdown.’

‘I deal with Richard Harding primarily for S106 agreements and find the service he provides is first class, will make himself available to suit client needs & has a very methodical and logical approach with an understanding of the developers position.’

‘Osborne Clarke’s real estate planning practice are a very capable team who provide a excellent, professional service. Advice is provided quickly and always with a commercial perspective. They have good knowledge of emerging policies and legal issues. We have received very good advice for example on the complexities around CIL regulations. They take a flexible approach and will work with you to understand what your requirements and budget are to ensure you get appropriate advice.’

‘Neil Bromwich has a huge breadth and depth of knowledge on planning law, and a lot of experience working with major house builders. He is able to articulate complex advice in a way that is easily understandable, and he is very approachable and interested in working with you to solve problems.’

‘The team is broad in expertise and has a brilliant capacity to offer straightforward and clear advice in complex situations. They are very human in their approach and are not shy of giving meaningful opinion. They are a very good extension of our in house team. ’

‘Wealth of experiencing in the house building sector. Members of the team are proactive and attentive to clients. They have an extremely good working relationship with Local Planning Authority’s Legal Teams, which is imperative with some of the major residential schemes.’

‘The OC team have a breadth of knowledge that enables them to assist with our development work to enhance the delivery of homes on our developments.’

Key clients

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes)

Energy Networks Association

Marks and Spencer Plc

Western Power Distribution

Countryside Properties

St Modwen Developments Limited



Swindon Borough Council

Peak Gen Power

University of Bristol

Enovert Management Limited

Cornerstone Communications

Vistry Homes

Work highlights

  • Providing Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes with strategic (group level) advice alongside our regular acquisition/disposal related instructions.
  • Advising Vistry on the development of a site in East Grinstead with a major green space provision.
  • Advising Countryside Properties as the partner of Chichester District Council in the development of a significant strategic land site for up to 1,300 new homes at Tangmere, near Chichester.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's team is noted for having 'extensive knowledge of planning law', for which it is instructed by clients from the house builder and public sector. It is experienced in compulsory purchase and compensation (CPO) and community infrastructure levy issues; practice head David Richardson is well versed in this work. He often acts on residential and mixed use developments. Legal director Duncan Moors is a key contact for local authority clients and Lara Moore, also a legal director, specialises in marine planning.

Practice head(s):

David Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Lara Moore; Duncan Moors


‘Ashfords are extremely professional, friendly and prompt in the delivery of their advice. I would have no hesitation in engaging them in the future.’

‘David Richardson is very helpful and always ready and willing to discuss over the telephone. The level of expertise is excellent and have always found him both approachable and helpful in the delivery of service that we would expect from a firm of this stature.’

‘Collectively, the Ashfords LLP Planning Team has an extensive knowledge of planning law which is unrivalled in the region. As a team they are able to assist and advise where necessary in a timely and considerable manner, including on occasions that require cross-departmental input. A major difference that I have found between Ashfords and other firms, is the openness of Practice. By having regular meetings with the Planning Team we are able to openly discuss ongoing projects in a more informal manner, which from experience, enables the Team to take the initiative to drive projects forward to ensure deadlines are met.’

Key clients

Vistry Homes

Cogen Limited

Devon County Council

Barratt David Wilson

London Borough of Wandsworth


Dorset Council

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

London Borough of Brent

Torridge District Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Cornwall Council on the use of powers of compulsory purchase to acquire land and rights required to deliver its Saints Trails project, a 30km network of multi-user trails.
  • Advising Wandsworth Borough Council in respect of the impacts of Crossrail 2, planning obligations, highways and viability concerning two large-scale co-living developments in Earlsfield and Battersea.
  • Advising the Department for Infrastructure on the marine planning and consenting aspects of its new ferry terminal in the port of Liverpool.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clients appreciate Clarke Willmott LLP for its 'fantastic eye for detail' in planning matters. The team is regularly instructed by national and regional house builders, social housing providers, commercial developers and landowners, in particular in mixed use development schemes. Practice head Neil Baker has longstanding experience in planning applications. Chris Charlton acts as point of contact for local authorities and Caroline Waller provides 'invaluable advice on how to deal with and avoid problems.'

Practice head(s):

Neil Baker

Other key lawyers:

Chris Charlton; Caroline Waller; Joann Bainton


‘They do not sit on the fence but will provide clear advice and follow it through. I have always found them excellent and easy to work with. They have a ‘can sort’ attitude and constructive approach to resolving issues.’

‘Caroline Waller continues to be the ‘go to’ planning lawyer for many working in the development industry within the south west. Caroline’s knowledge, experience and approach enables her to quickly pin-point the key issues and provide invaluable advice on how to deal with and avoid problems.

‘Joann Bainton is my go to for planning matters which is largely transactional support for corporate real estate and real estate deals. She offers a great blend of technical expertise, cost effective pragmatic advice. The service is responsive and she is approachable at all times to all members of my team , from the most junior to partner level. ’

‘Neil Baker – Particularly good in chasing things up and seeking to agree things in set time frames. Good relations with opposite numbers within Councils that assists with decision making and timely agreements. Good knowledge of whole development process as such, is always thinking ‘outside the box’ on matters that he may not necessarily be appointed for. Has particular interest in development within Bristol City of which he is a resident, this knowledge is always useful.’

‘I have found all of the planning solicitors at Clark Willmott to be accessible and capable of providing accurate advice at short notice. They have a fantastic eye for detail and are able to foresee potential shortfalls in Local Planning Authority S106 drafting and steer negotiations towards acceptable solutions for us as their client.’

‘Neil Baker and the team have a strong ability to disseminate complex planning issues into practical advice and solutions. Also a strong commercial focus always features in their advice. Clarke Willmott are founders of the Bristol Diversity Charter which is positive.’

‘We have built up a strong working relationship with the firm and key individuals at the firm. They can offer a one stop shop and are well resourced. They are client/ customer focused.’

‘We have great confidence in the individuals, they have substantial expertise and knowledge and also respond to meeting deadlines but also fully brief us on risks and of course provide strong legal advice.’

Key clients

Abri (Radian/Yarlington

Acorn Property Group

Barratt Homes (various regions)

Bovis Homes

CG Fry & Sons Ltd

Crest Nicholson

Guinness Partnership

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes

Persimmon Homes (various regions)

Sutton Harbour Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Welsh Government with the preparation of the national Compulsory Purchase Manual for Wales for use, in particular, by all Welsh local authorities to assist in the compulsory purchase process.
  • Assisted WEPA UK Limited with the negotiation of planning and highway agreements relating to the significant expansion of Bridgend Paper Mill together with related advice on funding and implementation.
  • Providing East Devon New Community Partners with ongoing planning and highways advice in connection with the new settlement near Exeter to deliver 7,500 homes, a new railway station, schools, shops and offices.


TLT advises local planning authorities, developers and consultancies in a wide range of planning matters; its offering includes applications, appeals,  CPO and compensations. Group head Katherine Evans has a wide practice, with special expertise in multi-party planning agreements for large scale residential development.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Evans


‘The team, generally, are excellent. Documentation is dealt with quickly and their knowledge of their subject is top notch.’

‘Katherine Evans is exceptional with planning advice and understands her clients needs as she started in housebuilding before becoming a solicitor. Her advice is always clear and swift. Katherine is always available when you need her.’

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP impresses with regular involvement in infrastructure projects, DCOs, particularly in the energy, waste and transport sectors, regeneration, development and re-development schemes. The team also advises acquiring authorities and claimants on compulsory purchase/compensation, and it handles contentious planning matters; Victoria Redman is an experienced practitioner here. Practice head Jonathan Bower deals with development consent orders and section 106 planning agreements, among others. Senior counsel Kevin Gibbs covers highways and compulsory purchase law. Managing associate Charlotte Coulson assists clients with the delivery of infrastructure and regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bower

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Redman; Richard Guyatt; Kevin Gibbs; Charlotte Coulson


‘I have worked with this company as a client for a number of years. I know I can always pick up the phone and speak to someone. The advice is always excellent and there is an excellent attention to detail. From a diversity perspective, it is refreshing to see a lot of females doing well within the organisation.’

‘Victoria Redman: personable, strong communication, strong leadership of her team, excellent advice, knowledge of planning.’

‘Charlotte Coulson is personable and thorough, and provides excellent attention to detail.’

‘Jonathan Bower – excellent advice, calm, personable.’

‘The team have very strong team working skills, engaging with the project team in a seamless way and quickly making themselves indispensable. They have proved to be a very unifying influence at times when the core project team have been less than cohesive and they are trusted advisers to the project. On a personal level they are just very nice people to work with, approachable and friendly.’

‘The commitment of Richard Guyatt and Kevin Gibbs and the rest of the whole WBD team has consistently been very impressive. Whatever challenges arise, WBD have always been pro-active is setting out what needs to happen to resolve the issue. The depth and breadth of experience of WBD, in respect of the DCO process and rail industry, has been immeasurable asset for the project.’


Key clients

Bristol Airport

Sedgemoor District Council

Three Rivers District Council

Watford Borough Council

Fareham Borough Council

Sedgemoor District, Somerset West and Taunton Council, Somerset County Council and North Somerset Council

London Borough of Sutton

Rentplus UK

North Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, West of England Combined Authority

North Somerset Council

Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership

Ambition Lawrence Weston Community Energy

Copeland Borough Council

Maldon District Council

This is Gravity Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Bristol Airport Limited on its technical developments to implement consent to take the airport capacity to 10 mppa (million passengers per annum).
  • Assisted Sedgemoor District Council the promotion of a compulsory purchase order to deliver an access road to facilitate the redevelopment of the Huntspill Energy Park site.
  • Advised Three Rivers District Council on the South Oxhey regeneration scheme.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP is known for its activity in the local authority, housing and health space but also increased its workload in the private sector. The team advises on redevelopments, regeneration schemes and  local government planning matters, and works closely with the firm's UK offices in national instructions. Team head Kathryn Lawrance is well versed in the full life cycle of planning applications.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Lawrance

Other key lawyers:

Dalee Kaur

Key clients

London Borough of Hounslow

Sedgemoor District Council

Rother District Council

Birmingham City Council

Places for People Homes Limited

The Sovereign Group

Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

NHS Property Services Limited

Network Homes Limited

Walsall Council

Foot Anstey

The team at Foot Anstey generally advises local authorities, and energy and infrastructure clients in planning matters but has special experience acting for housing associations and house builders. It handles applications, agreement negotiations and regeneration schemes. Practice head Tim Taylor is well versed in the commercial aspects of developments. Christian Silk combines planning and environmental experience.

Practice head(s):

Tim Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Christian Silk


‘The practice is versatile crossing various sectors and they can draw on a wealth of knowledge across their offices. Prior to providing advice they ensure they fully understand the issue at hand. Their fees are reasonable and the output has assisted immensely.’

‘Whilst details can be discussed via e-mail, they take the time to meet (at present ‘virtually’) with you and discuss matters in full prior to providing their advice, strategy for moving schemes / matters forward.’

‘I have worked alongside Christian Silk on numerous residential and renewable energy schemes over many years and have always found him approachable, his advice has assisted bringing a number of schemes to fruition.’

Key clients

NextEnergy Solar Holdings III Limited

British Solar Renewables

Berkeley Homes

Vistry Group

Duchy of Cornwall

Beachcroft Developments


The Tregothnan Estate

Environ Design (Sturry) Limited

Ministry of Sound

Work highlights

  • Co-counselling L&G with Simmons & Simmons on the negotiation of a complex Section 106 agreement for the development of the new £350m Sky Studios that it will build in Elstree.
  • Advised the Duchy of Cornwall on a ground-breaking local development order for its scheme at Nansledan, Newquay.
  • Acted for Berkeley homes to provide strategic and consenting advice in connection with their redevelopment of the Horlicks Factory Slough to provide a mixed-use development of 1,300 new homes and commercial floor space.

Michelmores LLP

Under the 'excellent leadership' of Mark Howard, the team at Michelmores LLP handles CPOs and DCOs, s106 work and infrastructure agreements as well as appeals and judicial reviews. Beyond matters in the energy, renewables and public sectors, the group also has niche know-how in coastal development and marine planning. Senior associate Sarah Phillips is well versed in residential developments and compulsory purchase.

Practice head(s):

Mark Howard

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Phillips 


‘Well organised. Well resourced. Well placed in the market as a large provincial firm.’

‘Mark Howard – excellent leadership, client focussed.’

‘Sarah Phillips has a good range of experience and is great to work with.’ 

‘Very knowledgeable around the planning specialisms. They are supporting me on a CPO matter and their advice and knowledge in this and in the supporting Landlord & Tenant matters has been first class. They have worked very effectively in a collaborative environment all of which has had to be handled remotely.’

‘Personable, highly capable, very well organised and effective and very nice people to work with. They have managed me and the client side well and have been very effective in the way they work with Counsel and others to deliver an effective end product.’


Key clients

BDW – Barratt Homes

CG Fry and Son Ltd

Cavanna Homes

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Dorset Council

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Met Police)

Mead Realisations Limited

Met Office


Wiltshire Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Cornwall Council, the acquiring authority, in the making of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and Side Roads Order for the proposed new St Austell to A30 Link Road in Cornwall.
  • Acting for the Wiltshire Council in relation to the preparation and negotiation of two S106 Agreements as part of the West Warminster Urban Extension.
  • Advising a private person on merits of appeal to an Enforcement Notice received relating to the erection of a fence on the land at Seymour Drive, Dartmouth.

Stephens Scown LLP

Stephens Scown LLP has an established planning team, which is instructed by developers, operators, planning professionals and referrers. It has niche expertise in mineral planning work and the renewables sector, and is also noted for its activity in CPO and compensation cases. The key contacts are minerals-specialist Christopher Tofts and Duncan Tilney who has know-how in contentious planning matters.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Tofts; Duncan Tilney


‘Strong knowledge of procedural processes and practices and reliable approach to detailed issues means that there are no concerns of cases failing or being delayed for administrative oversight or embarrassment. Practical and considered advice as well as ability to reflect/consider changes in strategy during a case.’

‘Duncan Tilney – ability to consider and identify both what the legislation requires but how it is deployed in practice. Able to adapt and provide level of advice appropriate to the client’s needs or urgency of the situation.’

‘Outstanding knowledge of most areas; practical; great local connections.’

‘Chris Tofts is outstanding on minerals planning, very good on general planning and very good on marine licensing matters.’


Key clients

Kingsley Group

Ixora Group

Acorn Group

Imerys Minerals Limited

Cornish Metals Limited

Padstow Harbour

Royale Parks

Work highlights

  • Advising Imerys Minerals Limited in respect of mineral planning permissions for largest open quarry site in England including successfully defending against a compulsory acquisition claim.
  • Advising Kingsley Developments on all residential development opportunities, advice on planning applications and obligations and conduct of appeals.
  • Advised Ixora Energy on planning and environmental issues relating to twenty anaerobic digestion plant sites throughout the South West.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP 'works smoothly as a team, facilitating seamless delivery'  for house builders, residential development companies, national organisations and public sector clients. It is well versed in the health and infrastructure space. The group is jointly led by legal directors Anne Harrison and Karen Howe, who combine planning and environment know-how, and London-based Christopher Stanwell.

Practice head(s):

Anne Harrison; Karen Howe; Christopher Stanwell


‘I have worked with Anne Harrison who provides first rate planning advice to clients. She is always completely up-to-date with developments – a real leader in the sector. ’

‘The Team are good in terms of identifying clients specific requirements, and thereafter providing a professional service.’

‘Extremely competent professional skills, but equally the ability to problem solve and be rigorously task focused until a job is complete.’

‘They are a great friendly team reposed of a lot of expertise and good commercial sense.’

‘Anne Harrison is excellent. Very sound judgement combined with excellent legal insight.’

‘Expert knowledge on a wide range of subjects related to highway related matters.’

‘Karen Howe has significant in-depth knowledge on the legal aspects of highways matters and is my go-to expert.’

‘I have found the Team well-integrated, each dealing quickly and efficiently with their own area of expertise and always open to bringing in colleagues to support the services offered to the client: their instruction for us has been multi-faceted around site redevelopment for social housing, involving stopping up, planning, contract and title issues and I have found that they works smoothly as a team, facilitating seamless delivery.’

‘Very good, sharp and relevant knowledge about their sphere of expertise.’

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey plc

Vistry Homes

Crest Nicholson



Deeley Freed Estates

Abacus Projects Ltd

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

IREEF Queensgate Peterborough Prop. Co. SARL

Bristol City Council

Backhouse Housing Limited

Cala Homes

Canynge Bicknell Limited

Somerset County Council

Waverley Borough Council

North Bristol NHS Trust

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Scenic Developments Limited

Surrey County Council

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Countryside Properties

Wates Homes


Work highlights

  • Continuing to act for Crest Nicholson plc in relation to the award-winning 1,695 + residential units development at Tadpole Garden Village Swindon, including additional planning agreements as a result of development changes.
  • Providing planning advice to Taylor Wimpey plc, including on a particularly complex s.106 Agreement as part of the 5000 unit Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood in South Gloucestershire.
  • Acted for Abacus Projects Limited throughout the planning process for a 373 residential unit development in Torbay where landscape and housing land supply were particular issues.

Davitt Jones Bould

Davitt Jones Bould's team includes Madeleine Davitt and Teresa Kamppari Baker. It acts for public and private sector clients in a variety of development and regeneration matters. Robin de Wreede left for Ashfords LLP in March 2021.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP's core focus is on the agriculture and development sectors, where it advises regional house builders, developers, registered providers and promoters. The team has experience in consents, planning strategies, Community Infrastructure Levy and due diligence. Alex Madden is also well versed in the retail and leisure, waste planning and renewables sectors. He jointly leads the practice with Rosalyn Trotman, who combines planning and construction law expertise.

Practice head(s):

Alex Madden; Rosalyn Trotman

Other key lawyers:

Fred Quartermain


‘I find the Thrings team overall as very approachable and professional. I have been impressed by the level of engagement on each project, which is refreshing in comparison to its competitors. The level of service is first class.’

‘Fred Quartermain is our day to day contact at Thrings. The service he has provided to us has been brilliant. I rarely speak to Fred’s team leader as he is always on point. He has become our go to for planning agreements.’


Key clients

Santander PlC

D S Smith PlC

Curo Enterprises Limited

Newland Homes Limited

Cotswold Homes Limited

Burrington Estates Limited

Allied Irish Bank (GB)

National Westminster Bank PLC

Baylis Estates Limited

Halsall Construction Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Withers Fruit Farm in a judicial review to enable the development of 11 blocks of polytunnels on 37 hectares of farmland.
  • Advising Newland Homes on CIL, vacant building credit, and infrastructure agreements for the development of a brownfield site for 77 new homes including retention of listed building in North Somerset.
  • Representing Noel Properties in the development agreement and s106 agreement containing £10m+ contributions for a circa 800-home urban extension scheme.