Planning in South West
The 'really good and skilful team’ at Burges Salmon LLP is 'highly respected nationwide as a key player in the area'. The firm acts in the public and private sectors, specialising in infrastructure projects, energy sector planning work and contentious compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). Gary Soloman leads the practice and has expertise in regeneration projects, large-scale developments and highway proposals. Also notable are Patrick Robinson, who is particularly focused on nuclear, renewables, CPO and minerals work; Elizabeth (Liz) Dunn, who is known for nationally significant infrastructure projects; and senior associate Laura Fuller, who has experience in large-scale developments and CPOs.
‘This is a highly professional but very friendly law firm’
‘Liz Dunn and Laura Fuller give helpful, clear and concise guidance and are always very prompt in dealing with any query’
‘They will work creatively and collaboratively to find a solution to whatever situation you’re in’
‘Good personal skills are combined with in-depth knowledge and sensitive appreciation of what cases are all about and what is going to make a difference’
‘The team was excellent, with real grit and perseverance, while keeping perspective and sensitivity around risk and client needs’
‘Jen Ashwell is a superb team leader, particularly on complex projects. Keeps things moving, and has great insights into bottle necks and blocks in cases and where to focus resources’
‘Open and straight in dealings. Lovely to work with’
‘Work well within a multi-disciplinary team, adapting the form and level of advice and support to complement the specific project requirements and wider team’
‘Stephen Humphreys is highly efficient, ensuring that we fully understand all aspects of the planning issues involved. He is logical, professional and clear-thinking, and has a great depth of knowledge. Very happy to recommend him.’
Isle of Anglesey County Council
Canal & River Trust
Department for Transport
YTL Property Holdings
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
DS Smith Paper Ltd
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Stevenage Borough Council
Torbay Borough Council
- Advising Isle of Anglesey County Council on all aspects of its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa and associated developments as well as other major applications in the county.
- Advising the Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust on a range of issues, including strategic planning and CPOs, in connection with a high-profile scheme for installing fish passes along the River Severn.
- Advising Highways England on the consenting for a large number of schemes under its programme of works to improve motorways and trunk roads across the country.
Osborne Clarke provides a 'strong understanding of the law and a sensible approach to how it should be applied'. The broad practice has particular expertise in the areas of conventional and renewable energy, transport infrastructure, commercial property and large-scale residential planning, with specialities in CPOs and strategic planning mechanisms. Neil Bromwich focuses on the statutory powers of compulsory purchase. He co-leads the team with John Baird, who represents landowners, developers, retailers and tenants in a range of matters.
‘They are fully connected and able to respond to queries in a timely manner’
‘They are adept at setting realistic but achievable expectations and achieving them’
‘They tailor their approach to suit the individuals that they are supporting’
‘They do not limit themselves to normal hours and have often rearranged their diaries to meet at very short notice’
‘I am always amazed at how well prepared they are when dealing with requests at short notice and they remain cognizant of their client’s aims and objectives’
‘They are extremely practical and focused on actually securing outcomes’
‘They are a very positive and upbeat team to work with’
‘Neil Bromwich is very sharp, practical and realistic’
Enovert Management Limited
BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes)
Energy Networks Association
Marks and Spencer Plc
Western Power Distribution
St Modwen Developments Limited
Swindon Borough Council
Peak Gen Power
University of Bristol
Swindon Borough Council
- Advising Western Power Distribution PLC on the development and protection of its electricity grid stretching from Cornwall up to Nottinghamshire, including key matters relating to HS2 (rail) and Hinkley Point (nuclear).
- Advising Gazeley on the development consent order and compulsory acquisition of land for the £700 million Rail Central development.
- Advising Union Jack Oil PLC on a successful planning appeal to grant access to a significant onshore oil and gas prospect site at Wressle.
Ashfords LLP provides expertise in the housebuilding sector, the community infrastructure levy and public sector planning. The firm has a particular specialism in coastal development, ports and harbours work. In addition, the practice has experience in CPOs and contentious planning matters. David Richardson leads the team and his focus includes residential and mixed-use developments. Also notable are legal directors Lara Moore, who is a specialist marine planning, licensing and regulatory lawyer, and Duncan Moors, who acts predominantly for local authority clients. Graham Cridland left the firm in 2019 for planning consultancy Origin3.
‘The team are proactive, fully aware of each other’s projects and are always willing to assist when called upon’
‘The individuals at Ashfords are committed to delivering a fantastic service within the agreed time periods’
Devon County Council
Barratt David Wilson
London Borough of Wandsworth
East Suffolk Council
Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)
London Borough of Brent
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Curo Enterprises Limited
Brick by Brick Croydon
- Advising East Suffolk Council on the planning strategy for bringing forward a major mixed-use allocation including a garden neighbourhood.
- Advised the joint venture partnership Wichelstowe LLP on the section 106 planning agreement for its urban extension at West Wichelstowe comprising 2,750 dwellings out of the total 4,500 dwellings in the new settlement.
- Advising the Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man government) in relation to a new ferry terminal in the port of Liverpool.
Clarke Willmott LLP specialises in development projects for housebuilders, commercial developers, registered social housing providers, lending institutions and local authorities. Neil Baker leads the team and his expertise includes planning applications for housing sites, urban regeneration projects and infrastructure projects. Also notable is Joann Bainton, who joined from Sidley Austin LLP in 2019 and brings experience in contentious planning and environmental matters.
Acorn Property Group
Countryside Properties (UK) Limited
Isle of White Council
London & Quadrant Housing Trust
New Forest District Council
Persimmon Homes Southern
Sheet Anchor Evolve Ltd
Yarlington/Radian Housing Group
- Advised Countryside Properties (UK) Limited on planning for a regeneration scheme of a former docks site involving the construction of 950 residential dwellings, offices and shops.
- Advised Radian Group on planning and highways issues associated with the redevelopment of a former mobile home site in Windsor.
- Advised Sheet Anchor on the residential development of a former library site including the drafting of complex planning obligations.
Stephens Scown LLP
Acting for developers, operators, planning professionals and referrers, Stephens Scown LLP has particular experience in residential developments and agricultural planning matters, as well as renewables sector matters. The firm also provides expertise in CPOs and compensation. The team is co-led by planning specialist Christopher Tofts and Duncan Tilney, who advises on development schemes, enforcements, prosecutions and High Court challenges.
Royale Parks Limited
Hospitality Consultants Global Limited
Raymond Brown Quarry Products Ltd
- Advising Imerys Minerals in respect of mineral planning permissions for the largest open quarry site in England.
- Acting for Royale Parks Limited on multiple Planning Court challenges (defendant and claimant) to certificates of lawfulness granted or refused on appeal.
- Advice to Ixora Energy on planning and environmental issues relating to 20 anaerobic digestion plant sites throughout the South West.
TLT has expertise in planning advice relating to appeals, as well as a strong track record in judicial review and High Court proceedings. The firm also advises on CPO and compensation matters. Practice head Katherine Evans is experienced in a range of planning, highways and compulsory purchase work, specialising in property-related environmental issues.
‘Katherine Evans is very tenacious and due to her background understands exactly what you want’
Bristol Temple Quarter
Crematoria Management Limited
Persimmon and Elan Homes
PM Asset Management
West Herts College
Edward Ware Homes Limited
- Providing strategic planning and compulsory purchase advice to the Bristol Temple Quarter urban regeneration project.
- Advising Persimmon Homes and Elan Homes on a joint planning application for over 800 homes with significant related infrastructure, including highways and schools, on the outskirts of Barnstaple.
- Advised WHSmith plc on the CPO of the client’s substantial shop in a shopping centre in Croydon designated for redevelopment.
Specialising in infrastructure projects, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is active in regeneration and redevelopment schemes, as well as transport planning and highways matters. The firm also provides expertise in CPOs, judicial reviews and planning litigation. Jonathan Bower leads the practice and has experience in infrastructure planning in the energy, regeneration and local government areas. Notable in the team are Richard Guyatt, whose strengths include judicial reviews, CPOs and town planning; Victoria Redman, who acts in contentious and non-contentious planning matters; and senior counsel Kevin Gibbs, who is a dual qualified chartered town planner and solicitor, and is particularly active in regeneration and infrastructure schemes.
‘Very satisfied with the quality and overall performance of their service’
‘WBD have been very responsive in drawing on capability and capacity within the firm to ensure the project continues to progress through all the major processes’
‘Richard Guyatt and Kevin Gibbs are very impressive’
‘The team are unique in that they are very client focused and in a way which is solutions and delivery orientated’
‘The planning team is just fantastic’
‘Victoria Redman is completely on top of the technical issues and manages to make all on the project team feel confident that the advice is correct and considered’
North Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, West of England Combined Authority
Sedgemoor District Council
Three Rivers District Council
Watford Borough Council
Fareham Borough Council
Sedgemoor District, Somerset West and Taunton Councils
London Borough of Sutton
North Wales Police
- Advising North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority on promoting the development consent order and dealing with consenting strategy for phase 1 of the MetroWest project.
- Advising Bristol Airport Limited on the airport’s technical developments to implement consent to take the airport capacity to 10 mppa (million passengers per annum).
- Acting for Homes England in respect of its flagship housing project in Plymouth at Coypool.
Experienced in advising on health sector, local authority and housing matters, Bevan Brittan LLP provides a specialist development practice with an emphasis on acting for national landowners. Kathryn Lawrance leads the team and has expertise in local government planning, regeneration and development projects. Also notable is Dalee Kaur, who joined the in 2019 from BDB Pitmans and bring expertise in planning law, retail, housing, leisure and industrial development.
Other key lawyers:
‘Always quick to respond, partners always available, communication good,transparent pricing, value for money.’
‘Kathryn Lawrence is always available, approachable and provides practical solutions.’
Places for People Homes Limited
Sovereign Housing Group
Yarlington Housing Group
London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Thanet
Barts Health NHS Trust
Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust
NHS Property Services Limited
London Borough of Enfield
Rother District Council
London Borough of Bromley
- Acted for Cotswold District Council in the negotiation of the section 106 agreement associated with the planning application for the delivery of an urban extension project in Cirencester, providing up to 2,350 homes.
- Acted for Yarlington Housing Group in negotiating the section 106 agreement for land at Kings Weston Avenue, Bristol.
- Advising Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust on planning matters in relation to the disposal of a substantial tranche of the St Peter’s Hospital site to deliver over 350 dwellings, keyworker housing and affordable housing.
Advising public and private sector clients, Davitt Jones Bould acts in a range of development and regeneration matters. Madeleine Davitt leads the practice and her team includes Robin de Wreede, who specialises in planning and commercial property issues. Also notable is consultant Teresa Kamppari Baker, who joined from an in-house position at John Lewis and brings experience in commercial, property, construction and planning law.
Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES)
North Somerset Council
The Royal Parks
Woking Borough Council
Slough Borough Council
Minerva Smart Cities
Care Quality Commission
The City and County of Swansea Council
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Sedgemoor District Council
- Advising on all of the planning aspects relating to the hosting of events at The Royal Parks including the London Marathon and BBC Proms in the Park.
- Advising Woking Borough Council on a large regeneration project that includes over 1,000 new homes and significant commercial infrastructure.
- Advised City and County of Swansea Council on the Parc Felindre business park development and the Hafod Copperworks regeneration scheme.
Michelmores LLP is particularly recognised for its expertise in CPOs and development consent orders, as well as infrastructure and energy matters. The firm advises on due diligence for corporate transactions and is also active in contentious matters, including appeals and judicial reviews. The planning practice also has niche expertise in coastal development and marine matters. Mark Howard leads the team and specialises in planning and regeneration projects.
BDW – Barratt Homes
Devon County Council
Dorset Councils Partnership
Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Met Police)
- Acting for Cornwall Council, the acquiring authority, in the making of a CPO and side roads order for the proposed new 3.9 mile St Austell to A30 link road in Cornwall.
- Acting for Wiltshire Council in relation to the preparation and negotiation of two section 106 agreements as part of the West Warminster Urban Extension.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
Specialising in residential development, DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for public sector clients, including local government, university and NHS bodies. The firm also has experience in infrastructure work. The team is co-led by Christopher Stanwell, who has a particular focus on mixed-use regeneration, housing, retail and infrastructure matters; legal director Anne Harrison, who advises on planning and environmental issues; and legal director Karen Howe, who has expertise in infrastructure agreements.
‘Thorough knowledge of planning legislation which is constantly kept up to date and available at short notice when required.’
‘Anne Harrison is exceptional in her ability to give relevant and realistic advice on most planning issues when dealing with authorities.’
‘Karen Howe – her expertise in the Common land Act 2006 was most valuable.’
‘I have worked with Anne Harrison from this team. She is exceptionally good, well prepared and gives first rate practical advice.’
‘Resilience in the team – a number of competent and experienced lawyers able to deal with the instructions. Seamless service – if one lawyer is unavailable to deal with an urgent matter, another steps in. Good attention to detail.’
‘Aimee Glover – outstanding client care and can do attitude, complete honesty and directness when required.’
Taylor Wimpey plc
Linden Homes/Galliford Try (now Vistry Homes)
Watkin Jones & Son Limited
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Deeley Freed Estates
Abacus Projects Ltd
Southampton University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset County Council
- Negotiated the highways agreement for the King’s School in connection with the relocation of the school to a new £60m purpose-built campus on a new 80-acre site outside Prestbury.
- Advising Clifton and Durdham Downs Commons Committee on the submission of an application to the Secretary of State for permission to carry out works on Durdham Down to provide additional facilities for the public.
- Acted for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust to negotiate and complete a section 106 agreement required to support its planning appeal against the refusal by Bristol City Council to grant outline planning permission for the demolition of existing structures and the erection of a new hospital transport hub.
Foot Anstey has particular expertise in the residential development sector, acting for housing associations, national house builders and local authorities. The firm also has regeneration and infrastructure experience, notably in the energy area. Practice head Tim Taylor specialises in the commercial application of planning law to the development process. Legal director Christian Silk joined in 2019 from Simmons & Simmons and brings experience in development consent orders.
Other key lawyers:
Swan Housing Association
Devon County Council
Castle Property Development Limited
Duchy of Cornwall
Beechcroft Land Limited
Ministry of Sound
PAFC Limited HHP Nominee Ltd
Mad George Ltd
H20 Renewable Energy Solutions (Part of Earthworm Group)
- Advising The Stables (Milton Keynes), The Music Room (Lewisham) and The George Tavern (Whitechapel) in relation to threats to their existing businesses from a new residential development nearby.
- Advised Exeter College on the section 106 agreement in relation to the redevelopment of the Exeter College campus.
- Acting for Berkeley Homes in preparing and negotiating a section 106 agreement for the 1,300 unit residential development of the Horlicks Factory.
The ‘experienced and professional’ Thrings LLP specialises in rural and urban planning, with a particular focus on agriculture and development. The firm also provides experience in planning litigation. Head of planning and environmental Alex Madden advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters, including residential development, retail, waste planning and renewables. He works alongside Rosalyn Trotman, who is head of the firm's development of land team.
Other key lawyers:
‘They know what to do without being told, which is not the case with many firms’
‘Alex Madden is always alert to do the best for his clients and will try to think out of the box. He always manages to be up-to-date and where possible ahead of the curve’
‘Ros Trotman is able to absorb the detail but also does not lose sight of the wider picture’
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
- Successfully defended a judicial review for Withers Fruit Farm, one of the UK’s largest producers of soft fruits, to enable the development of 11 blocks of polytunnels on 37 hectares of farmland.
- Advising Newland Homes, a regional housebuilder, on the community infrastructure levy, vacant building credit and infrastructure agreements for the development of a brownfield site for 77 new homes including the retention of listed buildings in North Somerset.
- Advising Noel Properties on the development agreement and section 106 agreement for a circa 800-home urban extension scheme.