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Planning in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Gary Soloman


‘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.’

Key clients

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Environment Agency

Canal & River Trust

National Trust

Department for Transport

Highways England

YTL Property Holdings

Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

DS Smith Paper Ltd

Stratford-on-Avon District Council


Stevenage Borough Council

Torbay Borough Council

Work highlights

  • 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 LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Neil Bromwich; John Baird


‘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’

Key clients

Enovert Management Limited

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

Swindon Borough Council

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

David Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Lara Moore; Duncan Moors


‘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’

Key clients

Bovis Homes

Cogen Limited

Devon County Council


Barratt David Wilson

London Borough of Wandsworth

East Suffolk Council

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

London Borough of Brent

Persimmon Homes

Livewest Homes

Dorset Council

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Summerfield Developments

Curo Enterprises Limited

Brick by Brick Croydon

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Neil Baker

Key clients

Acorn Property Group

Aster Group

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

GreenSquare Group

Isle of White Council

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

New Forest District Council

Persimmon Homes Southern

Sheet Anchor Evolve Ltd

Yarlington/Radian Housing Group

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Tofts; Duncan Tilney

Key clients

Royale Parks Limited

Hospitality Consultants Global Limited

Raymond Brown Quarry Products Ltd

Kingsley Developments

Imerys Minerals

Strongbow Exploration

Ixora Energy

Pendennis Shipyard


Hastoe Housing

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Evans


‘Katherine Evans is very tenacious and due to her background understands exactly what you want’

Key clients

WH Smith

Bristol Temple Quarter

Crematoria Management Limited

Persimmon and Elan Homes

PM Asset Management

West Herts College


Edward Ware Homes  Limited

Work highlights

  • 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.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bower


‘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’

Key clients

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

Bristol Airport

Homes England

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

Rentplus UK

Highways England

Work highlights

  • 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.

Bevan Brittan LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Lawrance

Other key lawyers:

Dalee Kaur


Always quick to respond, partners always available, communication good,transparent pricing, value for money.’

Kathryn Lawrence is always available, approachable and provides practical solutions.’


Key clients

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

Work highlights

  • 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.

Davitt Jones Bould

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.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Davitt

Key clients

Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES)

North Somerset Council

The Royal Parks

Woking Borough Council

Wiltshire Council

Slough Borough Council

Minerva Smart Cities

Highways England

Care Quality Commission

The City and County of Swansea Council

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)

Sedgemoor District Council

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Mark Howard

Key clients

BDW – Barratt Homes

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Dorset Councils Partnership

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


Wiltshire Council

Met Office

Cavanna Homes

Citi Trust

Work highlights

  • 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.’


Key clients

Taylor Wimpey plc

Linden Homes/Galliford Try (now Vistry Homes)

Crest Nicholson


Watkin Jones & Son Limited

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Mail

Deeley Freed Estates

Abacus Projects Ltd

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Autograph Homes

Somerset County Council

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Tim Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Christian Silk

Key clients

Swan Housing Association

Devon County Council

Berkeley Homes

Cornwall Council

Castle Property Development Limited

Duchy of Cornwall

Beechcroft Land Limited

Persimmon Homes

Ministry of Sound

PAFC Limited HHP Nominee Ltd


Precis Holdings

Mad George Ltd

H20 Renewable Energy Solutions (Part of Earthworm Group)

Work highlights

  • 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.

Thrings LLP

The ‘experienced and professionalThrings 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.

Practice head(s):

Alex Madden

Other key lawyers:

Rosalyn Trotman


‘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’

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 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.