Next Generation Partners

Planning in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Core to Burges Salmon LLP‘s varied offering is its work on the planning and consenting for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), including carbon capture and storage plants, improvements to a number of motorways, and extensions to offshore windfarms. The team is additionally well regarded for its expertise in nuclear energy planning, and its ability to handle compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). The Bristol-based team is headed up by Gary Soloman, who counts the compensation aspects of regeneration projects among his areas of expertise. Elizabeth Dunn and Julian Boswall are noted for their NSIP expertise. Boswall, in particular, focuses on energy and transport projects, while Alex Minhinick specialises in compulsory purchase claims. John Arthur, Jen Ashwell and Laura Fuller are further key names to note.  Patrick Robinson brings his longstanding planning experience to bear in a full-time consultancy role.

Practice head(s):

Gary Soloman

Other key lawyers:

Julian Boswall; Elizabeth Dunn; Alex Minhinick; John Arthur; Jen Ashwell; Laura Fuller; Cathryn Tracey; Sarah Sutherland

Key clients

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Environment Agency

Historic England

National Trust

Department for Transport

National Highways (formerly Highways England)

YTL Property Holdings

Stratford-on-Avon District Council


Torbay Council

Progressive Energy Limited

North Somerset Council


Bute Energy



RWE Renewables

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

South Hams District Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Council in relation to the new bypass to the north of Banwell village, Weston-Super-Mare.
  • Continuing to advise on the development of the Filton airfield site, a significant development to the north of Bristol.
  • Advising Equinor on consenting for the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farm extensions.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Renewable energy, energy infrastructure, and residential development are key focus areas for Osborne Clarke LLP‘s planning unit. The team’s offering spans contentious work and strategic advice, working on issues such as biodiversity net gain, overlapping consents, and nutrient neutrality. Practice chair Neil Bromwich has considerable experience of advising on major renewable energy projects. He often works alongside Josh Taylor, who is well versed in Development Consent Orders (DCOs) and infrastructure agreements, while Richard Harding leads the team’s residential development offering. Laura Cooke and Arthur Hopkinson are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Neil Bromwich

Other key lawyers:

Josh Taylor; Richard Harding; Laura Cooke; Arthur Hopkinson

Key clients


Barratt David Wilson Homes

Taylor Wimpey

National Grid Electricity Distribution PLC

Low Carbon

Wessex Water (Entrade)

Bloor Homes Limited

Vodafone Limited

Enso Energy

Countryside Properties

Work highlights

  • Acting as sole planning adviser for Ecotricity regarding one of the UK’s largest proposed solar farms.
  • Advising Taylor Wimpey in connection with the proposed development of c.300 dwellings on a site that straddles the boundaries of two borough councils.
  • Advised Barratt David Wilson Homes in connection with the ‘First Homes Phase 2 Pilot’.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Nationally significant infrastructure projects, compulsory purchase matters, and the representation of affected landowners stand out as areas of focus for the team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. Practice head Jonathan Bower advises on issues including highway agreements and DCOs, while Richard Guyatt‘s CPO expertise has recently been showcased in his advice to North Somerset Council regarding the acquisition of a Grade II listed pier. Victoria Redman regularly advises on consenting strategies. Emma Harling-Phillips – a specialist in large-scale mixed use schemes – joined the team from Pinsent Masons LLP in August 2022. Charlotte Coulson is a further key contact.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bower

Other key lawyers:

Richard Guyatt; Victoria Redman; Emma Harling-Phillips; Kevin Gibbs; Lorrae Hendry; Sarah Holmes; Charlotte Coulson

Key clients

Bristol Airport Limited

Sedgemoor District

Somerset West and Taunton Council

Somerset County Council

North Somerset Council

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

This is Gravity Limited

Yennadon Quarry Limited

Kirklees Council

National Highways

National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc

Historic England


Work highlights

  • Advising Bristol Airport in their appeal against refusal of planning consent to expand from 10 million passengers per annum (mppa) to 12 mppa.
  • Acting for five district councils jointly in relation to the implementation of the Hinkley Point C (“HPC”) development consent order.
  • Advised North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority on a DCO application for  the reopening of the railway between Bristol and Portishead.

Ashfords LLP

With expertise spanning CPOs, DCOs, energy matters, and s106 agreements for both the public and the housebuilder sector, Ashfords LLP‘s ‘deep experience’ is brought to bear across a broad range of advisory and contentious planning mandates. Practice chair David Richardson has a strong focus on the public sector, regularly working with various local authorities and district councils, including on the establishment of phosphates credits trading schemes. New energy specialist Stephen Humphreys steers the firm’s energy work, advising on NSIP and DNS developments.

Practice head(s):

David Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Humphreys; Duncan Moors


‘David Richardson is a pragmatic, clear, efficient. He is sensitive to client needs and their capacity to absorb technical information. David is clear with advice to other professionals and has a positive approach to obtaining the best outcomes.’

‘The team has strength in depth and is able to give rounded advice as it works for public and private sector clients. Their advice is invariably pragmatic as well as being sound. We have a strong working relationship with them.’

‘Both David Richardson and Duncan Moors are approachable and always willing to find a solution, irrespective of the nature of the issue. We feel like a valued client and not just one making up the numbers.’

‘Ashfords is a leading planning law team, and it would be difficult to find any better in the local area.’

‘Well-led team. David Richardson is the stand-out partner.’

‘Very knowledgeable and wide and deep experience of planning issues, particularly arising in the green energy sector, highways and related infrastructure.’

‘Stephen Humphreys is extremely good. Very knowledgeable and thorough with sound judgement.’

Key clients

Vistry Homes

Biffa Waste Services

Devon County Council

Barratt David Wilson

London Borough of Wandsworth

Land Value Alliances

Dorset Council

Countryside Properties

London Borough of Brent

Cornwall Council

Work highlights

  • Advising South Somerset District Council on the establishment of a phosphate credit trading market by En Trade to ensure nutrient neutrality for development proposals.
  • Advising Waddeton Park in relation to an appeal against a refusal by the local planning authority to grant permission for Waddeton’s Topsham residential scheme.
  • Advising Brynrhyd Solar Farm Limited on the development of a proposed 35MW solar farm in Wales.

Clarke Willmott LLP

The ‘exceptionally good planning team‘ at Clarke Willmott LLP is noted for its capabilities advising housebuilders on large residential-led, mixed-use development schemes.  Planning appeals, enforcement matters, and judicial reviews are additional areas of expertise.  ‘Excellent strategist’ Neil Baker chairs the team from Bristol, and frequently gives legal opinions on planning issues. His colleague Chris Charlton is an experienced planning advocate. Taunton-based Caroline Waller is described by clients as ‘the go-to planning solicitor for many in the South West development industry'. Jade Lyus is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Neil Baker

Other key lawyers:

Chris Charlton; Caroline Waller; Jade Lyus; Laura Urch


‘The Taunton planning team are a joy to work with and can be relied upon to provide a fast, quality service for whatever is needed.’

‘Caroline Waller is the go-to planning solicitor for many in the South West development industry.’

‘This practice has an exceptionally good planning team with a diverse range and depth of experience. They are, as a team, very accessible and respond in good time to requests for assistance, fee estimates and follow-up.’

‘Easy access to partners and associates to discuss issues prior to instruction. Exemplary depth of knowledge and up-to-date case law. Always responsive and able to give early heads up on difficult issues.’

‘Neil Baker has huge experience and knowledge. Excellent advice and strategy. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Neil, in particular, has an unparalleled knowledge of planning law and has helped steer us through difficult planning matters and away from potential issues. His advice has always been grounded in sound commercial logic.’

‘Neil Baker is an exceptional planning solicitor whose knowledge of planning law is second to none.’

Key clients

Abri (Radian/Yarlington)

Acorn Property Group

Baker Estates

Barratt Homes (various regions)

Cavanna Homes

CG Fry & Sons Ltd

Guinness Partnership

Hannick Homes

Homes England

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes

Persimmon Homes (various regions)

Sutton Harbour Holding Limited


Vistry Homes

Wessex Water Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Persimmon Homes on two significant planning appeals for residential developments in North Somerset leading to the grant of planning permission.
  • Acting for Wessex Water Services Limited on a compulsory purchase matter in Bath.
  • Advising the Cranbrook development consortium on planning and infrastructure agreements relating to the Cranbrook new settlement in East Devon.


TLT advises on a raft of issues, including compulsory purchases, breaches of planning control, and various infrastructure agreements. The team serves a varied client base, and has particular experience of advising local authorities. Katherine Evans, who leads the Bristol-based team, has particular expertise in multi-party planning agreements for large scale residential development. Kate James specialises in compulsory purchase matters.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Evans

Other key lawyers:

Kate James

Key clients

West Herts College Barnfield College Playing fields

Persimmon Homes Limited & Elan Homes

Crematoria Management Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised WHSmith on numerous matters across the UK including planning refusal for advertising vinyls in Glasgow and the impact of HS2.

Bevan Brittan LLP

A key destination for public bodies such as local authorities, housing associations and the likes of NHS Property Services Limited, Bevan Brittan LLP‘s planning offering encompasses city centre regeneration projects, DCOs for highway schemes, and planning issues arising from securitisation and housing funding projects. Practice head Kathryn Lawrance has notable expertise in major London-based development projects. Dalee Kaur acts for both public and private sector clients on issues such as planning appeals and compulsory purchases.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Lawrance

Other key lawyers:

Dalee Kaur


‘The team is excellent in providing advice on a range of topics and at short notice. This has been really helpful on a project where timescales have been difficult. All expertise seems to be in-house.

‘The team has been excellent in helping progress a difficult project where the client has limited experience – providing greater detail where and when required.’


Key clients

London Borough of Hillingdon

Rother District Council

Places for People Homes Limited

Network Homes Limited

Peabody Group

London Borough of Kingston

Guildford Borough Council

Princess Alexandra NHS Hospital Trust

NHS Property Services Limited

Sedgemoor District Council

Portsmouth City Council

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Sovereign Housing Group

East Devon Council

Work highlights

DAC Beachcroft LLP

With specialisations in major urban extension schemes, residential development and planning work for healthcare providers, DAC Beachcroft LLP provides planning advice to housebuilders, NHS Trusts, and local authorities. Practice co-head Anne Harrison is well versed in s106 agreements, including for garden villages. Fellow co-head Karen Howe has notable experience advising on planning issues concerning rights of way and town and village greens.

Practice head(s):

Anne Harrison; Karen Howe

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey plc

Vistry Homes

Crest Nicholson plc

Unibail Rodamco Westfield

Persimmon Homes

Bellway Homes

Deely Freed Estates

Abacus Projects

Southampton University Hospitals NHS FT

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS FT

IREEF Queensgate Peterborough Prop Co

Chippenham 2020

Backhouse Housing Ltd

Cala Homes

Canynge Bicknell Ltd

Somerset County Council

Waverley Borough Council

North Bristol NHS Trust

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust


Surrey Council

Ilke Homes

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Countryside Properties

Wates Homes

Barratt David Wilson

Autograph Homes

Longacre Estates

Oakland Country Homes

Bouygues UK

Emily Estates

Dorset Healthcare University NHS FT

South Western Ambulance Service NHS FT

Legal & General

Eden Devco Lyd

Lovell Partnerships

Blackburn with Darwen Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Abacus on a c.373 residential unit planning application, located within the ‘sustenance zone’ for bats connected to the South Hams Special Area of Conservation.
  • Advising Taylor Wimpey in relation to their planning application and s.106 Agreement for a 2500 unit development along with schools, district centre and employment uses.
  • Advising and acting for Canynge Bicknell Ltd in relation to their Business Park development in Street, Somerset.

Foot Anstey

Working with a mix of national developers, new energy market entrants, and utilities companies, Foot Anstey‘s planning practice focuses primarily on the residential development and the energy and infrastructure sectors. Practice head Christian Silk has significant experience of advising on the consenting aspects of renewable energy projects. Kee Evans joined the team from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in September 2022; her varied practice encompasses planning consents, highways and compulsory purchases. Marianne Ironside is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Christian Silk

Other key lawyers:

Kee Evans; Marianne Ironside


‘Christian Silk is an exceptional, experienced, and highly effective lawyer who can be counted on to give sound commercial and practical advice on a range of planning and environmental matters.’

‘Responsive and commercially minded team with strong experience in the developer sector. Clients keep coming back to them, which is the best compliment!’

‘Marianne Ironside is proactive and very committed to getting the job done for clients. A highly regarded associate and lead negotiator on complex section 106 agreements, especially those associated with appeals.’


Key clients

NextEnergy Solar Holdings III Limited

British Solar Renewables

Berkeley Homes

Vistry Group


Beechcroft Developments


Aster Communities

Bromford Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Baola Properties Limited on a Section 106 planning agreement and a highway stopping up order for the redevelopment of the former British American Tobacco headquarters.
  • Advising L&G on consenting strategy for the development of the new £350m Sky Studios together with the second phase of that development to be built in Elstree.
  • Advising on consenting strategy and process associated with Developments of National Significance in Wales, together with a number of large-scale solar projects in England.

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP acts for both public and private sector clients on a host of matters, including section 106 and infrastructure agreements. The team also regularly handle work for hospitals, working on redevelopment projects for high-profile sites across the country. Mark Howard, who leads the team from the firm’s Exeter office, has significant experience of advising local authorities on an array of planning and environment matters. Helen Hutton joined the team from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in April 2022 and is well versed in historic building issues. Sarah Reardon has a strong focus on highway and sewer adoption matters. Other notable new arrivals include Nick Jonathan, who joined in October 2022 from shared legal service One Legal.

Practice head(s):

Mark Howard

Other key lawyers:

Helen Hutton; Sarah Reardon; Nick Jonathan; Fergus Charlton

Key clients

BDW – Barratt Homes

C G Fry and Son Ltd

Cavanna Homes

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Pennon/South West Water

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

St Austell Brewery

Bird & Bird

Great Ormond Street Hospital

Wiltshire Council

The Forestry Commission

Wain Homes (South West) Ltd

Dorset Council

Buckfast Abbey

SABA Park Services UK Limited

Met Office

Work highlights

  • Advised Cornwall Council on all matters relating to a CPO for a £90m highway scheme.
  • Acting for Great Ormond Street Hospital on the redevelopment of the Children’s Cancer Centre by obtaining consent for large scale development.
  • Agreeing a Section 106 planning agreement for Langarth, a garden village at Truro.

Stephens Scown LLP

Stephens Scown LLP's expertise in minerals planning work has seen the firm working for major clients in the sector such as Imerys Minerals Limited. The team also regularly handles CPOs, marine and waste planning, and major development proposals for residential developers. The practice is co-led by Christopher Tofts in Truro and Duncan Tilney in Exeter; Tofts has particular expertise in managing applications for large mineral sites, while Tilney’s planning experience includes defending statutory challenges and judicial reviews. Sarah-Jane Williams deepens the team’s mineral planning expertise.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Tofts; Duncan Tilney

Other key lawyers:

Sarah-Jane Williams

Key clients

Imerys Minerals Limited

Kingsley Developments

Cornish Metals Limited

Leisure Parks Real Estate Holdings

Trago Mills

Royale Parks

E &JW Glendinning

Devon County Council

Barton Park Estates Limited

Acorn Property Group

Work highlights

  • Instructed to manage a public inquiry and advise on procedure and evidence in relation to planning permission for the extension of E & JW Glendinning’s mineral extraction site.
  • Advised on Imerys Mineral Limited’s operations, including St Austell China Clay areas.
  • Advised and conducted due diligence on UK share placing and Canadian subscription for Cornish Metals Limited.

Thrings LLP

The ‘refreshingly commercial’ planning practice at Thrings LLP has significant expertise in rural planning issues such as farm diversification and EIA development. The unit is also well-placed to advise on residential developments and contentious work, including appeals against enforcement notices. In Bristol, practice chair Alex Madden frequently advises on EIA regulations and offences involving tree preservation orders. Rosalyn Trotman's planning experience encompasses both contentious and non-contentious work, while Fred Quartermain is well versed in matters concerning heritage assets.

Practice head(s):

Alex Madden

Other key lawyers:

Rosalyn Trotman; Fred Quartermain


‘Big practice but with a small practice mentality one to one service which is excellent and refreshingly commercial.’

‘Alex Madden & Fred Quartermain. Both extremely talented and have a fantastic depth of knowledge in their specialist sector.’

‘Owning a Grade I listed building located in the middle of a market town in the Cotswolds creates unique planning issues. We rely heavily on Thrings to resolve these issues for us.’

‘Both Fred Quartermain and Ros Trotman have been wonderful advocates for us.’


Key clients

Newland Homes

L.W. Developments

Hills Homes

Eastleigh Borough Council

Baylis Estates

Inland Homes Plc

Whim Hospitality

Titchfield Festival Theatre

6A Vision Homes Ltd

SPM Homes Ltd

Land Value Alliances

Cotswold Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised Newland Homes Limited on the negotiation of section 106 agreements to secure planning permission for 111 low and zero carbon homes in Stroud on a brownfield site.
  • Advised Eastleigh Borough Council on the drafting of section 106 agreements for the Horton Heath project.
  • Advised a private individual on a judicial review of the BANES Council decision to grant planning permission for an eco-farm.

Tozers Solicitors LLP

Tozers Solicitors LLP‘s traditional twin strengths - planning for the residential and caravan park sector and local government practice - have been broadened by a burgeoning focus on residential development matters and work for wildlife trusts and industrial businesses. Amy Cater, described as ‘the UK’s leading expert in Leisure and Caravan Park planning’, heads the practice from the firm’s Exeter office. Kelly Burns frequently advises local authorities on s106 agreements, while Alex McKerron has a strong focus on residential development.

Practice head(s):

Amy Cater

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Burns; Alex McKerron


‘Considerable knowledge of the tourism sector.’

‘Amy Cater’s knowledge and written submissions are far beyond those of any other barrister or solicitor instructed by us.’

‘Amy Cater is very approachable and is quick to respond with well-informed advice. She explains her advice in a focused, knowledgeable manner.’

‘Expertise in the park home space that covers all aspects from legislation and litigation through to planning. Their knowledge is immense and is superior to any other practice I have encountered.’

‘I have built a long and professional relationship with Amy Cater, whose knowledge on planning matters is enviable. Nothing is too much trouble for her, and her commitment is second to none.’

‘We have used their services over more than four decades, which I think says it all.’


Key clients

South Somerset District Council

Warfield Homes Limited

Devon Wildlife Trust

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Burry and Knight Limited

British Holiday and Home Parks Association Limited

Away Resorts Limited

Andrew Hicks Engineering Limited

Hoburne Limited

Shorefield Holidays Limited

Berkeley Leisure Group Limited

Habitat Park Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising South Somerset District Council on the negotiation of two section 106 agreements for sustainable urban extensions approximately 1500 houses.
  • Providing regular strategic advice to Warfield Homes Limited which has a significant and complex planning history.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is engaged by public bodies and registered providers for assistance with regard to major development schemes, frequently working closely alongside stakeholders from the private sector. Rory Stracey, who has led the practice since founding the Exeter team in 2018, boasts planning expertise which covers mixed-use developments, highways and compulsory purchase matters. Sophie Emerson is also noted for her highways and compulsory purchase acumen.

Practice head(s):

Rory Stracey

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Emerson

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead planning advisors to Vision Nine Entertainment Group in connection with the Boardmasters Surf and Music Festival.
  • Advising Countryside Properties on the planning and highways aspects of the development of Drakelow Park.
  • Advising Sevenoaks District Council on Millwall Football Club’s application to develop a training facility within a 50 acre green belt site in West Kingsdow.