Planning and environment in Wales

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Benefiting from 'strong technical knowledge and informed about local issues', Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team of Cardiff-based planning specialists provides wide-ranging expertise, including advice on Section 106 Agreements, compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) and environmental issues, both in a standalone capacity, as well as in conjunction with the firm's broader real estate function. 'Helpful and unflappable' team head Kee Evans is a 'calm oasis of expert knowledge and local insights', including on planning issues pertinent to transport and renewables-related infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Kee Evans

Testimonials

‘The team provides commercial and responsive advice across a range of matters including planning, S106 Agreements, highways, utilities and infrastructure agreements, compulsory purchase and environmental law.’

The team has strong technical knowledge and is informed about local issues.

The team has expert knowledge of its field and is able to take complex policy and turn it into digestible information so the correct decisions can be taken by the client in support of its individual projects and wider commercial aims.’

‘The helpful and unflappable Kee Evans is a calm oasis of expert knowledge and local insights.’

‘Kee Evans provides realistic advice, highlights risks and potential outcomes.’

Key clients

Highways England Company Limited

INRG Solar Limited

Annington Property Limited

University of Portsmouth

Forestry Commission

GlaxoSmithKline

GE Healthcare Limited

Richmond Upon Thames College

Welsh Government

Legal and General Home Finance Limited

Renewable Energy Systems Limited

Thames Water Utilities Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Highways England Company on the implementation of general vesting declarations to allow nationally significant infrastructure projects to progress.
  • Representing INRG Solar Limited on an application for a nationally significant infrastructure project.
  • Providing a wide range of planning services to Annington Property.

Geldards LLP

Benefiting from 'in-depth knowledge of planning law, allied with commercial reality', Geldards LLP's specialist three-strong team provides 'informative, comprehensive and accurate advice' to clients across the waterfront of contentious and non-contentious planning matters. 'Very experienced, both in terms of black letter law, as well as policy and with good political nous', the firm is particularly skilled at advising public sector bodies, including local authorities, on the planning aspects related to complex regeneration and infrastructure projects. 'Bright, pragmatic and hardworking' team head Charles Felgate is a 'good strategic thinker' and is 'equally at home on Welsh and English planning and environmental law matters'. 'Friendly, approachable and very professional' senior associate Tomos Phillips is very knowledgeable about public law-related environmental and planning issues, including as it relates to CPO issues.

Practice head(s):

Charles Felgate

Other key lawyers:

Tomos Phillips; Natalie Harries

Testimonials

‘Excellent client management and in-depth knowledge of planning law, allied with commercial reality.’

‘Compulsory Purchase is an incredibly sensitive issue for landowners and the approach Geldards takes aims, as far as possible, to understand the views of others. This often leads to much better outcomes.’

‘This is a specialist planning team with the strengths of a London, Birmingham or national firm, but at very attractive Cardiff rates.’

‘They are very experienced, both in terms of black letter law, but also policy and with good political nous.’

‘The bright, pragmatic and hardworking Charles Felgate is a very experienced public lawyer, especially as it relates to  planning and environment. He is equally at home in Welsh and English planning and environmental law matters.’

‘Charles Felgate is very knowledgeable on planning matters, quick to grasp the essential issues and how best they can be successfully resolved. He is a good strategic thinker.’

Tomos Phillips is friendly, approachable and very professional.’

‘Tomos Phillips and Natalie Harries are excellent specialists in the planning and environmental fields, including town and village green work.’

Key clients

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Snowdonia National Park Authority

Cheshire East Borough Council

Calderdale Borough Council

Derbyshire County Council

South Derbyshire District Council

Clowes Developments (UK) Limited

Whiteheads Development Company Limited

Wheeldon Brothers Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Snowdonia National Park Authority against an application for a declaration by a developer to the effect that they could continue to implement a planning permission from 1967, notwithstanding 40 houses being built in accordance with subsequent permissions in a manner that is inconsistent with the earlier permission.      
  • Successfully represented South Derbyshire District Council in statutory challenge proceedings against the Secretary of State after three different appeal decisions interpreted a local plan policy in inconsistent ways, ensuring that the client could take a robust position in respect of future applications.
  • Advising Calderdale Borough Council on multiple transport and planning related compulsory purchase orders to assemble land for the delivery of strategic aims of the Council.

Acuity Law

Displaying a 'comprehensive knowledge of land and property issues that transcend purely legal matters', Acuity Law provides 'commercially astute' planning advice to developers and public sector bodies, much of which it does in conjunction with its market-leading commercial property practice. Steve Morris is a 'star' and regularly advises clients on planning issues pursuant to major Wales and England-based property projects. The arrival in July 2020 of specialist planning lawyer James Ryan, on a consultancy basis, enhances the firm's capabilities, particularly as it relates to contentious town and country planning matters.

Practice head(s):

Steve Morris

Other key lawyers:

James Ryan; Begonia Filgueira; Robert Senior

Testimonials

‘The team provides commercially astute advice, that takes into account wider issues such as tax liabilities or timescales.’

‘The firm has comprehensive knowledge of land and property issues, that transcend purely legal matters.’

Key clients

Rightacres Property Co Ltd

Figurehead Homes Ltd

Fitzpatrick Construction UK Limited

Associated British Ports

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

South Wales Land Developments Limited

Principality Building Society

Carmarthenshire County Council

Lifecare residences

Coastal Housing Limited

Warrington Council

Wrexham Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Warrington Borough Council on planning issues related to housing developments on two sites in the Warrington area.
  • Continuing to advise Rightacres in the negotiation and completion of planning agreements as part of the redevelopment of the £100m Transport Interchange building currently being developed on the eastern side of Central Square, Cardiff.
  • Advising Carmarthenshire County Council on the drafting and negotiation of S106 Agreements with landowners and developers.

Hugh James

Drawing upon the expertise of lawyers from within the firm’s specialist commercial property and property litigation groups, Hugh James is able to provide a ‘first-class service‘ to private and public sector clients across a range of contentious and non-contentious planning matters, including as it relates to renewable energy projects. Shelley Ikram regularly advises on town and village green planning matters and heads up the multi-disciplinary team.

Practice head(s):

Shelley Ikram

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hurn

Testimonials

‘The team at Hugh James has always and continues to provide a first-class service to us as clients. They always have a very thorough understanding of what the issues are and are always there to assist in resolving these issues.’

Key clients

Stonewater Limited

Ely Bridge Development Company Limited

Parc Eirin Development Limited

Llanmoor Homes

Persimmon Homes Limited

Bellway Homes PLC

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Curo Enterprise Limited

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

Tirion Group

Natural Resources Wales

Cenin Renewables

Newydd Housing Association Limited

Pennant Walters (Holdings) Limited and Enersyst Limited

Pobl Living

Coastal Housing Group

Ely Mill Development Company Limited

Ffos Las Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Bellway Homes in relation to the planning for the Parc Mawr scheme at Swansea, a major strategic housing-led mixed-use development for 850 dwellings.
  • Advising on a key strategic collaboration between two major RSLs on their large-scale innovative project in Gwynfaen to bring a sustainable zero carbon development to fruition, providing the blueprint for partnership working in the social housing sector and energy efficient development.
  • Advising Monmouthshire County Council on its development of Chippenham Mead to make the green better for future inhabitants and to secure the local football team’s ability to continue competing.

JCP Solicitors

JCP Solicitors has 'strong knowledge and practical application' of the various planning and environmental concerns impacting its rural/agricuture client base. Rural practice group head Rory Hutchings takes the lead on most of this work, and alongside Michael Williams, is well-versed in advising on the planning implications associated with proposed renewable energy projects, much of which relates to common land.

Practice head(s):

Rory Hutchings

Other key lawyers:

Michael Williams; Alice Dearden Cobbett

Testimonials

‘Strong knowledge and practical application, together with innovative technology usage.’