Pinsent Masons LLP excels at advising national clients on the planning and compulsory purchase aspects of high-value infrastructure projects and developments. The team is particularly well suited to handle renewable energy projects, having been instructed to assist with some of the nation’s largest energy transition schemes, and also maintains close relations with local and regional councils across the country in connection with major residential and commercial regeneration projects. The practice is led by Jonathan Riley, who is widely regarded for his ability to work on significant transport and energy infrastructure projects. Strategic planning adviser Jan Bessell is also recommended for her ability to advise on the Development Consent Order process, while Nick McDonald is a key contact for clients seeking assistance with compulsory purchase orders and renewable energy schemes. Development planning expert Jo Miles is also a name to note.
Planning in Yorkshire And The Humber
Pinsent Masons LLP
Other key lawyers:
Jan Bessell; Nick McDonald; Jo Miles
‘Jo Miles has provided an excellent service. She quickly understood how our organisation works and what was required, and delivered over and above what was asked for.’
‘Knowledge, skills and a customer-centric approach.’
BP Exploration Operating Company Limited
Castle Cement Limited (Hanson)
Cumbria County Council
EP UK Investments Limited
Kent County Council
Leeds City Council
London Borough of Haringey
London Borough of Wandsworth
National Railway Museum
Newlon Housing Trust
South Gloucestershire Council
South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council
Spray Street Quarter LLP
Viridor Energy Limited
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
- Advised BP Exploration Operating Company Limited on the consenting of Net Zero Teesside project, a carbon capture, usage and storage project which aims to decarbonise a cluster of carbon-intensive industries by 2027.
- Advised South Gloucestershire Council on policy and various major planning applications relating to Brabazon Arena and the former Filton Airfield, and subsequently on the delivery of the M49 Link Road scheme.
- Advised Cumbria County Council on the CPO for the Carlisle Southern Link Road, which will unlock development land for the 10,000 home St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, and subsequently on a further CPO for the A595 Grizebeck improvement scheme.
The team at Walker Morris LLP is well regarded for its ‘quality of work and proven success rate‘ on a wide spectrum of planning matters, handling major residential and logistics developments as well as a growing volume of infrastructure projects on behalf of clients such as Taylor Wimpey and Caddick. In addition to advising on large-scale planning applications and compulsory purchase orders, the team maintains a strong presence in contentious matters and regularly assists with planning appeals and public inquiries. Practice head and residential development expert Richard Sagar is a key contact for appeals and disputes, while Chris Slater regularly handles section 106 planning applications. Rob Moore is also highly recommended for his advice on land promotion matters. In December 2022, Alison Ogley left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Slater; Rob Moore; Josh Kitson; Victoria Leam
‘The team are very experienced, and have the ability to offer a rounded level of advice from site acquisitions through to S106 and any planning issues through the development process. Their uniqueness comes from the strength of their professionals and from their ability to consistently offer this rounded advice.’
‘All the team members I have worked with on a regular basis (Chris Slater, Richard Sagar, Rob Moore, Josh Kitson) are on hand and available to answer queries and provide advice at short notice. The right level of advice is given depending on circumstance.’
‘This is a very strong planning team.’
‘Rob Moore is exceptional for his ability to get on top of and hold the details of a case at his fingertip. He is an excellent strategist too, as well as being personable.’
‘Rob Moore is really one of the best.’
‘Walker Morris has an excellent reputation in this field and are renowned for their quality of work and proven success rate. They have a forensic approach which leaves no stone unturned!’
‘I have worked with Richard Sagar and Rob Moore. They are very professional, but also approachable, and they tell you how it is! They know their profession inside out, are very thorough, and get to the heart of issues directly. They are very honest in their assessment of the likely chances of a project’s success.’
Berkley De Veer
Bowmer & Kirkland Limited
Commercial Estates Group
FCC Environment (UK) Limited
Hallam Land Management Ltd
Park Holidays UK
Park Lane Properties Ltd
The Peel Group
Town Centre Securities plc
- Acted for Harworth on a section 78 appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for the erection of up to 397 dwellings and associated infrastructure.
- Advised Caddick on the Examination in Public of the Local Plan to promote a 4.5m sq ft logistics and industrial development on the A57/A1 junction.
- Advised Taylor Wimpey and Redrow on planning and highway matters and the drafting of a complex 106 agreement in relation to a proposed development in Leeds for up to 925 dwellings, including means of primary vehicle access, a central spine road, associated infrastructure works, and a 2.6 ha community hub facility (provisionally comprising a primary school, convenience store and health provision).
CMS counts SSE and the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust among a diverse list of clients that the Sheffield-based team advises on nationally significant infrastructure and energy projects, as well as large-scale residential, logistics and healthcare developments. The team is equally well versed in contentious and non-contentious matters and handles a large volume of planning applications and appeals, while also advising landowners and local councils on planning objections. The team, which is led by the ‘nationally well-known‘ CPO specialist Chris Bowes, is strengthened by the expertise of experienced residential development and infrastructure expert Rebecca Roffe. David Hardy, who is renowned for his planning advice on renewable energy projects, is also highly recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Rebecca Roffe; David Hardy; Emma Hurst
‘This is a very vibrant, national practice with a regional base. They have an active national profile and are a prominent force in the market.’
‘Chris Bowes is a nationally well-known figure in the planning and environmental law world. He is calm and legally and commercially savvy, with an excellent understanding of people. He brings both legal and managerial expertise to cases, and is a very reliable, objective, and sensible sounding board.’
‘Rebecca Roffe is a phenomenon unlike any other. She has huge amounts of energy, is an inspiring team leader and organised, an excellent lawyer and great supporter and champion for diversity. She is generous with her time and expertise, loved by clients and admired by colleagues.’
Community Wind Power Limited
East Lindsey District Council
Far East Consortium
Fred Olsen Renewables Limited
Infrared UK Lion Nominee 1 Ltd
Infrared UK Lion Nominee 2 Ltd
Magnitude Land LLP
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
North Yorkshire Moors National Park Authority
Richmondshire District Council
SP Energy Networks
St Anns Quay Management Limited
Stonecutter JV Limited
The Crown Estate
Waratah Property SARL
- Advised SSE/UKPA Energy MF Ltd on the decision of Selby District Council to refuse planning permission for a zero-carbon energy storage and management facility.
- Acted for Waratah Property SARL (formerly Arrow Capital Partners) on the purchase of Amazon’s warehouse in Wakefield, West Yorkshire for £233m.
- Acted for two InfraRed funds on a major planning appeal to secure permission for the comprehensive regeneration of Basildon Town Centre.
DWF retains a solid planning offering that is particularly catered towards clients seeking advice on urban regeneration projects as well as energy and transportation infrastructure schemes. As the head of a practice capable of handling compulsory purchase and land assembly mandates as well as securing planning consent for large-scale projects, Andrew Batterton regularly works with colleagues across the country to assist local and national public sector clients as well as major developers and infrastructure operators. Associates Stephanie Smith and Claire Thompson are also recommended for their ability to advise on infrastructure projects.
Other key lawyers:
Stephanie Smith; Claire Thompson
Greater Anglia Trains
National Grid Grain LNG
Royal Borough of Greenwich
Whitbread Group Plc
- Advised the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council on all of its major regeneration projects over a three-year period to deliver significant and transformational master-planned projects involving mixed-use and residential (10,000 units in total) development and associated infrastructure improvements.
- Advised National Grid Grain LNG on the development of its LNG assets in the Medway, which has included the promotion of its interests relating to the increase in LNG capacity at the facility.
- Advised the Welsh Government on its flagship Global Centre of Rail Excellence project, providing strategic planning support as part of the remediation and redevelopment of the site.
The planning team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP stands out for its work in the energy and infrastructure spaces, maintaining a roster of clients that encompasses names such as Vattenfall and Network Rail. Under the leadership of renewable energy specialist Peter Nesbit, the team has advised on section 36 planning consents, public inquiries and appeals, and applications for the promotion of national infrastructure projects. The team is also equipped to assist with planning matters on large-scale residential schemes, for which Roddy Macdonald is a key contact. At the associate level, Paul McLean is highly recommended for his expertise in commercial development matters.
Other key lawyers:
Roddy Macdonald; Paul McLean
Force 9 Energy Partners LLP
Legal and General
Luminate Education Group
Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd
Schofield Sweeney‘s planning team is capable of handling a large volume of residential, industrial and retail development mandates, assisting clients with planning agreements and compulsory purchases. The practice is also well versed in advising on appeals against enforcement notices and planning permission refusals in support of commercial development projects. The practice is led by Amanda Beresford, a ‘highly regarded‘ practitioner whose advice on planning appeals and permissions is highly sought by developers and landowners. Beresford is also well-versed in contentious matters and regularly acts for clients in objections to planning proposals.
‘Amanda Beresford has provided me with excellent planning advice. She has a very professional approach and good communication and is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Accessible, friendly and knowledgeable. I would recommend them highly for the work carried out on planning appeals.’
‘Amanda Beresford is highly regarded. Always available and able to provide insightful advice where needed.’
Broughton Hall Estate
Caddick City Living Limited
Chatsworth House Trust
Lindum Developments Limited
Moda Living Limited
Mone Brother (Excavations) Limited
- Advised Caddick City Living Limited on a £300m 515-home residential development in Leeds.
- Advised Earthline Limited on a mineral extraction and restoration scheme in Wiltshire.
- Advised Lindum Developments Limited on compulsory purchase issues relating to proposed A46 improvement works in Newark.
Walton & Co (Planning Lawyers) Limited
Bespoke planning law firm Walton & Co (Planning Lawyers) Limited is recognised for offering ‘unparalleled experience and knowledge‘ when advising on section 106 agreements, compulsory purchase orders and highways agreements in connection with large-scale residential and commercial developments. Clients in the development and strategic land spaces also regularly instruct the team on contentious matters, including enforcement appeals and High Court disputes related to environmentally impactful and heavily regulated projects. The team is led by the duo of David Walton and Alec Cropper, both of whom are held in high regard for their experience drafting planning agreements and applications.
Alec Cropper; David Walton
Other key lawyers:
‘The Walton and Co team very much give you the feeling that you are being made a part of the family. The team is cohesive with their advice and speak as one, operating under the guidance of David Walton. They are keen to be part of a team and offer solutions to problems outside the planning advice they give.’
‘Alec Cropper is clearly a key part of the practice. His advice, both written and verbal, is considered and readable for all audiences. David Walton – a man you want to have around, whether it be for his planning knowledge, sheer experience or problem-solving ability.’
‘Alec Cropper is personable, dedicated, and always goes above and beyond.’
Amber Valley Borough Council
Cheshire West and Chester Council
- Advised CEG on the successful obtaining of planning permission for a high-profile residential development following a public inquiry, including defence of the decision against a High Court challenge lodged by an Interested Party.
- Advised Heritage Holdings on multiple appeal proceedings issued by the client in respect of a large scale industrial site, which are expected to proceed by way of public inquiry.
- Advised Wren Kitchens on obtaining and implementing planning permission for new commercial and logistics developments across four separate sites, including a large-scale logistics facility proceeding by way of inquiry appeal proceedings.
The planning team at Weightmans is highly regarded for the ‘strength in depth and attention to detail‘ it provides when advising on significant, high-value energy, transportation and residential development projects. In addition to assisting with Development Consent Orders and compulsory purchases, the practice is very well versed in handling contentious work and planning appeals. With the ability to advise on planning applications as well as act in High Court challenges and judicial reviews, practice head Lee Gordon is sought after for the breadth of his expertise in complex projects. Michelle Spark left the practice in December 2022.
‘Weightmans are excellent. They provide strength in depth and attention to detail, but also strategic vision.’
‘Lee Gordon is a star. He is excellent, an exceptionally good lawyer who is highly meticulous, but also imaginative. He is also very popular with clients. I have recommended him to many clients.’
Barratt & David Wilson Homes
Casey Group Limited
Charnwood Borough Council
City of York Council
Cotswold District Council
Gloucestershire County Council
Harlow & Gilston Garden Town partner authorities
Leeds City Council
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Nottinghamshire County Council
Prospect Estates Limited
Royal Mail Group
Tewkesbury Borough Council
Thornton Hall Hotel Limited
- Advised O&H on its application for its Wixam Park mixed-use development in Central Bedfordshire, which is to include 1,200 new dwellings and major infrastructure.
- Advised Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on the promotion of a multi-billion major tidal energy project.
- Advised City of York Council on the York Outer Ring Road Dualling Project, a £75m scheme, including advice on planning and a potential CPO.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's planning team has a strong presence in infrastructure and housing development matters, advising local councils, housebuilders and companies in the energy and waste sectors on Development Consent Orders, section 106 agreements, and compulsory purchase matters. The team stands out for its expertise in renewable energy matters and has advised on the consent for and delivery of several nationally significant projects. The team is led by planning and environment specialist Claire Brook, who is noted for her ‘practical and commercial awareness‘ and is a key contact for advice on major infrastructure schemes. Helen Robinson is also highly recommended. James Garbett left the team in February 2023.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Robinson; Kate Ashworth; Frances Everett
‘The team benefits significantly from the leadership of Claire Brook, who is absolutely spot on with her advice and collaborates well with the wider team. I have found the WBD team to be highly responsive and practical in their advice. They are also a lovely group of people to work with.’
‘I would mention Claire Brook specifically. Claire has great leadership qualities – she provides highly evidenced, clear legal advice, but also encourages and supports her team. I have really liked working with Claire and the whole team on our most recent project.’
‘Excellent and genuinely close-knit team, and refreshingly female-led, which is rare in the planning world. Particularly strong on major infrastructure work and provides as good a service as anywhere in the country. There is a good mix of senior and junior resources, and the project teams that I have seen have been well balanced, with good partner availability.’
BDW Trading Limited
BUPA Care Homes
Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership
Karbon Homes Limited
Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council
LRC Management Europe Limited
Leeds City Council
National Grid Electricity Transmission PLC
Places for People Homes Limited
Rentplus UK Limited
Solar 21 Renewable Energy Limited
Taylor Wimpey UK Limited
- Advised Solar 21 Renewable Energy Limited on an application for a Development Consent Order for a Green Energy Park in Lincolnshire.
- Advised Taylor Wimpey on multiple major schemes, both across the Yorkshire region and nationally, including on the implementation of the 1,200-home Newcastle Great Park urban extension.
- Advised Barratt Homes & David Wilson Homes on multiple major schemes across the Yorkshire region, including major new housing developments in Huddersfield, Bradford, Burley-in-Wharfdale, Barnsley, and Pontefract.
The team at Blacks Solicitors LLP is commended for offering a ‘fantastic understanding‘ of planning matters, particularly those that concern regeneration and development schemes. Clients instruct the team to advise on planning applications and impact assessments for a diverse range of industrial, residential and mixed-use development projects. Under the leadership of the ‘highly professional and effective’ James Cook, the practice is also instructed to handle an increasing number of energy and mining mandates. At the associate level, Katy McPhie is highly recommended for her expertise in development matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice are always contactable and are able to discuss things clearly and in an understandable manner. They look for solutions rather than highlighting problems.’
‘James Cook and Katy McPhie are very focused and committed and understand the requirements of the client from many angles. With their past experience, they know how best to approach any issues with the Local Planning Authority through direct connections and a detailed understanding of the LPA processes.’
‘We have worked with Blacks on numerous projects and have found them to be knowledgeable, professional, responsive and personable. The team has a fantastic understanding of the legalities involved in the planning system and are sensitive to the commercial pressures our clients face. They are also very effective – Blacks’ input has been crucial in us obtaining planning permission on a number of sites, and their ability to navigate through the legal complexities has been invaluable.’
‘We have primarily worked with James Cook and Katy McPhie. Both are extremely personable, knowledgeable and professional.’
‘James Cook is a very experienced and able solicitor whom I have used for my legal planning work for a long time.’
‘James Cook provides a highly professional and effective service in planning law.’
‘Black’s Planning team are always helpful to assist with any planning queries and provide a personable service. They work in a methodical way and provide easy to understand advice on a range of matters.’
‘James Cook and Katy McPhie understand the planning process and are able to provide advice on a range of matters. We have no hesitation in recommending them to clients as they always work in a timely and easy to understand manner.’
Bridon International Limited
Fluorsid British Fluorspar Limited
Scarborough Group International
Thorpe Park Developments Limited
Wilton Developments Limited
YPP Group of Companies
- Advised Scarborough Group Limited on an application for planning permission for approximately 549,000 square feet of employment development on 21.17 hectares of green belt land in Leeds.
- Advised Water Lane Limited (part of Wilton Developments Limited) on a proposal for 45,755 square metres of employment development (storage & distribution and office space), a multi-use sports pitch, associated landscaping, and vehicular, pedestrian and cycle infrastructure in Leeds.
- Advised Bridon International Ltd. on an application for planning permission for approximately 42,000 square metres of industrial and warehousing development in South Yorkshire, involving the preparation and negotiation of a section 106 agreement which included obligations relating to a new bus service, local employment, tree planting, biodiversity net gain and travel planning.
Clarion acquired planning boutique LB & Co in spring 2023, a deal which saw highly experienced duo Carolyn Lord and Kate Butterfield join the Leeds firm's real estate group. Lord is known for her 'creative approach to site development projects' and 'an eye for effective public sector stakeholder engagement', while Butterfield is praised for her 'incisive legal advice'. Their track record of work covers applications and appeals, highway and rights of way law, and compulsory purchase orders.
Other key lawyers:
‘Carolyn Lord is a versatile and a valuable addition to any project team, bringing legal expertise but also a creative approach to site development projects, with an eye for effective public sector stakeholder engagement.’
‘Kate Butterfield is excellent in offering incisive legal advice which has assisted us in drawing a line under obstacles as we progress through projects.’
‘The overriding positives of working with the team are attention to detail and a personal service. They are fully vested in your scheme and take time to understand your aspirations, working practices and ambitions.’
‘I have worked extensively with Carolyn Lord. Her dedication to a role that she understands in forensic detail is stand-out. She is flexible, responds to requests for work immediately and is extremely thorough.’
‘Deep understanding of planning law and case examples for a wide range of matters. Attention to detail. Excellent client relationships.’
‘This is a no-nonsense, commercially minded planning and development practice, always able to offer practical and timely advice when required.’
CEG (Commercial Estates Group)
GMI Properties Limited
DB Cargo (UK) Limited
Brett Aggregates Limited
Eurovia Infrastructure Limited
DLA Piper‘s Leeds-based practice regularly collaborates with the firm’s nationwide offices to advise transportation and energy clients such as High Speed Two (HS2) Limited and the National Grid on the delivery of nationally significant projects. The team regularly assists with Development Consent Orders and compulsory purchase matters in connection with these projects. Led nationally by Birmingham lawyer Trevor Ivory, the Leeds practice also relies on the regional support of North West-based infrastructure specialist Sophie Stewart. Legal director Claire Stoneman is a key contact for asset protection matters and frequently advises on the firm’s largest infrastructure mandates. Henry Jeffreys is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Sophie Stewart; Claire Stoneman; Henry Jeffreys
‘DLA Piper has provided invaluable support to us for a complex and challenging regulated process. The process is relatively new and as such untested, and DLA Piper have guided us through the process, providing legal advice and support to our various submissions (gateways) for regulatory review.’
‘Henry Jeffreys has been wholly supportive by providing legal advice in a straightforward, easy to understand manner on a complicated, unique project. Henry is approachable, flexible, and understands our aims both for the project and as a business. The service and advice he has provided to us is second to none.’
4th Industrial (UK) Limited Partnership
Ark Data Centres Limited
East West Rail Company Limited
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
Manchester Airports Group
St James’s Place UK Plc
Wirral Borough Council
- Advised HS2 on a wide variety of matters, including the first appeal and judicial review under Schedule 17 to the HS2 Act, references to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in relation to compensation, and the extent of the powers granted by the Act to enable construction of the scheme.
- Advised National Highways on two major projects – the examination in public of the Greater Manchester joint DPD “Places for Everyone” and the forthcoming DCO submission by Gloucestershire CC of a DCO for Junction 10 improvements on the M5.
- Advised the National Grid on a number of major schemes, including the proposed Lincolnshire GREEN Development Consent Order and the Cotswolds and North Wessex Visual Improvement Projects.
The Hull and York-based planning team at Rollits LLP maintains a strong regional presence through its work on section 106 agreements, Development Consent Orders, and planning contract amendments in connection with residential development projects. The practice is led by Mark Dixon, who is well versed in handling land promotion mandates and also frequently assists with planning appeals and objections. Libby Clarkson is well regarded for her relations with clients in the education and agricultural sectors. Associate Stuart Lumb is a further key contact.
Other key lawyers:
Libby Clarkson; Stuart Lumb
Akkeri Developments Limited
Colten Care Limited
Colten Developments Limited
Eastburn Farms Limited
Lindum Group Limited
Persimmon Homes (Yorkshire)
St Helen’s Farm
Ward Homes Yorkshire Limited
West Ella Holdings Limited
Squire Patton Boggs
Squire Patton Boggs‘ planning team maintains a client roster that encompasses large utility and energy providers, national retailers, local councils and housebuilders. The team’s Leeds office regularly works with contacts across the country to advise on section 106 agreements, planning appeals and public inquiries, and Development Consent Orders for urban regeneration projects, energy schemes and mixed-use developments. The team is led by senior associate David Myers, who is well regarded for his expertise in contentious matters. Senior associate Gemma Newell is also recommended for her ‘superb‘ advice on energy projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Leeds team are quick at grasping the issue, bringing effective solutions and providing a comfort factor to difficult problems.’
‘David Myers at the Leeds office is very responsive, intelligent and brings a very friendly approach to what are difficult planning problems.’
‘Gemma Newell is superb. She has particular expertise in necessary wayleave matters. Gemma is organised and has sound judgement. Clients trust her and those in her team love working with her.’
Egdon Resources UK Limited
Electricity North West
GP Atkin Homes Limited
Leaf Living PropCo Limited
Leeds City Council
Northern Gas Networks
Preston City Council
Sp Manweb plc
St Francis Group
Taylor Wimpey UK Limited
- Advised Scottish Power Manweb PLC on the North Shropshire Reinforcement Development Consent Order.
- Acted for Electricity North West on a necessary wayleave application for the retention of a 132kV overhead line.
- Advised Greentech Invest UK (1) Limited on a planning appeal for a solar farm near Telford.