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Planning Law

Helping you to navigate the complexities of Planning Law

The planning system balances public and private interests. The State represents the public interest by managing construction development and property use. The aim is to ensure that new construction is built in keeping with its surroundings and that property use doesn’t impact too much on the amenities of neighbours.  On the other side of the equation stands the property law framework and the rights of property owners.


We provide a full range of expert services to clients who have a legal matter relating to the planning system, whatever end they’re on.


Understanding the planning law intricacies can seem overwhelming, but our seasoned team is here to guide you through the process. We help you navigate and interpret regulations, advising on planning applications, appeals, enforcement notices, and development potential. As experts in planning law, we ensure that our clients’ interests are best served and their property rights protected within the framework of the law, offering pragmatic and tailored advice to simplify your journey through the planning system.

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    Our Planning Law Expertise

    Negotiating Planning Agreements and Unilateral Undertakings

    Under S106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, these legal documents need in many cases  to be entered into with the Local Planning Authority (LPA) in conjunction with a planning permission. The objective is to reduce the impact of the development where there is a need for new or improved infrastructure/services and if applicable, deliver Affordable Housing provision.

    Advising on Infrastructure Issues and Third Party Rights

    Development of any area of land can involve a number of issues such as making sure there is access to public roads from the site and/or servicing by various utility undertakers. In addition, before applying for planning permission or starting construction, property owners may need to arrange extinguishing or diverting rights of way that run through their land, remedying contamination or ensuring protection of wildlife/vegetation/ archaeological items.We work closely with our clients to advise on infrastructure issues relating to their property and how to resolve matters involving third-party rights.

    Submitting Objections and Alternative Proposals

    Developments by neighbours or developers   can significantly impact enjoyment of your property.  We help our clients to submit objections to proposed developments early in the planning process, guiding them through the process to give them the best representation possible.

    Planning Enforcement

    If somebody is subject to enforcement action by a Local Planning Authority, we help them to examine the validity of the action, and where appropriate, to challenge the decision through the appeals process.

    Permitted Development Rights

    Not all developments or change of use will require a planning application to be submitted to the LPA. Some benefit from  Permitted Development Rights.   To take advantage of these rights, it’s advisable to seek specialist legal advice to help you navigate the complexities of the process and reduce the risk of mistakes during your application.

    Applying for Lawful Development Certificates

    Where permitted development rights exist or a development gains immunity against planning enforcement through passage of time it’s possible to obtain confirmation of this from the LPA through applying for a Lawful Development Certificate.

    If you’re looking to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate, you’ll need specific evidence to support your application. Our expert legal team can support you through the process and help you collect relevant documentation.

    Head of Planning Law

    FAQs - Planning Law

    What are your rates for planning law?

    Fee rates are generally well below market levels due to the way the firm operates. Instead of following the traditional law firm model, with its multiple tiers of charges dependent on the experience of a lawyer linked with the cost of overheads from leasing office space etc, we can agree a transparent hourly rate from commencement of instructions. That means our clients always know the precise rate they are paying, safe in the knowledge that all of our lawyers are seasoned professionals.

    What is Planning Law?

    Planning Law governs the development and use of land. It involves various aspects including obtaining planning permission for new developments, the appeal process, enforcement actions, and environmental impact assessments.

    Why is planning law important?

    Planning Law regulates the way construction is carried out with the aim of balancing public and private interests. Having that framework in place provides a platform to those who might otherwise feel that their concerns are being ignored. That being so, the often competing interests have an improved chance of being reconciled than if the framework weren’t in place.

    When do I need to apply for planning permission?

    Planning permission is generally required when you want to build something new, make significant changes to a building, or change the use of a building or land.

    What is the process for obtaining planning permission?

    Typically, the process involves submitting a planning application to your local council, which will then assess the proposal based on local and national policies and guidelines. It may involve public consultation before a decision is made.

    Can I appeal if my planning application is refused?

    Yes, if your planning application is refused by the local council or granted with conditions that you disagree with, you generally have the right to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

    What are the potential consequences of not complying with planning law?

    Failure to comply can result in enforcement action by the local council. This may involve fines, orders to undo alterations, and, in severe cases, criminal proceedings.

    How can a Planning Law Solicitor help me?

    A Planning Law Solicitor can guide you through the complex planning application or appeal process, provide strategic advice, represent you in negotiations with planning authorities, and help protect your interests in any litigation.

    What is a Local Development Plan?

    A Local Development Plan is a set of documents that set out the local authority’s policies and proposals for the development and use of land within their area.

    Can planning permission add value to my property?

    Generally, obtaining planning permission for development can increase the value of a property, as it provides certainty and potential for future development.

    How long does planning permission last?

    In England and Wales, planning permission usually expires after three years from the date it is granted, unless work has started on the site.

    What is a ‘change of use’ application?

    A ‘change of use’ application is required when you intend to significantly change the way a building or piece of land is used (e.g., changing a residential property into a shop).

    Can I object to a neighbour’s planning application?

    Yes, you usually have the opportunity to object to a planning application during the public consultation phase. Objections must be made on valid planning grounds.

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