Planning is complex and continually evolving and strategic legal advice can help to anticipate and successfully overcome obstacles that a development project might meet.
Our Planning and infrastructure service helps clients secure planning permission for all types of commercial, residential and mixed use developments – ensuring consent is obtained on suitable terms and within a timescale that fits within the overall development programme.
We work predominantly for developers and landowners promoting land for (re)development with sites ranging from small properties intended for a single new dwelling to large developments with strategic significance for a local area.
Our team has a wealth of experience dealing with planning and infrastructure agreements ranging from simple undertakings to complex s106 agreements, providing for social housing and community infrastructure and facilities. We also advise on infrastructure agreements relating to highways and provision of utilities and services. We regularly act in relation to sites affected by the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) and the particular challenges in securing permissions for these sites.
Since its introduction, we have kept Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) under close review and advise on the impact of draft / revised charging schedules. We also advise on CIL's impact on development and funding, including where planning processes extend beyond the date when CIL may become payable. We offer guidance on the correct procedure for claiming reliefs and the traps that can mean the benefits of exemption are lost. The impact of CIL is reflected in the contracts and options we negotiate.
Our wide-ranging planning and infrastructure expertise includes:
Variations of planning permissions
Certificates of lawful use or proposed use and development
Alleged breaches of planning control and threats of enforcement
The Use Classes Order and the application of permitted development rights
The interpretation of planning conditions and planning obligations
Representations and objections on behalf of third parties with an interest in the outcome of planning applications, ensuring that their views are fully taken into account by the planning authority or Inspector
Pursuing appeals including at inquiry
Planning agreements and unilateral undertakings and variations
Infrastructure agreements, including agreements pursuant to S278, S104 & S38 Community Infrastructure Levy
Who we help
We work with developers and landowners on a wide variety of commercial, residential and mixed use property developments.
Relevant recent cases include:
Advising on s106 terms for multiple residential development sites in Berkshire Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire and Hampshire and surrounding areas, acting for landowners and developers
Successful representations by a third party opposing an application for a Certificate of Lawful Use seeking to legitimise an unauthorised subdivision of a neighbouring property into two dwellings
Advising on an s106 within the Thames Basin Heaths SPA, providing for the benefit of reductions in impact of one development to be recognised when considering mitigation measures to be provided elsewhere on another development
Advising on s106 issues relating to a large specialised C2 care institution proposed for a site in the West Country, covering travel plan provisions and dealing with complex negotiations relating to policing costs and security issues, including successfully resisting unlawful demands for payments in breach of the Police Act
Advising on s106 issues relating to a major extension of corporate office space on a business park in Hampshire including advice on lawfulness of contributions assessed by reference to outdated tariffs
Renegotiating s106 obligations on a residential development to ensure demands for affordable housing reflected assessments of financial viability of the site
Advising on a successful appeal for retrospective planning permission for changes to layout and improvement of facilities at a caravan park
Successfully securing a Certificate of Lawful Use allowing continued all-year retention of mobile homes on a caravan park in Dorset, despite historic conditions requiring removal during winter months
Preparation and negotiation of documents for the delivery of privately owned Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) land