Planning

Planning laws are complex enough but emotions often run high because:

  • there is an inherent conflict between commercial development and those seeking to protect our natural environment
  • and an ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’.

Whether you are applying for planning permission for commercial or residential property or you are objecting to a planning application, our specialist planning lawyers can help.

Applying for planning permission

With detailed knowledge of planning policies and guidance issued by local and central government, we can maximise your chances of a successful planning application.

We can negotiate sensible ancillary planning agreements (‘Section 106 Agreements’) which are often a pre-requisite to the grant of a planning permission. Although most are quite specific, they often cover matters such as affordable housing, public open spaces and other “planning gains” for the benefit of the local community.

Objecting to planning applications

If you are concerned about a planning application which might have an adverse effect on your home or your business, we can advise you on the best way to oppose the application.

Sometimes, our in-depth knowledge of the planning laws and policies can help you to block an application altogether but often, acceptable modifications to the proposals can be achieved through careful negotiation and targeted objections.

Appeals

We can help you to reach an informed decision on planning appeals by balancing your prospects of success against the likely cost and benefits. We assist with appeals either through written representations, representation at hearings or in full public enquiries.

We can advise you about challenging any planning permission already granted including the possibility of a judicial review and, if appropriate, complaints to the Ombudsman and District Auditor about local authorities.

Enforcement

If you are facing enforcement action for breach of planning laws, our planning specialists can liaise with our dispute resolution solicitors who have particular experience in regulatory offences.

Varying planning conditions and change of use applications

We handle applications to vary or remove planning conditions.

We have particular experience in removing agricultural occupancy conditions which are common in our region.

We also handle change of use applications for both commercial and residential properties.

Other planning issues

We also handle a wide range of ancillary matters including:

  • Applying for Certificates of Lawful Use to authorise the use of property which would otherwise be in breach of planning regulations
  • Highway agreements
  • The provision and maintenance of water supplies or other services
  • Management of public open spaces or common areas