Beverley Firth

Position: Partner
Phone: +(44)(0)1223 222235
Fax: +(44)(0)1223 222258

What can I do for you?

I’m a specialist in the constantly moving target known as town and country planning. I lead our planning and environmental law team and my work includes helping clients, such as developers, local authorities and landowners/occupiers, navigate their way around planning law, policy and practice. As part of one of the UK’s best regarded planning teams, I advise on legal risks in planning applications, planning appeals and legal challenges and I negotiate section 106 agreements. I also advise on issues like community infrastructure levy, the National Planning Policy Framework, neighbourhood planning, enterprise zones, tax increment financing and the role of local enterprise partnerships. Much of our work links into infrastructure delivery and property development because of the important role that planning plays in economic growth.

Supporting my clients’ objectives

The best part of my job is helping clients realise their goals – and usually this has a visible outcome in the shape of new development. They all have to start with planning, which means we’re often in right at the start of a project so we can help to spot and avoid possible problems, eg, whether something might give a third party a right to challenge, and to support the rest of the professional team. I like to think of our role as standing in the shoes of the client, but with a commercial lawyer’s view (if that doesn’t sound too bizarre!). Right now I am working for clients who are developing at cb1 (the regeneration of the station area in Cambridge) and at Alconbury Weald in Huntingdonshire, although our work does take us further afield.  I am also advising on major development sites at Lubbesthorpe in Leicestershire and at Rugby Radio Station.

What do others say?

The legal directories put us in the top tier in our region and one of the most common things we hear is that we are always up to date and effective, as well as being approachable and friendly. We like to think we combine a thorough grasp of the law with approachability – just because it’s work, doesn’t mean it can’t be a good experience! Clients and colleagues say we’re always very calm in the planning team. Given what is happening through all of the Government's changes, that's just as well.

What else should you know?

We have a regular e-newsletter called FuturePerfect? (get the humour there!) – so do sign up if you don’t already subscribe. (To download the latest copy of this or any of our other publications, see the "Publications and updates" section of this site.) We have also launched our blog, Plan-it Law, so look out for our regular posts and comments online and we’d love to hear from you.