Planning

The planning sector and its rules and regulations are constantly evolving. We have experience acting from every angle for those involved, so we can help guide you through – whether you’re a developer, landowner, local authority or objector.

> Our planning lawyers
> Our planning law experience
> Our clients
> What our clients and others say about us
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Helping you with the full range of planning law issues

We keep a close eye on new and emerging issues and are always ready to advise on the full range of planning concerns. Our experience in acting for both the public and private sectors means we are well placed to advise on both sides of the picture.

We can help with a wide range of issues, including:

  • Managing the legal risk on planning applications – advising on procedures, application materials and environmental impact assessments 
  • Advising on section 106 agreements – we have crafted many innovative solutions to practical and legal problems, including phased developments, covenants with Network Rail, and ensuring that obligations meet the tests set out in community infrastructure levy (CIL) regulations 
  • Handling appeals and legal challenges – advising on issues such as enforcement and local development frameworks, whether as a promoter or objector 
  • Advising on CIL issues – from considering making representations on a draft charging schedule to assessing how an existing levy may impact your development proposals, and anything in between

We have experience working for a wide range of clients, including organisations involved in housing developments, urban extensions and regeneration projects.


Our planning lawyers

We offer a dedicated team of planning solicitors specialising in this area, drawing upon further expertise from our wider national real estate team as well as our specialists in sectors such as education, health, charities and agriculture to offer clients the most comprehensive advice.

Our planning law experience

We have extensive specialist experience advising a wide range of clients – from local authorities to developers, landowners and objectors – on all areas of planning law. For example: 

  • Acting for Urban&Civic on the planning application for the development of Alconbury Weald, to include over 5,000 new homes and 3 million sqft of employment space, including advising on EIA and other application requirements, and the necessary section 106 agreement, which was recently completed. 
  • Successfully advising Trinity College, Cambridge in relation to its acquisition of the O2 
  • Advising the developer of the “cb1” scheme – the regeneration of the area around Cambridge station – including drafting and negotiating the section 106 agreement entered into on the grant of outline consent and advising on a number of highways matters and subsequent planning applications and variations 
  • Advising the MOD on the section 106 agreement in relation to its proposals to redevelop the ‘Deepcut’ Barracks in Surrey 
  • Providing advice to Chelmsford City Council on the section 106 agreement required in connection with the proposed redevelopment of Runwell Hospital
  • Advising Blaby District Council on the grant of planning consent and the accompanying s106 agreement for a new community west of Leicestershire, to be called New Lubbesthorpe, which will deliver 4,250 homes, an employment park creating 2,500 new jobs, three schools, and two bridges over the M1
  • Acting for BT & AVIVA Investors in the s106 agreement to secure planning permission at Rugby Radio Station, to provide 6,200 homes and a significant amount of employment development as a sustainable urban extension to Rugby

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    Our clients

    Our clients include:

    • Urban&Civic 
    • Brookgate cb1 Limited 
    • O&H Properties Ltd 
    • MoD 
    • Local authorities including London Boroughs of Southwark and Waltham Forest, Chelmsford City and Norwich City 
    • A number of NHS trusts and commissioners 
    • Higher and further education clients

    What our clients and others say about us

    We believe our position in the marketplace, and the quality and breadth of our client base as well as our work, are reflected in our industry awards and rankings and, more importantly, our client feedback:

    • In May 2014, Planning Magazine rated us third in a list of law firms with recent experience in advising on what it regarded as the '100 Biggest Planning Permissions' in the UK
    • We have been nominated by Planning Magazine for 2014 Planning Law Team of the Year
    • We have been recognised as one of the top 50 innovative law firms in Europe in the 2012 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report
    • We were awarded Real Estate Team of the Year at the 2013 Legal Business Awards 
    • Both the leading independent guides to the legal profession, Chambers UK and Legal 500, acknowledge us to be the top ranked firm for real estate law in East Anglia 

    Feedback about us from clients and peers in the guides includes: 

    • “[Mills & Reeve’s planning team] has a ‘clear, detailed understanding of legal issues and a creative way of expressing complex matters simply’, with Beverley Firth’s ‘refreshing, practical approach’ contributing to a ‘clued-up and plugged-in’ practice." Legal 500
    • Beverley Firth receives widespread recognition as a standout in the field. Sources value her practical approach and say she is "creative in thinking round legal issues". One client notes "She's got a very good breadth of experience and a detailed understanding of current planning law".

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      Legal resources you may find useful

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      Planning and environment
      Planning and environment