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Janet May

Partner and Head of Planning

My experience

I lead the Planning Consultancy and Planning Legal team comprising both chartered planners and planning lawyers.  With over 25 years’ experience gained in both public sector and private practice, I specialise in a wide range of planning and environmental legal matters.  I have supported a number of clients from the public, private and third sector, these have included housing developers, charities, utility companies, local planning authorities and the sport and leisure sector.

I work alongside Jane Rarok Principal Planning Consultant, providing legal advice to the horticulture, farming and wine industry when owners are considering either developing or diversifying to provide new income streams by the change of use of redundant farm buildings. This may take the form of Certificates of Lawfulness for proposed and existing uses, or interpretation of permitted development rights relevant to farms, small holdings, equestrian and vineyards. In addition I have experience of advising on and drafting Section 106 Agreements, Section 278 and Section 38 (Highways) Agreements, Section 104 Agreements (Water Industry Act). Of late I have been advising landowners who are setting aside areas of land to provide for nitrate and phosphate credits to developer purchasers through Nitrate and Phosphate Credit Allocation Agreements and also Slow Worm translocation Agreements. With a family background in soft fruit growing I understand the pressures on farmers and those working in the horticultural industry who face the need to maximise their assets through the planning system.

My key areas of specialism include:

  • providing advice in preparing planning applications;
  • preparing representations on emerging local plans;
  • advocacy at examination in public and public inquiries;
  • political and public consultation exercises;
  • advocacy at regulatory planning committees;
  • coordination and management of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s);
  • drafting section 106/278 agreements;
  • advising on Section 104 Agreements (Water Industry Act 1991);
  • drafting and advising on Nitrate Credit Allocation Agreements;
  • drafting and advising on Unilateral Undertakings;
  • drafting and advising on Section 106 Agreements;
  • drafting and advising on Phosphate Agreements;
  • drafting and advising on Section 278 Agreements and Section 38 Agreements;
  • providing advice on judicial review (planning); and
  • providing legal advice on heritage matters.

I have extensive project management experience gained through high-profile projects and contentious commissions which have included the Dibden Bay Public Inquiry, West Quay Shopping Centre, St Mary’s Stadium, the home of Southampton Football Club and the Ageas Bowl, Home of Hampshire Cricket.

As former joint head of Legal at Southampton City Council, leading the major projects and environmental legal team, I have extensive experience of local authority practice which has enabled me to develop both positive and successful working relationships with our local authority clients.

I am an advocate of supporting local businesses and emerging markets, providing them with the planning legal and consultancy support they require in ensuring they are resilient and maximising their revenue potential.

I am an Associate Member of the Institution of Environmental Management and Assessment, and a Business and Professional Member of the CLA.

How I’ve helped our clients

I am delighted to have the opportunity to say a few words about Paris Smith, who I have known and worked with for over 20 years. It would be too easy to simply say that they provide a highly professional and efficient planning consultancy and legal service. Of course they do, but the relationship both I and Eastleigh Borough Council enjoy with Paris Smith goes well beyond that of the normal client and contractor. It is much more a partnership that we have developed over many years based on trust, mutual respect and a real understanding of our priorities and needs.

Nick Tustian, Chief Executive - Eastleigh Borough Council