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Planning Consultants and Planning Law

Success in securing planning permission for your project is about more than submitting a compliant planning application; it’s crucial to obtain an early understanding of all the planning law considerations that will affect your project and receive advice on any tactical approach to be followed. Our expert team of highly professional planning consultants and planning lawyers understand what is required and can help you achieve your development goals.

Contact our team


Our experts provide support to a range of clients including private developers and those from the voluntary sector from across the country. The team also provide planning support to local authorities.

The Planning team, which includes a chartered waste manager, have played a key role in progressing a wide range of high-profile projects. These include the redevelopment of the Ageas Bowl (formerly the Rose Bowl), the home of Hampshire Cricket. For this project Paris Smith were finalists at the 2016 Planning Awards for placemaking.

Our planning experts  have a wide network of contacts and access to multidisciplinary and specialist external consultants who we can bring on board to assist with your project. Examples include architects, highways, heritage, noise and ecology experts.

Key planning services

We are able to provide both planning consultants and planning lawyers to support all of your planning requirements.

Planning Consultants

Our planning consultants are able to provide a wide range of services including:

  • site assessments and planning appraisals;
  • pre-planning application advice and submission;
  • planning applications for outline and full planning permissions;
  • exercising and advising on the use of permitted development rights;
  • reserved matters and applications to discharge conditions;
  • major development projects, including mixed use developments;
  • public consultation strategies and press releases;
  • site promotions through the Local Plan process;
  • planning policy advice;
  • advice on the Community Infrastructure Levy;
  • nutrient neutrality budget preparation and mitigation advice for nitrates and phosphates;
  • certificates of lawfulness for existing uses or proposed development (CLUED);
  • planning appeal support (Section 78); and
  • commercial to residential conversions.

Planning Legal

Our planning lawyers provide the following services:

  • Working with planning consultants to obtain planning consents
  • Advocacy at examination in public inquiries
  • Preparing representations on emerging local plans
  • Political and public consultation exercises
  • Negotiating and drafting Section 106, 278 and 38 Agreements
  • Coordination and management of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s)
  • Advising on Section 104 Agreements (Water Industry Act 1991)
  • Advising on Unilateral Undertakings
  • Advising on Phosphate Agreements
  • Advising on Nitrate Credit Allocation Agreements
  • Providing advice on judicial review (planning)
  • Providing legal advice on heritage matters
  • Due diligence (property transactions)
  • Certificates of lawfulness for existing uses or proposed development (CLUED)
  • Advice on advertisement regulations
  • Providing legal advice and representation at appeals
  • Instructing barristers for legal opinions, representation at planning inquiries and examinations in public
  • Advice on stopping up orders for highways and footpaths to facilitate development
  • Tree Preservation Orders

Examples of recent project success

  • Putting together a comprehensive planning statement including site description; clients’ proposals for the site; planning history; planning policy; ecosystems services statement and more which successfully resulted in planning permission being obtained for a new winery/wedding barn at a vineyard situated in the South Downs National Park.
  • We assisted a London-based developer to achieve the delivery of 56 homes at Trinity Place in the heart of Woking’s town centre. Starting life as an office, our team secured prior approval for an office to residential conversion under permitted development rights quickly followed by a successful planning application for external alterations including a roof extension to provide 8 additional units. A couple of minor amendments along the way, and we successfully achieved the discharge of the planning conditions.
  • Successfully obtaining prior approval for a change of use from offices to residential resulting in the provision of 17 residential units comprising 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, followed by a planning application for all necessary external changes.
  • Planning consent achieved for a major development on a brownfield site in a London Borough of a 6-storey building comprising mixed community use with church and 33 affordable housing units. Negotiated and drafted the associated Section 106 agreement.
  • Secured planning consent and negotiated Section 106 Agreement for a pioneering trauma informed approach residential community for women and their children on a brownfield site in a Southampton conservation area, comprising living accommodation, childcare, health and education facilities.
  • Provided planning support to a local planning authority development management team handling a major planning application on their behalf attending site meetings, assessing planning applications and supporting documents, preparing the planning report and presenting at a planning committee.  
  • Negotiations and drafting of a complex Section 106 Agreement on behalf of a residential Developer, also involving numerous landowners and two local authorities in respect of a major housing development comprising of 450 residential units, new school, community centre and new roads, together with financial contributions. 
  • Drafting a detailed and complex Section 278 Agreement on behalf of a regional chain of garden centres covering changes to the road network and new accessway to a new garden centre development.
  • Supporting Eastleigh Borough Council in preparing their local plan and representing the Council at Examination in Public (EiP) as well as providing planning legal support and counsel services throughout the process.

In-House Counsel

Our team of experienced lawyers is well-equipped to support you in various ways. Whether you require advice on a specific issue, additional resources due to capacity constraints, or a second opinion, we are here to help. Explore our legal counsel page for more information and details on our schedule of seminars, specifically designed for in-house counsel.

How we work with you

Whilst based in the South of England, Paris Smith acts for businesses and families throughout the UK. Technology has enabled us to provide a high level of service to our clients whether they are local to our offices or not. Our advice can be given in many ways:

  • Over the telephone
  • Via video conferencing
  • In face to face meetings

We will talk through how you would like to be contacted and the best ways for us to meet in our early conversations with you.

Get in touch to speak with an expert.

Introducing your key contact

How we’ve helped our clients

“I know this company is a law firm but I didn’t realise they were experts in planning. Jane Rarok is first class at her job. Great service and her excellent planning objection for us worked. Highly recommend the Planning department. Thank you.”

Mags – Objection to planning permission

“The Planning team at Paris Smith have supported us through our application with absolute professionalism, giving feedback at every stage in a very timely manner and acting in a proactive way to ensure that our case was being highlighted and picked up by the Council planning department. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.”

Richard Beauchamp

“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

“As a Chartered Surveyor managing a portfolio of commercial property nationwide, getting good legal and planning advice is vital. One of our biggest clients uses Paris Smith for their legal work and when I discovered that Paris Smith has a planning team that combines planning lawyers and planning consultants I started using them on several projects. Projects have included permitted development applications, formal consents and objections to planned works all in Southern England. They have been helpful, clear, concise, timely and proactive in his dealings with me.”

Tim Richards – Aston Rose

“We have been greatly impressed with Jane’s planning knowledge and consider her to be “top of her game”. After discussing with Jane what we were trying to achieve, with her extensive knowledge she put together our comprehensive Planning Statement. Jane consulted with the local authority in their language together with other consultants, taking all the stress away from us. Planning permission was granted and we were able to start work on our new winery/wedding barn. We cannot recommend Jane highly enough!”

Donna and Dave Line, Owners

Poppydown Vineyard

“We have used Paris Smith over the last 20 years for various projects and purchases. We have always received a friendly and professional service.”

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