Southampton 02380 482 482
Winchester 01962 679 777
Paris Smith
planning icon

Planning consultancy and legal advice

Our Planning Team, based in Southampton and Winchester, consists of planning lawyers and planning consultants. We specialise in securing planning consents for a wide range of development projects for private sector and public sector clients throughout the UK.

(Above is a testimonial from Rod Bransgrove, Chairman of The Ageas Bowl, talking to Lena Samuels, BBC Broadcaster, about the fantastic work of the planning team.)

As a team of Planning Lawyers and Planning Consultants advising in all aspects of planning law and planning consultancy we provide up to date advice and problem solving, integrity is key to our approach giving straight forward honest advice and delivering high quality work.


We have provided the planning advice on one of the most complex projects on the south coast, the development of the Ageas Bowl, the home of Hampshire Cricket.  This involved a complex planning application, sequential test, environmental impact assessment and us successfully advising on all planning aspects both legal and consultancy including taking the lead on political and public consultations both locally and regionally, leading to a successful grant of planning permission for the project.

We undertake planning consultancy work for water companies (Thames Water and Southern Water).   Our work has included checking Permitted Development compliance, EIA screening work, submission of planning applications for both water treatment and sewerage treatment works (for example flood resilience schemes, First Time Sewerage Treatment Works, discharge of planning conditions and Section 106 / Section 278 work.)  We have recently completed a project for Thames Water involving the confirmation of permitted development rights for over 80 of their water supply works and are currently working on a First Time Sewerage Scheme at Three Oaks in West Sussex on behalf of Southern Water.

Our team is able to represent clients on planning applications, planning appeals and Inquiries, Local Plan representations, Environmental Impact Assessments, Compulsory Purchase Orders, Community Infrastructure Levy, Highways Agreements, Section 106 agreements and Judicial review issues.

Why use us?

Hiring a chartered town planner – the benefits (the Royal Town Planning Institute says) “It is important to ensure  you  hire the right professional for the right project.  Planning is not a protected profession.  Anyone, from architects and surveyors to home improvement companies  will claim to offer planning services.  By hiring a chartered planning consultant  you will receive the very best advice, ‘quality assured’ by the Royal Town Planning Institute, the professional body for planning.”

Planning consultants work with their clients, stakeholders and the Local Planning Authority involved in granting planning permission.  Their knowledge and expertise will ensure your home improvement, project or business development gets the support it needs to gain the all important planning permission.

Chartered Town Planning Consultants:

  • provide accurate, impartial and cost-effective professional planning advice to ensure their client’s planning applications receive a smooth journey through an often expensive and complex planning process
  • offer a fresh, independent approach to solving complex planning issues
  • understand how to add value and get the most from their clients from the planning system
  • build effective relationships with the Local Planning Authority, community and others affected by their clients planning applications

Why do I need a planning lawyer?

Having a planning lawyer involved in your project to work alongside the planning consultants ensures that clients secure planning permissions facilitating the delivery of projects, ensure that any representations are legally compliant in particular when addressing environmental impact assessment regulations.  Working to ensure a structured strategic approach to include testing supporting information with planning applications to ensure that they are robust, legally compliant and if a planning application results in a planning Inquiry, reflects the best case possible evidentially to support a planning appeal.  Planning lawyers advise on tactical approaches to avoid High Court challenges from third parties.  Engage in complex negotiations, offer high level strategic and practical advice,  establish the clients goals at the outset of a planning application and recommend and agree a clear strategy and action plan for achieving those goals.

Planning lawyers:

  • manage the legal risk on planning applications – advising on procedures, application materials and environmental impact assessments;
  • advise on Section 106 Agreements, providing innovative solutions to practical and legal problems;
  • ensure that obligations meet the tests set out in Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations;
  • handle appeals and legal challenges;
  • advise on issues such as Enforcement and Local Development Frameworks whether as promoter or objector.

Consultation Institute logo image  We are members of The Consultation Institute.  To find out more about the Institute please click on the logo.


Shortlisted for 2016 Planning and Placemaking Awards

Planning and placemaking finalist logo

Paris Smith LLP’s Planning and Planning Legal teams were honoured to be shortlisted at the prestigious national 2016 Planning and Placemaking Awards at Savoy Place, London in recognition of their ongoing 11 year involvement assisting Eastleigh Borough Council in relation to the multi-million pound Ageas Bowl project, ‘The Home of Hampshire Cricket Club’ and formerly the Rose Bowl.

The Awards run by Planning Magazine in conjunction with Planning Resource and Placemaking Resource highlights outstanding professional planning and placemaking work and rewards excellence in planning-related activities such as placemaking, urban design, economic development, housing, regeneration, legal advice and environmental consulting.

Our teams were shortlisted in the award category ‘Placemaking using public-sector owned land or property’ – with their project to establish a test match cricket stadium, associated luxury hotel and championship golf course having long-lasting community benefits and estimated to have created 500 jobs whilst pumping up to £55million a year into the South’s economy and helping to project the profile of Eastleigh and the wider South region onto a worldwide audience.

Our teams were involved in this visionary project from the very first pre-application discussions when working alongside Eastleigh Borough Council prior to 2006 by supporting and underpinning the project through every stage of its progression through the planning system.  Throughout this time we have meticulously worked through every constraint that has threatened the delivery of the development by providing reliable and steadfast planning consultancy and planning law advice at all times included undertaking a detailed sequential test in relation to the hotel; as well as project managing the Environmental Impact Assessment. 

We were very proud to be recognised when the four star Hilton hotel was officially opened on 6 July 2015 by acclaimed Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones CBE to cap the project entering its final stage after ten years of hard work and diligence from all involved in the project.

Southampton Contact

Janet May
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2336
Send an email

View Profile

Meet the Team

Peter Kershaw
Planning Consultant

T: 023 8048 2162
Send an email

Richard Plume
Principal Planning Consultant

T: 023 8048 2110
Send an email

Ruth and her planning consultancy team have helped us secure numerous deals and planning permissions. She is great to work with, extremely knowledgeable, responsive and a natural problem-solver. I would thoroughly recommend Paris Smith’s Planning Consultancy Team. Thanks for all of your help Ruth!

- Louisa Nation

Wonder Developments Ltd

Ruth Harding, and her supporting team, have become a vital part of our business. She happily tolerates our layman’s knowledge of planning, and helps us to determine the right commercial approach. She is critical to our successes and a highly valued colleague. I am pleased that she has recently been given more resource to support her. Thank you Ruth!

- Mr J Lynch

Wessex Green Developments Ltd

Noted for its “very sound” practice and as having “considerable experience and practical know-how”

- Legal 500

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you. Please fill in the contact form below or call us at one of our offices.

02380 482 482

01962 679 777

Request a callback

For more information on how we deal with your personal information please see our Privacy Notice.