Southampton 02380 482 482
Winchester 01962 679 777

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Planning law and planning consultancy

Our Planning team, based in Southampton and Winchester consists of planning lawyers and planning consultants.

Appointments during Coronavirus lockdown

Legal 500 top tier

During these difficult and unprecedented times, please rest assured that the planning lawyers and planning consultants team at Paris Smith are still available to support you and your business, should you need us. Whether you are an existing client or somebody who needs assistance for the first time, we can still meet or speak with you via Skype, Facetime or other video conferencing facilities.

For more information, please call either the head of our planning team, Janet May on 023 8048 2336; or visit our team and individual lawyers’ pages for our contact details.

About us

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.

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  • Appeals
  • Certificates of lawfulness
  • Compulsory purchase orders
  • Development management support for local authorities
  • Expert witness
  • Guest author for media and conference programmes
  • Initial advice and pre-application
  • Land promotion
  • Letters of objection
  • Local Plan support for individuals and local authorities
  • Monitoring of planning political landscape
  • Permitted development advice
  • Planning applications
  • Planning appraisals and strategic advice prior to investors bidding on sites
  • Planning appraisals and strategic advice following investors purchasing sites
  • Planning policy
  • Planning statements
  • Prior approval applications
  • Public engagement
  • Research 
  • Section 106 agreements
  • Training
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Our sectors include:

  • Charity
  • Commercial and industrial
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Equestrian
  • Flood defence
  • Health
  • Heritage
  • Householder/home improvement
  • Hotels
  • Local Plans
  • Logistics
  • Minerals and waste
  • Mixed use and regeneration
  • Ports, harbours and marine
  • Renewables
  • Residential
  • Retirement and care
  • Rural
  • Sport and stadia
  • Student accommodation
  • Town centre and retail
  • Tourism and lesiure
  • Water and waste water
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Our experienced team of planning consultants and planning solicitors are proud to be trusted and procured by clients from a range of sectors throughout the UK.

We regularly interact with:

  • Architects
  • Banks
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Education providers
  • Energy companies
  • Farmers
  • Homeowners
  • Housebuilders
  • Investors
  • Land owners
  • Local authorities
  • Media
  • Membership organisations
  • Objectors (individuals, campaign groups, community groups, groups of neighbours)
  • Property mentors
  • Property portfolio holders
  • Sewerage undertakers
  • Sports clubs
  • Utility companies
  • Water providers

If you have a project which you would like our assistance with, please email Rob Sellen in the first instance.

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Published intelligence

National Conference Programmes

National Legal Journals

  • Be ever ready (answering key questions on battery storage) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal – May/June 2018
  • Power to the people  (outlining recent proposals addressing energy storage) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal – September/October 2017
  • Where the heart is (highlighting the need for investment planning to address the housing requirements of the disabled and elderly) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal – July/August 2017
  • Without a plan(ner) (Voicing growing concern at the lack of involvement of planning law expertise in the long-term strategies of universities and local authorities) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal 2017 – May/June 2017
  • Opening doors (Exploring measures to boost housing supply and improve planning performance) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal – March/April 2017
  • Brownfield bonanza (Identifying the key areas for public sector collaboration in maximising development and land disposal opportunities) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal November/December 2016
  • A public estate (Pinpointing the arrival of a new era for major development opportunities) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal March/April 2016 
  • The best-laid plans (Examining the continued devolution of planning powers) – Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal Jan/Feb 2016


Blogs (view all)

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If you are looking to develop land or property, or looking to ensure that the current or future use of your land or buildings complies with the latest planning regulations, it is crucial that you maintain an up to date awareness of planning legislation and how it is changing.

Paris Smith wants to see you, your family and your businesses succeed which is why our planning training is provided by our expert planning consultants who each have a wealth of experience in planning and in interacting with local authority development management and planning policy teams.

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Why not collaborate with us?

With the recent planning changes, ongoing BREXIT negotiations and economic uncertainty, there has never been a more important time to stay engaged with planning and politics.

Our planning experts are regularly asked to:

  • undertake bespoke planning research;
  • provide ongoing planning and political monitoring/intelligence; and
  • provide insightful commentary for magazines, newspapers, journals and conferences.

If you would like to enquire about commissioning our consultants to undertake bespoke projects, please do get in touch via Janet May.

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Eastleigh Borough Council : Nick Tustian Chief Executive – 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. Local Government can be confusing as often decisions are driven by political ambitions and weaving the appropriate legal path through this can, at times, be challenging. Paris Smith more than anyone really understands this and will ensure that the advice they provide is based on what can be done rather than find the legal obstacles that get in the way. At the same time their advice is clear and highlights any concerns about the route we wish to follow. We have total complete trust in their advice even on the rare occasion we don’t like it.

By far the main area of work that they engage with us on is in the complex world of planning and development. They have acted for us in many planning appeals and worked closely with us on a number of major planning applications and undertaken which have included householder applications on our behalf to reduce any backlogs. Most recently they have been supporting us in compiling preparing our Local Development Plan which is currently undergoing its Examination process. Their support providing planning witnesses and legal advice has been crucial in enabling us to get the Plan ready for submission and we hope adoption to adopt in the not too distant future. Perhaps their approach is best epitomised by a conversation I had with one of the Senior Partners, Janet May, some years ago. She was in the process of recruiting new staff and met with me to discuss what requirements and demands we would have over the coming years so that she could ensure she appointed the right staff with the right skills to meet our requirements. We do indeed feel that Paris Smith value us as more than a client.

A recent independent review of Eastleigh Borough Council stated that as a Council we “punch well above our weight” and achieve things that larger organisations would be envious of. I hope that Paris Smith feel very much part of what we have achieved and I look forward to working with them, in that spirit of partnership, for many years to come.

The Ageas Bowl

(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.)

Anonymous : May I congratulate the planning team at Paris Smith and Rob Sellen who throughout the planning application process kept me informed on all matters relating to the proposed change of use, especially during the unprecedented period of lockdown. I would recommend Paris Smith to anyone seeking advice on any planning matters.

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Janet May
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2336
Send an email

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Meet the Team

Jane Rarok
Principal Planning Consultant

T: 023 8048 2101
Send an email

Rob Sellen
Planning Consultant

T: 023 8048 2169
Send an email

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