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 includes a highly professional team of planning lawyers, planning consultants, chartered waste manager, and experts in environmental impact assessments.

Working closely with our clients to build great relationships and help secure the results they desire. We specialise in securing planning consents and advising on all aspects of planning for a wide range of clients including developers, health and care providers, local authorities, parish councils, charities, housing associations, asset managers, financial institutions, leisure and retail operators, private individuals and property investors throughout the UK.

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

Key planning law services

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

Planning Consultancy

Our planning consultants provide the following services:

  • Planning appraisals on development potential, and providing strategic advice to minimise planning risks to achieve a successful outcome.
  • Pre-planning application advice and submission.
  • Planning applications for outline and full planning permissions, including development consent orders and listed building consent.
  • Office to residential conversions and other changes of use (Class O), agriculture buildings to residential (Class Q), applications under Class AA adding additional floors to existing single storey dwellings and other changes of use.
  • Major development projects, including mixed use developments.
  • Public consultation strategies.
  • Site Promotions through SHEELAA, SHLAA and the Local Plan process.
  • Local Plan support to local authorities (both preparation and delivery phases).
  • Advising on Neighbourhood Plans.
  • Representation at examinations in public.
  • Coordination and project management of environmental impact assessments.
  • Review and advise in support of acquisition and disposal of properties and funding.
  • Appeals.
  • Expert witness at Public Local Inquiries.
  • Certificates of Lawfulness for Existing User or Development (CLEUD).
  • Houses of multiple occupation (HMO) (C4 and sui generis Use and Classes).
  • Letters of objection on behalf of parish councils, amenity groups and individuals.
  • Section 106 agreement and Section 278 agreement negotiations.
  • Permitted Development Rights.
  • Advice on advertisement regulations.

Planning Legal

Our planning lawyers provide the following services:

  • Advising on planning policy.
  • Representing local authorities with their local plan reviews.
  • Working with planning consultants to obtain planning consents.
  • Public consultation strategies and advising on press releases.
  • Negotiating and drafting Section 106 and Section 278 Agreements.
  • Permitted Development rights.
  • Project managing environmental impact assessments.
  • Providing legal advice and representation at appeals.
  • Instructing barristers for legal opinions, representation at planning inquiries and examinations in public.
  • Advising on judicial reviews.
  • Advice on planning enforcement matters including prosecutions.
  • Advice on CLOPEDs and CLEUDS.
  • Advice on stopping up orders for highways and footpaths to facilitate development.
  • Tree Preservation Orders.

Work examples of planning services

  • 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.
  • 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 virtual 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.
  • Representing Eastleigh Borough Council in respect of their Local Plan review leading to Examination in Public.

The Group includes a full in-house planning consultancy of chartered town planners, a chartered waste manager and planning lawyers.

How we’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

“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

Introducing your key contact

Janet May
Partner and Head of Planning



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