• I am a planning specialist and have a particular focus on advising local authorities in both contentious and non-contentious planning matters. I have specialist local government expertise, having previously worked for local authority legal services for over 5 years. My work includes town centre regeneration matters, transactional section 106 agreements, certificate of lawfulness applications, permitted development advice, planning enforcement advice, CIL, Neighbourhood Plan and Local Plan processes, policy queries, Assets of Community Value, Article 4 directions, judicial review challenges, public inquiries and statutory appeals.

    My practice includes: planning agreements, Compulsory Purchase Orders, planning enforcement, technical planning advice, highways matters, planning strategy, public inquiries, statutory appeals and judicial review challenges.

    • A significant proportion of my practice involves negotiating, drafting and advising on section 106 agreements, section 38/278 highways agreements, development agreements and deeds of variation.
    • Advising and providing tailored support to local authorities on Compulsory Purchase Orders, including:
      • Supplying legal advice on pre-Order enquiries and negotiations.
      • Advising and assisting authorities with the procedure required to make an Order.
      • Drafting, amending and submitting the required documents to the Secretary of State.
      • Acting on behalf of authorities throughout the public inquiry process; liaising with relevant parties, producing and managing documents, and working closely with Counsel.
      • Successfully resisting legal challenge under the statutory procedure in the Planning Court.
      • Providing advice and support during the vesting and implementation process.
    • Supported local authorities as Legal Adviser to their Development Control Panels/Planning Committees, providing strategic and technical high-level planning advice to Officers and Members where required.
    • Acted as in-house solicitor for local authorities in respect of planning enforcement matters, including:
      • Providing detailed bespoke advice on technical enforcement and planning policy queries.
      • Reviewing and inputting into officer reports and draft notices.
      • Practical advice, support and assistance on the application of development control powers.
      • Appearing on behalf of the Council as advocate in planning prosecution proceedings.
    • Acted for authorities on planning appeal matters, including large-scale commercial development, change of use enforcement appeals, and Traveller site proposals in the Green Belt, working alongside Counsel.
    • Advised an authority defending a planning decision against a judicial review claim, succeeding at the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court levels ( (Eastwood) v Windsor and Maidenhead RLBC [2016] EWCA Civ 437).
    • Advised authority officers on certificate of lawfulness applications, including assessing the content of applications against the legal criteria.
    • Supplied detailed advice and assistance on Assets of Community Value and associated issues of interpretation and legal clarification. Acted both on behalf of landowners submitting representations as part of this procedure, and authorities considering nominations.
    • Provided detailed advice to an authority client on the strategic application of legal powers to revoke planning permission, and related advice on withdrawal of a certificate of lawfulness.
    • Supplied comprehensive advice and support to multiple local authorities in respect of Neighbourhood and Local Plans, in relation to legal procedure, evidence base and substantive content.
    • Advised an authority on various aspects of their Town Centre Regeneration scheme, including:
      • Working with the Council's development partner on planning issues.
      • Reviewing and inputting into Cabinet reports and planning applications advanced by the Council.
      • Advising on ancillary related matters (e.g. highways and environmental queries).
    • Supported an authority with the implementation process for the Community Infrastructure Levy, including delivering CIL training, providing advice on viability and technical support throughout implementation.
    • Supplied legal and drafting support in relation to Supplementary Planning Documents.
    • Provided detailed advice on permitted development rights, changes of use and use classes.
    • Advised on Article 4 matters, including carrying out the legal processes required to give effect to directions on behalf of an authority client.
    • Acted for authorities on a variety of contentious planning matters, including judicial review claims, injunctions restraining existing and anticipated breaches of planning control, and committal applications in the High Court.

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