We are regularly instructed by local authorities in England to provide legal advice and assistance on planning law matters. This has ranged from undertaking discrete projects to providing consultant solicitor services in much the same way as a locum would.

Examples of our work include:

  • Advising a local authority during the submission and examination of its local plan. The examination hearings spanned a number of weeks during a three-year period with the Inspector issuing two rounds of interim views before issuing his final report allowing the adoption of the local plan subject to main modifications being made;
  • Advising a local authority in its role as the owner of a site prior to and during the submission of an application for the provision of a replacement leisure centre, six form of entry secondary school and 481 dwellings with associated infrastructure provision including drafting a s106 obligation to secure the provision of on-site affordable housing, compliance with construction and phasing plans, the payment of financial contributions, the implementation of a car club & travel plan and compliance with a viability review mechanism;
  • Negotiating a s106 planning obligation for a development comprising the erection of up to 1,500 dwellings, a local centre, primary school, drainage works and SANG mitigation, highway works and open space and a related planning obligation ensuring the provision of off-site SANG mitigation;
  • Negotiating a s106 planning obligation for a mixed use development comprising offices, light industrial, general industrial, storage and distribution facilities, student accommodation, hotels and social hub;
  • Prosecuting landowners for breaches of enforcement notices, including associated POCA applications
  • Undertaking independent investigations on behalf of the Chief Executive as part of a local authority’s complaints procedure prior to complaints being made to the Local Government Ombudsman;
  • Advising on a compensation case in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) following the making of a Modification Order under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;
  • Re-drafting Planning Codes of Conduct for elected members;
  • Updating and re-drafting a Council’s Scheme of Delegation to Officers;
  • Advising on a series of associated judicial reviews relating to the interpretation of planning policy concerning ‘locally identified need’ for housing in the context of Core and Hinterland Villages;
  • Acting as a Consultant Head of Legal Services;
  • Acting as Consultant Planning and Highways Team Leader.

We also deliver training courses to local authority clients, whether for elected members or officers, on topics such as planning and listed building enforcement, planning appeals, Planning Committees (including mock committees), PACE Codes of Conduct, PACE interviews, Injunctions and Certificates of Lawfulness.

Local Authority Clients

  • Babergh District Council
  • Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Cheshire East Council
  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
  • Epping Forest District Council
  • Fenland District Council
  • Hart District Council
  • Hertsmere Borough Council
  • London Borough of Barnet
  • London Borough of Hackney
  • London Borough of Harrow
  • Mid Suffolk District Council
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Rutland Council
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Wokingham Borough Council