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PLANNING

Planning law is at the top of the political agenda and one of the most crucial services that local authorities provide because it is connected with housing delivery, infrastructure, public spaces, and other significant matters, such as climate emergencies, air quality, green infrastructure, place-making, flood resilience, and mental health and well-being.

Planning law has become increasingly technical and complicated, and without the appropriate advice and guidance, it can be very expensive and lengthy. With constant changes, staying ahead is crucial. Whether developing an office block, town centre, infrastructure, or other projects, our lawyers have the experience and know-how to help you navigate it.

OUR SERVICES

We advise on: 

  • Planning application advice

  • BNG planning related matters

  • Planning appeals

  • Planning agreements

  • Planning inquiries

  • Certificates of lawfulness

  • Enforcement advice and appeals

  • Judicial review and statutory challenges

  • Highways agreements

  • Stopping up of highways

  • Traffic regulation orders

  • Public rights of way

  • Local plans and SPDs

  • Promoting and objecting to compulsory purchase orders

  • CPO compensation claims

  • Appropriation of land for planning purposes

  • Development Consent Orders

  • Transport and Works Act Orders

  • Listed building and heritage advice

  • Due diligence and transactional support

HOW WE ADD VALUE

We recognise the importance of understanding what is essential to your organisation and how you operate so that we can deliver bespoke planning legal services to achieve your objectives. All of our experts have substantial experience in both the public and private sectors and are fully aware of the financial, political and governance constraints in which the planning system operates, ensuring that we can offer practical advice and innovative solutions tailored to your unique needs.

We will ensure you receive:

  • Market leading planning advice with public sector awareness and senior level experience.

  • Regular articles discussing planning updates.

  • Support for your advisory and management teams.

  • Training in topical areas and new developments within the planning sphere.

  • Effective client management linking to external audit, governance and oversight requirements.

  • A monthly planning bulletin.

  • A specialist ESG group.

  • Expertise in BNG planning related matters, net carbon zero transitioning, green leases, and the use and opportunities created by new technologies.

  • An effective approach to risk management with an appropriate sense of humour.

  • Effective knowledge transfer and training.

We have a team of planning specialists who can advise on all planning, highways, compulsory purchase and planning litigation matters. Each team member has at least 16 years’ experience and joined Davitt Jones Bould from senior in-house roles or city firms. They are supported by our larger legal team of over 70 experienced lawyers, covering core real estate, construction, energy, commercial property, environmental, property litigation, and real estate finance.

KEY CONTACTS

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Stephanie Hall

Partner

E: stephanie.hall@djblaw.co.uk

T:  0161 399 0127

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Chrisa Tsompani

Partner 

E: chrisa.tsompani@djblaw.co.uk 

T:  0161 399 0249

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Nigel Hewitson 

Partner 

E: nigel.hewitson@djblaw.co.uk 

T:  020 3026 1873

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Yohanna Weber

Partner 

E: yohanna.weber@djblaw.co.uk 

T:  020 3026 9276

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John Qualtrough

Partner 

E: john.qualtrough@djblaw.co.uk 

T:  077250 50084

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RESULTS FOR CLIENTS

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Advising a Local Authority on options to act as a Biodiversity Net Gain Habitat Bank, having regard to the limitations imposed by the legislation which do not allow Local Authorities, in their capacity as landowners, to enter into planning agreements with themselves.

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Advising a Local Authority on the delivery of the Aviva Studios (home of Factory International), in drafting and completing a tripartite agreement between multiple local authorities, in relation to the historic NR’s land, which was necessary for the delivery of the project.

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Advising a Local Authority in protecting a 53-hectare greenfield site from development, including successfully defending the decision to refuse two planning applications for up to 600 residential units and a marina at a 4-week public inquiry and at subsequent High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings, and via the emerging Local Plan.

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Acting on behalf of a Local Authority to settle a claim from a business premises which had threatened judicial review following the grant of planning permission for 160 homes.

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Advising a Local Authority on the delivery of the Oxford Street Bus Priority Package Scheme. A traffic scheme which restricts access to vehicles other than buses, bicycles and taxis and which enforces against any traffic contradictions, including advice on enforcing the scheme and the lawful issue of traffic penalty notices against any breaches.

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Negotiating a suite of highway agreements on behalf of a Local Authority to facilitate a £500m expansion, whilst ensuring that the multiple and complex road improvements required were appropriately managed and phased to ensure minimal disruption to the users of the highway.

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Advising a Local Authority on the pedestrianisation of Albert Square, in the historic city centre and in the curtilage of the listed Town Hall building. The project involved the stopping up of highways and advice on ownership of the land no longer being a highway (ad medium filum presumption).

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Advising a Local Authority on template highway agreements (under s278 and 38 of the Highway Act 1980), processes and forms to streamline and expedite the procedures followed by the highway and legal officers to improve the Council’s service.

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Advising a Government agency in respect of a £26million compulsory purchase compensation claim arising from the acquisition of land to facilitate a £1.5 billion improvement scheme.

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Providing strategic advice to a Local Authority in respect of the proposed demolition of the City’s sole high-rise apartment block and redevelopment of the site, including relocation strategy, negotiations, and potential use of CPO powers.

TESTIMONIALS

“Stephanie Hall is excellent, dealing with a wide range of planning matters, providing practicable and clear and easy to understand advice and always delivers on time. She is calm and efficient and is an excellent communicator.”

THE LEGAL 500 2024

“Davitt Jones Bould is very much focused on building strong relationship with clients and keeping them fully informed of how matters are progressing. It specialises in and understands how local government works and consistently performs to a very high standard, handling work efficiently and always meeting client timescales. I would have no hesitation in recommending Davitt Jones Bould as a legal practice or its planning team.”

THE LEGAL 500 2024

“The advice Chrisa provides to any planning service is invaluable. She is able to provide clear advice on a range of complicated matters to officers with a range of experience. Her professionalism and knowledge gives officers and elected members confidence when making decisions that they have the best possible advice to hand.”

ROB CHARNLEY

Head of Planning and Place Making

Cheshire West and Chester Council

“Davitt Jones Bould is focused on Local Authority clients and understands the unique aspects and challenges of property in a local authority context.”

THE LEGAL 500 2024

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