The planning process (and related areas) can be difficult to navigate and each planning application (and its impacts) is often met with an increasing amount of public and regulatory scrutiny.

Early engagement with specialist legal advisors can assist in reducing risk and creating a robust and lawful planning permission, complying with the regulatory aspects associated with development. We would assist you by carrying out a regulatory risk audit to help inform a strategy (identifying areas of potential opportunities but also weaknesses (which need careful expertise and attention)).

The planning and environmental regulatory framework can appear unyielding and hard to interpret at times– that’s what we are here for; to listen, to explain, to strategise and to solve. We work through the complexities of (amongst other things):

  1. the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations to produce sophisticated and bespoke strategies to meet the legal requirements but do so in a fair and reasonable way, with an eye on the cash flow and viability implications.
  2. the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, reviewing applications and EIA documents to ensure they are clear, robust and effective at demonstrating environmental impact compliance and, where required, mitigation.
  3. the Habitats Assessments Regulations, explaining and guiding developers and competent authorities as to what is required when the development could have an impact on protected European site and how duties are lawfully discharged through the process.
  4. the framework concerning Heritage (listed assets, conservation areas and their setting)), ensuring heritage assessments are carried out in line with the prevailing legal tests and policy requirements (often litigated in the Courts) and listed building consent is obtained (as well as planning permission).
  5. Rights of Light and the process of the local authority potentially appropriating land, overriding individual land interests subject to a compensatory payment to allow development to proceed.

We also advise on strategies to implement planning permissions and regularise a position on site through securing a certificate of lawfulness (whether proposed or existing).

All those regulatory aspects would typically be deduced and considered at the very early stages of procuring a planning application (in what we call the ‘regulatory risk audit’), with a clear strategy reached which serves all stakeholders’ primary objectives. The application of such strategy should then result in a permission which is lawful, robust, viable, (and importantly) implementable from the developer’s perspective. Our mission, right from the start, would be to assist you in securing that very permission.


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