Our Planning Team is at the forefront of developments in planning law to ensure pragmatism and efficiency of advice. We work with developers and local planning authorities on contentious and non-contentious issues, along with third parties wishing to comment or object on development proposals. The team includes several former local authority in-house solicitors, and so are well placed to advise all sides on how to achieve their objectives.
- Negotiation of planning applications and enforcement
- Environmental impact assessment
- Planning obligations/section 106 agreements
- Compulsory purchase
- Advising on the Community Infrastructure Levy
- Lawful use certificates
- Affordable housing
- Planning appeals, including written representations, hearings and advocacy at public inquiries
- Local development framework representations
- Judicial reviews and high court challenges
- Highways law
- Listed buildings and conservation law
- Commons, town and village greens
- Advising the local planning authority in connection with the redevelopment of the Empress State Building in Earls Court, including a section 106 agreement providing off site affordable housing, financial contributions and linking the proposal with the wider Earls Court redevelopment.
- Undertaking section 288 challenges for developer clients on sites in St Austell, Swindon and Wincanton in respect of both Inspector and Secretary of State decisions and advising a developer in Devon in respect of such a challenge brought by an environmental group.
- Negotiating, on behalf of a housebuilder client, a section 106 Agreement for 500 home site in Somerset with both District and County Councils including affordable housing and various infrastructure contributions.
Office to residential permitted development rights - help for housing or jeopardy for jobs?
Last year the government introduced new permitted development ("PD") rights which, in certain circumstances, allow the conversion of offices to residential dwellings without planning permission. The rights were expressed to be temporary, lasting for three years.Read more
Government looks at cutting further red tape in planning system
Brandon Lewis MP, the new Housing and Planning Minister, has published a consultation on measures which are designed to make the planning system work more efficiently and effectively.Read more
"War Horse" wind turbine proposal rejected after Inspector applies recent Court of Appeal guidance
The Planning Inspectorate has dismissed an appeal against a refusal of planning permission for a single wind turbine in Iddesleigh, Devon. The case hit the press after it was revealed that the turbine would be situated in the rural setting of bestselling novel "War Horse". Author Michael Morpurgo was one of numerous objectors to the proposed development.Read more
How the Growth and Infrastructure Act will affect affordable housing
The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 has introduced a new procedure to renegotiate affordable housing obligations in section 106 agreements, as discussed by Ashfords John Bosworth.Read more
Royal Academy for Deaf Education launch new building plans
Ashfords are co-sponsoring the launch of plans for the new Academy for Deaf Education. The event will take place at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum with Andrew Rothwell and The Design Team representing the firm.Read more
Protecting your Land from Rights of Way Claims
Gareth Pinwell, partner in Ashfords Planning team, outlines the new procedure to make a declaration under s31(6) Highways Act 1980 to prevent rights of way claims arising due to use of land by unknown persons seeking to establish a public right of way.Read more
Tony is a Partner in our Planning Team. He qualified in local government at the London Borough of Southwark. It was through his work in local government that Tony developed his skills in Planning, leading to overall responsibility for the legal planning function in two District Councils in Bristol and Somerset. In addition Tony deals with commercial property matters including, in particular, development work.Read more
Town and Village Greens - Protecting Your Interests
Gareth Pinwell, partner in Ashfords Planning Team, discusses the means open to land owners to prevent applications and subsequent registration of Town and Village Greens recently introduced in the Commons Act 2006.Read more
"Batty" permitted development rights coming home to roost?
Gareth Pinwell outlines the interaction of the habitats directive and recently announced changes to permitted development.Read more
Cherkley golf course development: Court of Appeal redefines meaning of "need" in planning cases
The Court of Appeal has set aside an order quashing planning permission for the development of a hotel and spa complex and an exclusive 18 hole golf course.Read more
Government announces plans to improve the NSIP regime
The Government has published its response to a consultation reviewing the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project ("NSIP") regime. The consultation followed significant changes made last year, which extended the regime to cover certain business and commercial projects.Read more
Affordable Housing Policy - Good from afar, far from good?
The Government's official line is aiming to address the need for more affordable housing. However, the consequences of its planning initiatives seem to be largely undermining its provision. John Bosworth, partner and Head of the Planning Team explains why.Read more
Judicial Review - Planning for the Future?
Gareth Pinwell reviews the changes to Judicial Review which the Ministry of Justice has been consulting. The MOJ wants to introduce more certainty once a development decision is taken, which should be welcomed by planners, land owners and developers but there are a number of significant hurdles to this.Read more
Listed Buildings - Lifting the Burden?
Gareth Pinwell, partner in Ashfords Planning Team, discusses the proposed reforms to the listed building consent regime.Read more
Graham began his career with Ashfords before leaving to spend ten years working in Local Government, most notably for Exeter City Council. The desire to work in the private sector took him to Clarke Willmott and Michelmores before returning to Ashfords as a Planning Partner twenty years after leaving.Read more
Removal of Town and Village Green Designations
Gareth Pinwell, a partner in Ashfords' Planning Team, reviews a recent judgement of the Supreme Court where village green designations were removed from the register some years after they were originally registered.Read more
I enjoy the mix of politics and law that you get from working in planning law, and the real need to understand where the other side are coming from in order to achieve your client's objectives.