Planning Lawyers

The UK Planning system changes rapidly and is becoming increasingly complex. This means it’s important to seek strategic advice that helps you overcome any obstacles your development might face.

Our experienced national team is renowned for unlocking difficult planning issues and helping to get consents for major development projects across England & Wales.

Our specialist planning lawyers can advise you on contentious and non-contentious issues relating to major urban developments and regeneration projects. We have the expertise needed to handle projects of all sizes and complexity, and could help you with matters including:

  • Planning applications and appeals – including inquiries, hearing and written representations
  • Local plan examinations
  • Strategic planning advice
  • Drafting and negotiating planning, highways and infrastructure agreements (i.e. s106, s278, s38, s75 agreements)
  • Community Infrastructure Levy advice
  • Legal reviews of planning applications including EIA and HRA issues
  • Certificates of lawfulness
  • Judicial review and statutory appeals - both claimant and defendant
  • Advising on highway issues including statutory agreements, s.176 agreements, creation, diversion and stopping up of highways and Public Rights of Way
  • Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and town and village greens
  • Representation in prosecutions and enforcement actions from councils
  • Compulsory purchase and compensation
  • Objections to a third party’s planning applications
  • Planning due diligence in corporate and real estate transactions
  • Major infrastructure applications, including Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP)
  • Local authority governance issues
  • Advice on and negotiation for water, nitrate and phosphate neutrality issues
  • Environmental issues (including environmental impact assessments).

We work across a wide range of sectors and have particular expertise in Education, Retail, Manufacturing, Housing and Retirement Living.

We’re best known for our promotion of mixed use, regeneration schemes involving former brownfield land – often in the context of the redevelopment of former industrial land or education campuses.

We act for household name clients on a national basis.

Our depth of knowledge means that we can ensure that all of our work is delivered to your timetable. We can also work with you and your team throughout the development process, tackling issues and anticipating any problems that may arise.

Our Planning & Environmental team is a national practice, which represents clients across the country out of our three regional centres in the South, the Midlands and the North.

The team is a ranked as a Tier 1 Planning Practice in the South by both Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and in the South, London and North West in The Legal 500. In addition we have a number of ranked lawyers and leading individuals as categorised by the directories.

Our lawyers are regular commentators in national publications providing expert opinion on legislation or the latest cases.

Contact Us

If your business is facing any kind of planning issue, we can help. Call us on 0808 291 6784 or contact us online to speak to one of our expert team.

How Can Irwin Mitchell Help You?

Excellent client focus in terms of communication, clarity of advice and speed in turning matters around.”

Legal 500, 2022

Our Recent Experience In Planning Matters

Planning Advice - Education

Provided strategic planning advice on planning consents and CIL associated to a residential developer for the refinancing and ongoing development issues ahead of the redevelopment of student accommodation premises in Islington.

Due Diligence - Retail

Carried out the planning due diligence and provided input into the planning related provisions in the agreements for lease for the acquisition of a development site in Edwalton.


Judicial Review - Local Council

Acted on behalf of five parish councils in relation to a judicial review challenge against North Yorkshire County Council in respect of a planning application for the extraction and export of pulverised fuel ash.


Planning Appeal - Housing

Submitted two appeals on behalf of a property developer company in relation to refusal of two prior approval applications by the Council in relation to the redevelopment of a site from office to residential use in Enfield.


Planning Agreement - Mixed Use Regeneration Scheme

Drafted and negotiated the s106 agreement for a property developer company for the demolition of the existing buildings and redevelopment of the site for a mixed-use development comprising residential units and flexible commercial floorspace in Leeds.


Contentious Planning & Enforcement Issues - Finance Sector

Advised a specialist bank in London on a secured lending on a property which did not have the requisite planning permission for the use and enforcement proceedings were being contemplated by the Council.


Planning Advice - Automotive Industry

Advised a British manufacturer and marketer of luxury cars on the planning elements for the installation of a rooftop solar power system.

Due Diligence - Housing & Mixed Use Regeneration Scheme

Carried out the planning due diligence for the refinancing of several properties across the UK for a major property developer company. A number of the schemes formed part of wider mixed use developments in multiple ownerships, requiring thorough due diligence to ensure site wide compliance, and require provision of commercial and pragmatic solutions to satisfy lenders where issues arise.

Judicial Review - Housing

Instructed by a Waverley homeowner that had obtained permission to modify her house, we defended her planning permission against a judicial review challenge started by a neighbour.

Planning Appeal - Housing

Instructed by an Altrincham homeowner, we successfully appealed a planning decision refusing our client’s application to extend her house in order to accommodate the special needs of her kids with disabilities.

Planning Agreement - Education

Drafted and negotiated the s106 agreement for a residential developer for the redevelopment of student accommodation premises in Islington.

Planning Advice - Finance Sector

Advised a specialist bank in London on planning issues on property transactions, secured lending and when repossession was contemplated.

Due Diligence - Housing

Carried out the planning due diligence for the refinancing of several properties across the UK for a residential developer based in London.

Judicial Review - Retail

Instructed by a Horsham local resident, we started judicial review proceedings against a planning permission that authorised developing a convenience store and café without taking into consideration the cumulative traffic increase.

Planning Agreement - Retail

Drafted and negotiated the s106 agreement for a property developer company for the development of an industrial/retail/logistics park in West Sussex.

Planning Advice - Mixed Use Regeneration Scheme

Advised a property developer company throughout the planning process (stopping up orders, CIL, s106 agreement) for the demolition of the existing buildings and redevelopment of the site for a mixed-use development comprising residential units and flexible commercial floorspace in Leeds.

Due Diligence - Maritime

Carried out the planning due diligence for the sale of one of the oldest operators of inland marinas in the UK owning 15 marinas covering both England and Wales.

Judicial Review - Mining

Instructed by local resident, we started judicial review proceedings to quash a planning permission that unlawfully extended the lifetime of a quarry in North Yorkshire.

Planning Advice - Offices

Acted for Knight Frank in the lease of the tallest building in Birmingham.

Due Diligence - Waste Management

Carried out the planning due diligence for the purchase of waste management facilities that included one of the UK’s most advanced Materials Recycling Facility and Collections Processing Facility, each with a processing capacity of c.200,000 t/pa.

Due Diligence - Food Manufacturing

Carried out the planning due diligence for the purchase of a large poultry processing business in mid Norfolk.

In Focus

Unlocking Potential for Senior Living Development

Working with Knight Frank, the international estate agents and property consultancy, we've expanded on our Elderly Care Crisis research. This new report looks at local planning laws around the UK and highlights the best opportunities for senior living development. 

Find out which local councils are well-prepared for an ageing population and where planning laws are holding back growth.

Read our senior living development report

Testimonials & Client Feedback

We truly value the feedback we receive from both our clients and legal accreditation societies, such as The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Chambers & Partners UK Top Ranked Firm 2022

"The real estate team knows its clients really well, and the service delivery standards are second to none."

Chambers & Partners, 2022
Legal 500 UK Leading Firm 2022

“Excellent client focus in terms of communication, clarity of advice and speed in turning matters around.”

Legal 500, 2022
Chambers & Partners UK Top Ranked Firm 2022

"The planning team is streamlined and efficient"

Chambers & Partners, 2022

We Work Nationally

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

See our latest health and safety updates before visiting our offices

Business News

Our lawyers are regularly asked to provide expert insight, advice and analysis for the national media. Take a look at the stories below to see what we’re saying, as well as some of the recent deals we have completed for our clients here in the UK and abroad.