Planning Law

Setfords’ planning team provides their clients with a comprehensive and highly skilled service by lawyers with extensive experience in the public and private sector.

Our lawyers lead on regeneration projects, national infrastructure projects, developments of various mixes and sizes including the High Speed 2 scheme, Aylesbury Woodlands development, Wycombe Town Centre regeneration and redevelopment, CPO/Side Roads orders for Somerset County Council, Newlands Park redevelopment, traffic regulation orders and advising on growth areas in the Midlands and South East.

Our team comprises lawyers who have extensive experience of handling planning matters ranging from advice on proposed schemes, to due diligence, land assembly, compulsory purchase, planning policy, development control, legal challenges to planning decisions and legal agreements.

We also handle all aspects of enforcement matters ranging from enforcement notices including stop notices, temporary stop notices, breach of condition notices, prosecutions through to appeals and handling of public inquiries.

We act on behalf of a number of local authorities on their planning matters and we also represent private developers on their planning projects, and work with our real estate lawyers to deal with any issues arising on the land assembly.

For any issues concerning planning and environmental law, you will find the wide experience of our lawyers valuable from start to finish of your projects. Our work includes:

  • Advise on planning policy
  • Advising on infrastructure projects – High Speed 2
  • Planning applications
  • Planning agreements and Highways agreements
  • Appeals and inquiries
  • Town and village greens
  • Planning prosecutions
  • Enforcement matters for local authorities and those served with notices
  • Compulsory purchase
  • Highways, footpaths, rights of way and private rights
  • Environment issues
  • Judicial reviews
  • Light aviation matters for local authorities and landowners

Recent work:

  • Acting on behalf of District Council in development of major allocated site to provide 264 new dwellings (Use Class C3), including conversion of Grade II listed manor house and associated buildings and erection of new fitness and sports facilities (Use Class D1) and energy/recycling centre with associated S106 agreement dealing with phasing of development, affordable housing, transfer of land, bus service and education contributions and major sites in both Chiltern and South Bucks.
  • Advising major developers on S106, S38 and S278 Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements, Co- Operation Agreements relating to major development comprising 1,100 homes, commercial business centre, provision of primary school, provision of sports village, construction of link road and related highways works, financial contributions and open space, landscape matters
  • Acting on behalf of local authority client on number of S106 agreements comprising residential, commercial, leisure, highways and related infrastructure work
  • Advising clients on Community Infrastructure Liability
  • Acting for landowners and local authorities on small airfields and lawfulness and extend of lawful use
  • Advising occupiers of Party Wall agreements and leading on negotiations

“We are delighted to have employed Setfords Solicitors because of their local experience on major projects and local government background as well as offering best value.”

– Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership

“Throughout this demanding workload I have found Ifath Nawaz calm, able to give cogent and objective advice, and able to both be a good team member and lead on projects and issues. Indeed, she has built up a valuable area of experience and knowledge and the high regard our HS2 work has is in no small measure down to her drive and enthusiasm.”

– Bob Smith, Chief Executive, Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils

The High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017 secured royal assent for Phase One (Euston to Birmingham) of the proposed scheme in February this year. This followed a long and drawn out process which commenced in 2012. The proposed route for Phase 2a West Midlands and Crew has been announced and the hybrid bill for this scheme is expected to be deposited in the Autumn of 2017 and the parliamentary process will begin thereafter.

Ifath Nawaz has been involved in the High Speed 2 scheme since 2012 acting on behalf of a number of clients advising on environmental, planning and property issues and has extensive experience of the scheme, petitioning and the parliamentary process. Matthew has advised landowners and the West Midlands Fire Service on land ownership issues.

If you are affected by the scheme then we can support you on the following matters:

  • Negotiations with the promoter
  • Seeking mitigation
  • Property compensation including blight, exceptional hardship and ???
  • Compulsory purchase
  • Petitioning process and status quo
  • Drafting petitions
  • Appearing before the Select Committee
  • Advise on Assurances and Undertakings
  • Governance matters for parish councils and local authorities
  • Drafting of reports and constitutional matters
  • Schedule 17 processes and practises
  • Environmental advice

The petitioning process can be challenging and those affected, who want to secure a change in what is proposed or secure better mitigation, will need to ask themselves the following questions:

  • What are your concerns and what is it about the proposal that is affecting you in a way that must be challenged?
  • Have you got the expertise to assess whether your concerns are justified? If not what do you need to do?
  • Are the impacts personal to your property or more widely shared?
  • What do you want to achieve out of negotiations with the promoter?
  • How do you prepare for these negotiations?
  • What are you asking for in these negotiations and how do you know it is reasonable and justified?
  • What is the cost involved and how do you arrive at this?
  • What are the alternatives that need to be considered?
  • How far are you prepared to take this?
  • Are you going to petition?
  • What are your asks?

If negotiations with the promoter have not secured the mitigation/change that you are seeking, you may then find yourself having to petition in the Commons and possibly in the Lords.

We have partnered with Francis Taylor Building and are able to offer a free seminar on “Lessons Learnt from Petitioning on Phase 1” for community groups. This will provide valuable insight into the approaches that have been successful in securing mitigation and the setting up of panels with funding in two highly sensitive locations on the route, through to approaches that have not worked.

To arrange a seminar please contact Ifath on inawaz@setfords.co.uk