Planning Law Survey 2022 header image including photos of the top-rated barristers and solicitors

The highest-rated planning lawyers, and the biggest planning law firms

The highest-rated barristers, law firms, solicitors and council law teams, the biggest employers of planning lawyers and moves at partner/associate level

Man voting

What street votes would mean for councils and communities

Making use of the levelling-up bill’s proposal to let residents propose and then vote through development on their street may not be easy, but it could stifle opposition from neighbours

Basildon town centre (Credit: Gary Reggae (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Essex council rejects 2,800 home replacement of shopping mall for a second time

An Essex council has again rejected plans to replace its town centre shopping mall with a scheme including nearly 3,000 homes, prior to an inquiry which will hear the developer’s appeal on the grounds of non-determination.

Wembley Point (Credit: Jaggery c/o Creative Commons Licence via

Mayor agrees in principle to 515-flat tower despite harm to listed viaduct

London’s mayor has provisionally approved 515 homes in three blocks up to 32 storeys high on one of the capital’s most visible brownfield sites, on condition that breaches of the London Plan are remedied.

The 79 hectare former Stanton Ironworks site (Credit: Trevor Rickard c/o Creative Commons Licence via

262,471 sqm industrial and warehouse hub approved on former steelworks

A 262,471 sqm industrial and warehouse complex with its own rail line has been approved on the site of a historic steel works.

Latest Articles

Planning header

Read the summer quarterly edition of Planning page-by-page online

Our latest quarterly print edition includes our survey of the highest-rated barristers, most-admired solicitors and the biggest law firms. It takes an in-depth look at how councils and developers can respond to official water pollution advice said to be blocking 100,000 homes, and provides the regular round-up of recent development activity and what to expect in the coming months

Joey Gardiner

Slashing compulsory purchase payouts to landowners may not be as good an idea as it sounds, by Joey Gardiner

Plans to make the compulsory purchase process less generous might not deliver the cheaper public-sector backed development the government is looking for

Megan Forbes

Legal Viewpoint: High Court confirms local plans should be read sensibly and ‘not construed like a commercial contract’

The High Court has overturned a planning inspector's decision due to the inspector's misinterpretation of two policies in the local plan. It reaffirms the principles established in case law, that planning policies should be read as a whole and consideration given to their true effect.

Catriona Riddell

Successful scheme that shows how to plan for today's kids as well as tomorrow's, by Catriona Riddell

I was delighted to be invited once again to be a judge on the annual Planning Awards. It is always a privilege to be part of the judging process and a delight to see the amazing work being done by planners and others within the development industry.

Poundbury, Dorset (Credit: Malc McDonald c/o Creative Commons Licence via

The challenges that the government's proposed requirement for authority-wide design codes will present to councils

The new levelling up bill would legally mandate councils to produce design codes across their entire area and allow ministers to intervene if they fail to comply. Commentators have voiced concerns that authorities might struggle to find the resources and skills to produce effective codes, particularly over such large areas.

Sewer pipe

How to respond to the official water pollution guidance said to be blocking 100,000 homes

An update to official advice preventing housing consents that would worsen pollution in protected watercourses has increased the number of authorities affected from 32 to 74. How will government and councils respond?

Southampton docks: the Solent is one of 11 areas across the UK to be granted a freeport zone (Credit: Getty Images)

How freeports are changing planning

Freeports were supposed to bring special planning freedoms, but there has been little sign of this so far at the two front runners. With nine more on the way, is that about to change?

Cliff Hague

How planners could lead us out of the cost-of-living crisis and nurture real levelling-up, by Cliff Hague

Just a couple of years ago it would have been difficult to imagine the context in which the planning system now operates. Brexit, Covid, energy prices and a cost of living crisis – not to mention Partygate – have transformed the situation.

The Houses of Parliament (Credit: Stephen Richards c/o Creative Commons Licence via

CIL Watch: MPs voice doubts over proposed infrastructure levy

MPs on both sides of the House of Commons raised concerns about the government’s proposed infrastructure levy in a parliamentary debate last week.

Michael Gove at the dispatch box during the second reading of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (Picture: Parliament TV)

Ten key things that happened in the past week

Ten of the biggest stories from the past week, including planning inspectors being told to follow ministerial wishes rather than government policy, and a warning about the proposed scrapping of five year housing supplies for councils with up-to-date plans.

Children leaning on railing in front of a block of flats

Planning Awards 2022: the winners!

The outstanding planning and placemaking work rewarded by the judges at this year's awards ceremony, including winning and highly commended entries

Credit: Yongyuan Dai c/o Getty Images

Why the levelling up bill might weaken strategic planning arrangements

The new levelling up bill intends to scrap the little-loved duty to cooperate and make it easier for neighbouring councils to prepare joint spatial plans. But experts fear that the changes are likely to actually weaken cross-border strategic planning arrangements.

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