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Planning

United Kingdom

We are one of the largest planning teams in the UK with over 30 specialist lawyers. We are motivated by a passion to help to create exceptional places and environments and deliver essential infrastructure to meet the UK's demographic and development needs.

Planning shapes every aspect of our lives. The buildings and environments in which we live, work, shop, play and educate the next generation have all been created through commercial enterprise, consultation and the exercise of political power by our elected representatives through the planning system.

Alongside our expertise in real estate we are also leading specialists in energy & infrastructure consenting.

Working for many years across a full range of development and infrastructure sectors gives us deep industry experience and perspective so that we can deliver clear and practical advice on fast-moving projects. We have assisted our clients with obtaining planning permissions and other consents for some of the UK’s largest and most complex schemes.

Our expertise spreads across urban regeneration, housing, retail, data centres, industrial and logistics, hotels and leisure, surplus land and energy and infrastructure. Our aim for every development is to ensure that our client obtains implementable, flexible, bankable and fit-for-purpose consents in accordance with their programme.

In the last three years alone, we have helped our clients to secure planning permissions for:

  • Over 24,000 new homes
  • Over 8m sq. ft. of retail
  • Over 6m sq. ft. of offices
  • Over 4m sq. ft. of industrial
  • 10GW / 1,100 Kms of generation / networks
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“They made something very complicated and rushed feel easy. They made it as easy as it possibly could be. As a client, I felt it was a great position to be in."

Chambers, 2016 [Client Quote]

“Clear expertise in their field with a good support network. Their strongest point is that they give very clear advice and do treat the matter personally rather than simply as a remote consultant.”

Chambers, 2017

"A technically excellent and professional team."

Legal 500
9 September 2017
High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Plan­ning in the UK
Berke­ley Homes on Lon­don res­id­en­tial de­vel­op­ments in­clud­ing Vista in Bat­ter­sea and the former Wool­wich Ar­sen­al and Kid­brooke re­gen­er­a­tion pro­jects.Ham­mer­son and Stand­ard Life on Brent Cross Crickle­wood Op­por­tun­ity Area: a ma­jor re­gen­er­a­tion to de­liv­er over 1.4 mil­lion sq. ft. of re­tail and leis­ure space, hotel, in­dus­tri­al uses and 7,500 new homes.Land Se­cur­it­ies on Buchanan Gal­ler­ies, Glas­gow: re­gen­er­a­tion of an ex­ist­ing shop­ping centre to provide over 500,000 sq. ft. of ad­di­tion­al re­tail space and 65,000 sq. ft. of ad­di­tion­al leis­ure space in­clud­ing a cinema, res­taur­ants and bars.TH Real Es­tate on Ed­in­burgh St James: a ma­jor mixed use de­vel­op­ment with 850,000 sq. ft. of re­tail space, a lux­ury hotel, an apar­thotel, up to 150 new homes, 30 res­taur­ants and a multi-screen cinema.Her­mes and Co-op on Noma Manchester: key re­gen­er­a­tion of a her­it­age quarter for a mixed use scheme.Mor­gan Stan­ley Real Es­tate on En­derby Wharf: Lon­don’s first cruise ship ter­min­al and 1,150 new homes in­clud­ing a suc­cess­ful de­fence against a ju­di­cial re­view.Qatari Di­ar on Chelsea Bar­racks: 423 new homes, leis­ure centre, re­tail and health uses and garden squares on a 13 acre site in the heart of Bel­gravia.Sains­bury’s on Lon­don re­gen­er­a­tion to de­liv­er more than 3,000 new homes, four new flag­ship food­stores, and more than 50 oth­er re­tail schemes across the UK.SE­GRO - on nu­mer­ous pro­jects, in­clud­ing the East Plus part­ner­ship with the GLA in­volving 86 acres of land across 5 sites to sup­port 1.4 mil­lion sq. ft. of lo­gist­ics, in­dus­tri­al and oth­er uses.Im­per­i­al Col­lege Lon­don on New Im­per­i­al West cam­pus on 25 acres of derel­ict land in White City in­clud­ing a res­id­en­tial tower and 600 stu­dent bed­spaces.
Law-Now: Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion Plan­ning
Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
6 September 2017
Plan­ning 2017
Plan­ning shapes every as­pect of our lives. The build­ings and en­vir­on­ments where we live, work, shop, play and edu­cate the next gen­er­a­tion have all been cre­ated through com­mer­cial en­ter­prise, con­sulta­tion and the ex­er­cise of polit­ic­al power by our elec­ted rep­res­ent­at­ives through the plan­ning sys­tem.We are one of the largest teams in the UK with over 30 plan­ning spe­cial­ists, mo­tiv­ated by a pas­sion to help cre­ate ex­cep­tion­al places and en­vir­on­ments to meet the UK's demo­graph­ic and de­vel­op­ment needs.For more in­form­a­tion on the team, down­load the guide be­low.

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14 July 2020
Re­ima­gin­ing Re­tail
The world of re­tail is rap­idly trans­form­ing. Life­style changes coupled with mar­ket dis­rup­tion from on­line shop­ping, in­creas­ing rates and the im­pact of the re­cent Cov­id-19 pan­dem­ic are cre­at­ing the per­fect storm. With a top ranked UK plan­ning team, CMS’ un
27 July 2020
Im­pact of Use Classes Or­der changes on leases of com­mer­cial prop­erty
The Gov­ern­ment has pub­lished le­gis­la­tion to bring sweep­ing changes to the Use Classes Or­der for Eng­land (see our re­lated Law-Now), which take ef­fect on 1 Septem­ber 2020. Ref­er­ences to uses and use classes...
2 July 2020
A New Deal for Bri­tain – The CMS Plan­ning Group’s Agenda for Great­er Flex­ib­il­ity...
As the UK enters re­ces­sion, we ur­gently need to look at how the plan­ning sys­tem can re­spond to at­tract in­vest­ment and drive growth. Dur­ing the pan­dem­ic there have been nu­mer­ous tweaks to the plan­ning sys­tem, but these have been largely lim­ited to tack­lin
24 July 2020
Build, Build, Build – New Use Classes and Per­mit­ted De­vel­op­ment Rights
The Gov­ern­ment has pub­lished le­gis­la­tion to bring sweep­ing changes to the Use Class Or­der (UCO) [1]  by cre­at­ing two new classes of per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment (PD) rights. From 1 Septem­ber 2020 ex­ist­ing build­ings...
June 2020
Where do we go from here?
The pub­lic­a­tion provides thoughts an in­sights in­to how de­vel­op­ment and plan­ning in areas like hous­ing, of­fices and care homes are likely to be drastic­ally altered as a res­ult of the Cov­id 19 pan­dem­ic.
22 July 2020
Sig­ni­fic­ant changes pro­posed to Scot­tish Plan­ning Policy for hous­ing de­vel­op­ment
The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has launched a con­sulta­tion on pro­posed changes to as­pects of Scot­tish Plan­ning Policy which are par­tic­u­larly key for pro­posed res­id­en­tial de­vel­op­ments. While changes were an­ti­cip­ated...
5 November 2019
Scot­tish Tour­ist Tax: Solu­tion or Set­back?
The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has opened con­sulta­tion on its pro­posed tran­si­ent vis­it­or levy, or “tour­ist tax”, un­til 2 Decem­ber 2019. Al­though Scot­land has em­braced its status as a centre for tour­ism, this pro­posed tax may ease con­cerns over the in­creas­ing str
16 July 2020
Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duces new per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment right for two-storey ex­ten­sion...
The Gov­ern­ment has in­tro­duced a new per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment right (“PD Right”) for up­wards ex­ten­sions of ex­ist­ing blocks of flats. These ex­ten­sions will now be­ne­fit from “auto­mat­ic” plan­ning per­mis­sion...
21 November 2018
Com­munity In­fra­struc­ture Levy
Com­munity In­fra­struc­ture Levy ‘CIL’ is a charge on new build­ings and/or floor­space. The CMS Plan­ning team have provided this use­ful guide, read more now.
16 July 2020
An easy cell - bat­tery stor­age rules to be re­laxed by Gov­ern­ment
The Gov­ern­ment has laid the Draft In­fra­struc­ture Plan­ning (Elec­tri­city Stor­age Fa­cil­it­ies) Or­der 2020 be­fore Par­lia­ment, with the in­ten­tion that (once passed) it will fa­cil­it­ate the con­struc­tion of more...
23 May 2018
The Fu­ture of Liv­ing
The Fu­ture of Liv­ing looks from CM­S's Plan­ning Group looks at the UK's ur­gent need for hous­ing policies / de­liv­ery and re­lated is­sues. Find out more.
30 June 2020
Ap­ply­ing the ‘Tilted Bal­ance’ in Plan­ning De­cisions
Since Scot­tish Plan­ning Policy (“SPP”) in­tro­duced a pre­sump­tion in fa­vour of de­vel­op­ment that con­trib­utes to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in 2014, many hours have been spent ar­guing about how the pre­sump­tion...