Planning Law

Land and property is a valuable asset, through careful consideration and negotiation of the Planning Law system there is often the potential to increase its value, maximize and expand its use or preserve an existing use or development that may be under threat.

Holmes & Hills Solicitors has one of the leading teams of Planning Law solicitors in the country and offer specialist Planning Law advice to:

One of the leading teams of Planning Law solicitors in the UK

Holmes & Hills Solicitors has one of the largest and most experienced teams of specialist Planning Law solicitors in the South East and East Anglia.

We are proud to be recognised as a leading source of Planning Law advice by both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners - two independent directories of the UK’s leading law firms.

Steven Hopkins, Partner and Head of the Team, is personally recommended by the Legal 500 UK in recognition of his experience, as are Joanna Lilliott and David Whipps. Michael Harman, Partner in the Planning & Development Team, has for several years along with David Whipps, contributed to Sweet & Maxwell's 'Planning Law Practice and Precedents' publication, a leading aid for those involved in Planning Law.

Our team of specialist Planning Law solicitors advise and represent national and regional developers in maximising the value of land assets and in S106 negotiations with local planning authorities; local authorities in complex negotiations with developers; large companies in assisting with their commercial property strategies; individuals in supporting their plans for their home and community action groups in contesting local projects.

Organisers of the region’s largest series of Planning Law Updates

As leading specialists in their field, Holmes & Hills’ Planning & Development Team organise the largest annual series of Planning Law Seminars in the region. These events take place across Essex and Suffolk and are attended by over 400 developers, planning consultants, architects, surveyors and local authority planning officers every year.

These events provide an important update on changes in planning legislation and practice, as well as case law updates and their impact on those in the planning and development industry.

See our Events page for details of upcoming events being organised by Holmes & Hills.

Advisors to the private and public sectors

As well as advising developers, land owners, individuals and third parties in the private sector, Holmes & Hills regularly advise and represent 11 local planning authorities across Essex and Suffolk on Planning Law issues.

Work highlights

  • Assisted with a High Court claim for Judicial Review for a large development in London consisting of mix of residential and retail premises.
  • Acting for a national developer in negotiating and drafting a Planning Obligation including financial contributions towards traffic measures, transport services, education, health facilities and providing affordable housing.

For local authorities:

  • Drafted a complex s106 agreement on a site with significant heritage assets with total contributions of over £5million contributing towards upgrades to infrastructure and heritage assets renovation.
  • Acting in concluding a complex S106 Agreement, securing phased development of circa 1,000 new homes and providing for community facilities including finance and land for a primary school, affordable housing and substantial open space.
  • Concluding a complex S106 Agreement securing affordable housing on a 750 dwelling development. 
  • Acting for a national developer in the negotiation and drafting of a Planning Obligation stipulating financial contributions towards traffic calming measures, bus services, education and school transport, health facilities and the provision of on-site affordable housing in relation to a planned development.

Your Planning Law Team

Jo Lilliott

Senior Solicitor

Tom McPhie

Senior Solicitor

Sarah Hare

Senior Associate

David Whipps


Millie Cook

Trainee Solicitor

Anna Becker

Apprentice, Trainee Solicitor

Lucy Howe


Planning Law Case Studies

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