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Planning Law and Development

At LCF Law we have particular expertise in all aspects of planning matters, including rural planning matters. For commercial clients this can include advising on permitted development rights which may be available for reuse of commercial buildings as well as a broad range of planning matters.

Applications under the Permitted Development regime

Increasingly permitted development rights are being extended and their use encouraged. This can allow the change of use of premises, as well as building works to existing premises, without the need to obtain planning permission (subject to any prior notification requirements). The creation of the new Use Class E, ‘Commercial, Business and Service’ in particular creates opportunities to change the use of commercial premises without the need for planning permission.

A broad range of general planning services

We also provide our clients with a broad range of general planning and environmental legal advice and support which includes:

  • Site development potential assessment - assessing a site in a policy context and identifying the development potential.
  • Acting as agent for planning applications (of all types); co-ordinating teams for larger projects; and preparing policy statements for smaller one.
  • Planning appeals - considering the merits of an appeal; preparation of appeal statements; and acting as the agent on an appeal (including advocacy at informal hearings).
  • Preparation of planning obligations - unilateral undertakings and agreements to accompany planning applications or appeal submissions.
  • Preparation of applications for Certificates of Lawfulness for both existing and proposed development (often in connection with removal of occupancy restrictions).
  • Planning enforcement matters including advising on, and preparation and submission of, planning enforcement appeals (including advocacy at informal hearings).
  • Advising on objections to planning applications.
  • Handling listed building, conservation area and heritage issues.
  • Local Plan representations and attendance at Examinations In Public
  • Advising on community infrastructure levy ('CIL') and vacant building credit issues.
  • Ombudsman complaints and Judicial Review of decisions and actions of Local Authorities.
  • Related local government matters including diversion and stopping up of highways.

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