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James is a partner in our Built Environment Group and specialises in all aspects of Planning law and its related disciplines. He has over twelve years' experience covering the full spectrum of town and country planning work across the length and breadth of the country.

James’ core practice involves advising on planning application, appeal, and overall consenting strategies, and on the drafting and negotiation of (often complex) planning obligations and related agreements.

His wider practice includes advising on BNG/nutrients/habitats, CIL, planning enforcement, NSIPs/TWAOs (both promoting and mitigating), highways law, EIA, compulsory acquisition and judicial/statutory reviews. James also drafts and negotiates planning provisions within sale/development agreements, conditional contracts and options.

James advises across all development sectors, including housebuilding & housing, landowners & promoters, charities & trusts, the public sector, retail, energy, transport, minerals and waste.

He acts for a wide range of clients – including national and regional housebuilders, registered providers, Build-to-Rent operators, landowners & land promoters, funders & investors, central government, and local authorities/public sector bodies.  As such, he is able to provide a ‘360’ perspective on the planning elements of the consenting, delivery and disposal stages of the development lifecycle.


  • Advising various national and regional housebuilders on the securing and delivery of new schemes of all sizes (including on strategy, risk mitigation, and Section 106 negotiations).
  • Acting for a national housebuilder to provide innovative legal mechanisms to help secure two ground-breaking mitigation schemes to achieve nutrient neutrality in the Solent.
  • Supporting Fareham BC on the grant of planning permission and the Section 106 Agreement for the 6,000 home Welborne Garden Village.
  • Acting as lead legal advisor on multiple planning appeals, including advocacy at public inquiries and oral hearings.
  • Supporting clients in the social housing sector and helping navigate the complex interplay between the planning, regulatory and grant funding regimes.
  • Successfully bringing and defending multiple judicial review and Section 288 challenges.
  • Advising on planning risk and mitigation in forward fund agreements in the build-to-rent, single family housing, and industrial/distribution sectors.
  • Acting for local and central government authorities, as well as other public sector bodies, on various high-profile and strategic development projects, including the proposed Howbury Park SRFI public inquiry.

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