Our Planning team has a strong reputation within the real estate market both as technical experts, and for building strong and lasting relationships. Our advice and assistance to clients is at the cutting edge, and is tailored to the specific needs of each scheme.

Over the last five years, there have been dynamic changes to planning law: new legislation, policy and guidance introduced by the government have been controversial and transformational. Our planning lawyers are experts in navigating clients through the changing complexities of this specialist area of law.  

Our clients are diverse. A typical day might involve advising the developers of the largest planning application in London ever (a development of over 15,000 residential units); helping a home owner in Kensington and Chelsea overcome local objections; and anything in between. This variety keeps us focused on each client's individual needs and aspirations.

Our clients include:

  • property developers of all sizes (both in Central London, and across England and Wales)
  • institutional investors
  • those affected by compulsory purchase, whether the acquiring authority or displaced occupiers
  • local authorities
  • leisure, retail and restaurant occupiers and developers
  • private individuals.

Diversification opportunities for farmers following recent planning changes

There has been some good news for owners of farms and estates with the government confirming a series of reforms to permitted development rights under Classes Q and R of the GPDO 2015 which will make diversification and growth on farms and estates easier.

Slow Path to Planning Reform

Victoria Du Croz speaks to Property Week on the slow path to planning reform

Partner and Head of Planning, Victoria Du Croz, met with Property Week to discuss the planning system and the government’s decision to increase application fees.

Slow Path to Planning Reform

Changes to planning controls bring consistency to enforcement rules and increased powers to local planning authorities (LPAs)

Reforms which change the planning enforcement rules set out in the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA) will come into force on 25 April 2024.

Local Housing Targets

The overriding concern of the industry is that the government’s proposals will lead to even less housing being delivered - Victoria Du Croz quoted in the Financial Times

Planning Partner, Victoria Du Croz, has been quoted in the FT article entitled “Michael Gove insists he has not ‘abandoned’ local housing targets.”

Local Housing Targets

Developers get ready for BNG – Sophie Smith quoted in Property Week

Planning Associate, Sophie Smith, has been quoted in Property Week’s latest piece addressing biodiversity net gain (BNG) and the November deadline for developers.

Developers get ready for BNG

Cuxton Winery Appeal

Case law has established that wineries are agricultural uses for the purposes of planning. However, many vineyard owners and operators include ancillary uses such as visitor centres for wine tasting and restaurants. In a recent appeal decision it was these ancillary uses that caused adverse impacts and harm meaning the appeal was dismissed and planning permission was not granted.

Cuxton Winery Appeal Blog

Industry reaction to Gove’s housing plan – Victoria Du Croz speaks to the Press

Partner and Head of Planning, Victoria Du Croz, has been quoted in numerous broadsheet and industry publications this week on the government’s response to the recent local elections.

Corner of Glass Building

Government action on short-term holiday lets – what could this mean?

The Government has responded to mounting pressure to address the adverse impact of short-term rentals. Over the years the significant increase in short-term lets and second homes have seen local authorities complaining about anti-social behaviour from “party” lets, local residents in holiday hot spots being priced out of the local housing market and hotel operators struggling in an already difficult market.

Front of Colourful Houses

Care Home in the green belt approved

The battle over development in the greenbelt continues to rage with the Prime Minister restating the Tory party pledge to protect the greenbelt following Kier Starmer’s comment that it should be built on “where appropriate”.

A modern building

Design codes: a thing of beauty, or else… – Victoria Du Croz writes for EG

Partner and Head of Planning, Victoria Du Croz, has written for EG on Michael Gove’s recent statement to the Centre for Policy Studies that the government will do everything in its power to prevent the development of homes that are “not aesthetically of high quality”.

A modern building

BPF leads industry calls to scrap infrastructure levy plans – Victoria Du Croz and Helen Streeton speak to Property Week

Partner and Head of Planning Victoria Du Croz, and Partner and Head of Build to Rent Helen Streeton, have featured in Property Week’s latest piece on the BFP’s opposition to government proposed new infrastructure levy plans.

A modern building

Planning: Past, Present and Future?

After two years of unprecedented challenges faced by real estate and the planning industry, industry predictions for 2022 have perhaps been more eagerly anticipated than ever, and whilst kickstarting the year with a U-turn on reforms may not have been all that surprising, it’s unclear what is yet to come. In the meantime, Associate, Ella Jones, recaps on a year of planning and some of the key changes and cases that have shaped the industry.

A modern building

Changes to the Planning Use Classes

Following the recent introduction of significant new planning legislation, our Planning team have outlined a useful guide to the new use class system and a guide to new permitted development rights.

A modern flat

Judicial Review challenge to the recent permitted development right and use class changes dismissed by the High Court

On 17 November 2020, Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Holgate dismissed the Judicial Review challenge to the government’s recent changes to permitted development rights and use classes on all grounds.

Real estate graphic - modern office building

Planning Reforms: True revolution or plus ça change…?

Podcast host, Miri Stickland, is joined by Head of Planning, Partner Victoria Du Croz, and senior associate, Laura Parrish, to discuss the impact of recent changes to the Use Classes Order and Permitted Development Rights as well as further planning reforms which are still to come.

Podcast graphic - phone and earphones

3 November 2020

Forsters acts for Menta Regeneration in relation to a £250 million regeneration project adjacent to East Croydon Station

Forsters is delighted to have acted for Menta Regeneration in relation to the forward funding of two 25 storey towers comprising 338 flats and ancillary commercial space, funded by Menta and Mitsubishi Estate London, alongside the funding of 118 affordable housing units to be owned and managed by housing association Clarion.

Commercial Real Estate image - a picture of a modern office building

Government White Paper: Planning for the Future – Beautiful and Sustainable Places

The Government has published its White Paper setting out far reaching proposals to reform the planning system with the aim to simplify, speed up and create more certainty in the planning process.

Planning for Sustainability

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"Real depth of experience in art and cultural sector particularly in the context of country house collections and heritage assets."
The Legal 500 UK, 2022