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Landmark has great experience and expertise in assisting those promoting, supporting or objecting to development plans and other policy documents. This includes strategic and local plans, neighbourhood plans (which are dealt with separately), waste and minerals local plans, and Supplementary Planning Documents.

Barristers also advise on, challenge and defend national policy and in particular the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Planning Policy Guidance and National Policy Statements (including e.g. the Airports NPS) in relation to nationally significant infrastructure as well other relevant policy formats, e.g. Written Ministerial Statements.

With regard to promoting local plans, advice can be given to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2015 and the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning)(England) Regulations 2012 and assist in the plan meeting the policy tests for soundness set out in the NPPF. Advice with regard to the duty to co-operate, the Sustainability Appraisal and the Habitats Regulations is often of particular value to those promoting a plan. We can also assist on ensuring there is a robust evidence base in place and advise on the content of the Topic Papers and related documents for the Examination, at which we can appear as appropriate. Early involvement in these matters allows us to assist in reducing problems later in the process. We can also advise objectors to development plans where the procedural or substantive aspects may be deficient and assist in formulating the most appropriate technical and tactical approach to such matters.

The lawfulness of plans and policy can be challenged in the Courts, for example under s.113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, and we advise and represent parties in relation to such proceedings, including drafting any necessary court documentation. We can advise in relation to the prospects of success in such proceedings and the likely cost implications including the likelihood of obtaining a protective costs order and the implications of that.

Whether as part of the statutory development plan or otherwise, the interpretation and application of policy can be critical in the determination of planning applications. We advise and provide specialist assistance on these issues and appear, where appropriate, at appeal hearings and inquiries as well as in any High Court challenges to such decisions.

Recent work includes advice and advocacy relating to the development plans at Central Bedfordshire, Chelmsford, New Forest, and Tandridge District Council.

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