Laura is a Senior Associate in the Planning and Environment team.
Laura first joined Clarke Willmott in 2007 and trained under Caroline Waller (Partner). Laura is a valued member of the Taunton planning team and is particularly noted for her technical ability, her commercial awareness and her friendly demeanour. Laura has established a good working relationship with many of the in-house solicitors within the South West Local Planning Authorities and this has proved to be instrumental in achieving quick and trouble-free S106 Agreement negotiations.
Laura’s expertise includes working with major house builders, developers, registered providers, NHS Trusts, Local Authorities private land owners and farmers. She has a broad case load including complex S106 agreements for major schemes, planning appeals, rights of way issues, development control matters and advising on the defence of Town Green applications.
- S106 Agreements and S278 Agreements. Representing major housebuilders in the negotiation of agreements required to underpin major residential developments in the South West sites ranging from small rural exceptions sites of ten units up to major urban extensions of 400 units or more, including S106 agreements required for appeal schemes.
- Retail Planning. Acting for a major supermarket chain in negotiating their planning and highway agreements required to secure permission to build new stores nationwide.
- Tourism. Acting for private owners of tourist accommodation looking to expand and acquire new sites, proving strategic and project management advice
- Enforcement. Appealing enforcement notices and providing general advice and legal opinions to stave off enforcement action. Discussions with enforcement officers in respect of alleged unauthorised works. Conversely representations on behalf of interested parties on why enforcement action should be taken where there is considerable public harm.
- Certificates of Lawfulness. Obtaining certificates in respect of breaches of planning including breach of conditions and change of use.
- Legal Opinions. Providing reasoned legal opinions to resolve procedural and legal issues in the planning application and appeal process often required to resolve a technical or procedural point which has stalled the progress of an application or an appeal.
- Town and Village Green Applications. Defence of TVG applications including collating evidence to defeat spurious claims, submitting representations and proving general advice on the evolving law in this area.
- Affording Housing. Acting for many of the south west based Registered Providers in relation to Affordable Housing restrictions in planning and nomination agreements. Understanding the key considerations and concerns for RPs and ensuring flexibility where appropriate. Often concluding agreements within very restrictive timescales imposed by the HCA for funding and varying existing agreements so as to allow for changes in policy (such as the Affordable Rent regime).