Steve Morris, Construction Partner at Acuity Law

Planning & Environmental

Lead Partner

With the UK planning system constantly evolving and increasingly diverging in its approach between the regions and the requirements of businesses to adhere to stricter environmental laws, the need for planning & environmental expertise has never been more important.

As a highly experienced national team of planning & environmental experts, we have a proven track record in advising businesses on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious issues relating to UK planning and environmental law. Acuity Law’s Planning and Environment experts are ranked as Tier 2 in Legal 500.

Areas of Expertise Town & Country Planning (in England and Wales)

  • Planning Enforcement
  • Certificates of Lawful Use or Development
  • Planning Agreements (e.g. Section 106, Drainage & Highways)
  • Infrastructure Projects
  • Judicial & Statutory Reviews
  • Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas
  • Localism including Neighbourhood Planning & Assets of Community Value
  • Planning Appeals (Including Cost Recovery)
  • Urban Regeneration
  • Strategic Planning Advice
  • Community Infrastructure Levy Advice
  • Development Plan Issues
  • Rights of Way (Private & Public)
  • Common Land and Town & Village Greens

Areas of Expertise – Environmental & Regulatory

  • Environmental Liabilities
  • Environmental Judicial Reviews and Prosecutions
  • Environmental Impact Assessments
  • Climate Change Governance and Reporting
  • Managing Contaminated Land
  • Asbestos
  • Producer responsibility obligations
  • Health & Safety
  • Pollution Controls
  • Waste Management
  • Water & Sewerage
  • Community Engagement
  • Policy advice on changes to environmental regulation
  • Training on environmental obligations
  • Arranged successful applications to the Secretary of State (Defra) to deregister common land and provide exchange land and carry out works on common land, facilitating construction of Grove Northern Relief Road, and allocated housing developments
  • Successful application (opposed by the Open Spaces Society and Natural England) to the Secretary of State (Defra) to carry out works on common land in Wimborne, Dorset facilitating significant new housing development for Gleeson Developments Limited
  • Leading Appeal Court case confirming the Secretary of State cannot call-in a planning appeal after an appeal decision has been issued
  • Successful judicial review of decision to grant planning permission to a “swim with dolphins” facility off the coast of Anguilla, BWI
  • Successful challenge to development where the developer had failed to serve proper notice on third party landowners
  • Successful judicial review of a decision by the Council to register housing development land as a Town or Village Green to prevent development


  • The Planning & Environmental Team is ranked Tier 2 in Legal 500.

Words from our clients

  • “The team provides commercially astute advice, that takes into account wider issues such as tax liabilities or timescales.”

  • “The firm has comprehensive knowledge of land and property issues, that transcend purely legal matters.”

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