Planning and Highways

Responsive, experienced and astute, our team offers legal expertise across the full range of planning and highway law
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You might be spending the day on site, in need of actionable advice to move a project forward. Or perhaps you need guidance on planning issues with significant financial implications. In these and many other scenarios, you need a Planning and Highways team, led by our Head of Group Sarah Bonser, that will provide straightforward and timely advice across a range of issues. Our lawyers have been providing sound and actionable legal advice for many years. Experts in their field, they are here to help you navigate through the complexities of planning and highways law.
Meet the team

Areas of expertise

  • Planning and development management advice
  • Section 106 agreements
  • Planning appeals
  • Community infrastructure levy
  • Compulsory purchase orders
  • Highways advice
  • Highway agreements (S38 ,s278 and miscellaneous)
  • Stopping up of land
  • Traffic Regulation Orders
  • Public Rights of Way
  • Village Greens

Our specialisms

  • We offer advice relating to planning permission for developments as well as general planning law.
  • From small windfall sites to large mixed development sites, we draft and negotiate s106 agreements and unilateral undertakings. This may be acting for the local authority as a landowner when securing planning permission; in conjunction with planned disposal of sites; or on behalf of councils as statutory service providers to secure contributions for highways, education affordable housing and community purposes.
  • Our expertise spans the planning appeals process including drafting appeal statements, the preparation of proofs, advice and advocacy for clients at public inquiries
  • As a strategic legal services partner and advisor to a large County Council, we’re in a unique position to advise on the Community Infrastructure Levy and Waste and Minerals. We advise on EIA development and recently advised on a potential Judicial Review with regards to Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations.
  • We rapidly and efficiently evaluate issues concerning village greens, common land, listed buildings and conservation areas.
  • We offer end-to-end advice on Compulsory Purchase Orders. At inception, Invicta works with clients to establish the powers to promote a CPO, write the necessary reports and advise on the internal decision-making process. We’re frequently invited to draft the CPO itself and documents such as Side Roads Orders, and also advise on how to deal with objections, the public inquiry, implementation of the CPO, related property transactions and compensation issues.
  • We draft and negotiate highways agreements including s278 (to facilitate works on existing highways) and s38 (which provide for the dedication of new estate roads as public highway). On a broader level we also provide general highway law advice from simple public rights of way issues to enforcement. And if enforcement is required, we work closely with our colleagues in the Dispute Resolution and Employment Legal Team who will draft notices and then carry out any necessary advocacy.
  • Stopping up of land is another mainstay of our lawyers’ work, whether requested by landowners or through our clients. We’ll handle everything: investigating whether the land is highway, carrying out consultations, preparing our clients for a court hearing, advocacy and securing the stopping order itself.
  • Our final area of specialism is Traffic Regulation Orders (“TROs”) including both traffic and parking TROs. We have recently advised upon the implementation of map-based TROs to be standardised across the county of Kent and advise upon the drafting of Public Path Orders.

Our approach

As with every Invicta Law team, effective risk monitoring and reporting mechanisms are in place to ensure that the work is completed to the very highest standards that our clients demand. We have been appointed to a number of public sector frameworks which allows local authorities to instruct us without undertaking a new procurement process.

Our team

Our team has many years of collective local authority experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to planning, highways, developments and infrastructure. We have seven members of the team who may work on your matter and they will be supervised by Sarah Bonser, Senior Solicitor and Head of Planning and Highways at Invicta Law.

Planning and Highways News

Business and Planning Bill: Modification of Conditions relating to Construction Working Hours Automatic Extension of Planning Permissions: Temporary Covid-19 Measures Permitted Development Rights to deal with the Covid-19 emergency Appeals after the Rosewell Review Planning Obligations and Pooling Restrictions: a Guide Planning and Highways: Development Consent Order

Our Team

Sarah Bonser

Head of Planning, Highways and Property

My team and I provide practical and pragmatic advice that is focused on achieving results for our clients.

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Nicholas Vale


Nick provides dependable advice to clients to help them navigate often complex agreements.

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Jennifer Bale


Clients have praised Jennifer for her ability to translate complicated legal issues into clear, concise and practical advice

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Catherine Stephenson

Licensed Conveyancer

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Client testimonials

“Sarah provides excellent advice, often off the cuff at the end of the phone when urgent matters arise. She is extremely good at explaining the intricacies of planning law in layman’s terms, which is very much appreciated. Sarah is a reliable and conscientious colleague who I do not hesitate to contact for guidance and clarity in often high-pressured situations. She is well respected amongst her peers and colleagues, and officers very much appreciate her knowledge and calming influence.”
Planning & Highways Client
“I am writing in praise of your support. As someone in the firing line of an ultra-aggressive legal team for the first time in my life, this was a traumatic and, at times, upsetting process. You were at my side, dispensing wise and calming counsel throughout. You have been readily available when crises occurred, have been a wonderful listener and, in the end, we reached an outcome that was highly satisfactory for our school and its pupils. I cannot speak highly enough of the way that you handled this case, and I thank you and your firm for the support you gave me. Being a chair of governors, sworn to confidentiality, can be a lonely business! You kept me sane.”
Chair of School Governors
“You’ve been incredibly helpful with this. Thanks for always replying so promptly and for being a star.”
Private Sector Town Planning & Development Consultancy
“The whole team at Invicta Law are really professional, efficient and courteous in their approach to our Development Agreement works. This I find makes my role much easier particularly when this is a specialist subject that I often need to seek their advice with.”
Planning & Highways Client
“The experience has been really top end. Rather than just offering the options, they have given some real solid advice on the best route. It's a good business 'partnering' approach.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
“Their employment advice has always proved to be sound. I’ve worked with lots of different lawyers in London boroughs and. I’d also say that Invicta Law is the most solution-focused.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service

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Our office

Invicta Law Ltd
1 Abbey Wood Road
Kings Hill
West Malling
Kent ME19 4YT
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