• Planning and Development Consent

    Planning and Development Consent

    We specialise in obtaining planning and development consent for major infrastructure projects. Our clients often seek consents for ‘nationally significant infrastructure projects’ (NSIPs) which are nationally important developments such as power stations, railways and waste infrastructure which, due to their scale, require a ‘development consent order’.

    We help our clients to understand the philosophy of this regime and we approach the process with a streamlined and bigger-picture strategy. We manage comprehensive community engagement programmes and ensure our clients’ applications comply with local and national policies. 

  • Feasibility Assessments

    Feasibility Assessments

    We take responsibility and ownership of our clients’ instructions and advise on project feasibility, considering the relevant legal and policy framework and consenting process. 

    We make site visits and create a detailed feasibility assessment for our clients at the very early stages of a project, before taking further instructions. We then use this feasibility assessment to set out a robust programme and cost estimate.

    By taking ownership of our clients’ instructions from the outset, we minimise legal risk.

  • strategic advice

    strategic advice

    We help our clients achieve their goals through our unique combination of direct experience, legal expertise and innovative thinking.

    We’ll listen to what you want – we’re commercially-minded and take responsibility and ownership of all instructions from the outset. 

    We dedicate ourselves to getting to know each project’s individual requirements, and ensure we keep these in mind throughout our work. 

    You can be confident you’ll get the right advice - we give clients advice tailored to their needs.

  • Project Management

    Project Management

    We take a unique approach to infrastructure projects by providing a project management service which brings together all the elements – not just legal – needed to deliver the right result. This industry leading, big-picture approach is extremely successful in dealing with the development consent process for nationally significant infrastructure projects. 

    Our hands-on approach is supported by innovative technology: we use collaborative (web-based) software to manage our projects. We developed our system specifically for major infrastructure projects and it has been warmly received by clients, barristers and consultants. 

  • Community Engagement

    Community Engagement

    We’ve always been pro-active about consulting stakeholders and communities. Our approach, based on the Aarhus Convention, has been to advise clients, and help them create strategies for meaningful and robust pre-application consultation. This includes engaging with the public, statutory consultees and relevant local authorities. We’ve been ahead of the curve in this approach and our experience pre-dates the Public Participation Directive

  • Environmental Impact Assessments

    Environmental Impact Assessments

    We are proud of the depth of our technical knowledge of EIA topic areas. We combine this with our significant experience of EIA applications to advise on the scope and structure of EIAs, including baseline, methodology and consultation. We also help clients to select appropriate EIA consultants and to produce robust environmental statements, which survive judicial reviews. 

    We advise on the merit of screening and scoping opinions and have created bespoke screening and scoping requests documents. Our work includes helping clients submit subsequent applications to local planning authorities.

  • Submission of Applications

    Submission of Applications

    We structure and promote detailed planning applications accompanied by robust environmental statements. We make sure our clients comply with all relevant law and policy in their applications. 

    We have a 100% success rate in obtaining planning and development consent for major infrastructure projects.

  • consultation

    consultation

    We keep monitor and record all comments received about our clients’ planning applications. 

    We provide our clients with on-going advice throughout the consultation process including what should be done about comments submitted by both the public and statutory consultees. Where an issue is raised, we help our clients resolve the matter as pragmatically and cost-effectively as possible. 

  • Judicial Review

    Judicial Review

    We have acted for many years on major developments, some of which have been the subject of judicial review applications.

    Judicial review is the legal process by which a party may challenge the lawfulness of a planning or environmental permitting decision, made by a local planning authority or other public authority that impacts on that party or its interests. 

    Judicial review is not an easy option. It requires expert knowledge of the law relating to planning and environmental issues.

    Our experience in this changing area of law, and proven track record of successfully defending such challenges (we have never been on the losing side of a judicial review), has secured us an enviable reputation.

Planning
  • Environmental Permitting

    Environmental Permitting

    We have significant experience of working with the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 and have helped clients appoint environmental consultants, seek screening and scoping opinions and draft permit applications.

    We have also advised on many hazardous substances consents and pre- and post-safety cases needed to satisfy the Health and Safety Executive on COMAH.

    We keep costs and delays as low as possible for clients - our experience means we can identify all the required environmental permits at the start of a project and help create a comprehensive programme for achieving all necessary statutory consents. 

  • Submission of Applications

    Submission of Applications

    We structure and promote detailed applications for environmental permits. We make sure our clients comply with all relevant law and policy in their applications.

    We have a 100% success rate in obtaining environmental permits for major infrastructure projects.

  • regulatory compliance

    regulatory compliance

    We have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the European and UK legal and policy regimes under which the industry must comply. 

    We have many years’ direct experience of dealing with industry regulators including the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

    With this knowledge and experience, we give our clients cutting-edge advice shaped by policy and commercial considerations.

  • Judicial Review

    Judicial Review

    We have acted for many years on major developments, some of which have been the subject of judicial review applications.

    Judicial review is the legal process by which a party may challenge the lawfulness of a planning or environmental permitting decision, made by a local planning authority or other public authority that impacts on that party or its interests. 

    Judicial review is not an easy option. It requires expert knowledge of the law relating to planning and environmental issues.

    Our experience in this changing area of law, and proven track record of successfully defending such challenges (we have never been on the losing side of a judicial review), has secured us an enviable reputation.

  • Contaminated Land

    Contaminated Land

    We have extensive experience of advising a variety of clients on all aspects of contaminated land, including the different obligations and consents required.

    Remediation of contaminated land is relatively common for our clients, as a consequence of commercial transactions, regulatory requirements and development. Depending on the circumstances, a company (whether involved as purchaser, seller, landlord or tenant) might be required to pay for remediating a piece of land, often at significant expense.  We can assist you in compliance with all relevant legislation and can help you to achieve an environmental permit and planning consent for the project.

  • consultation

    consultation

    We keep record and monitor all comments received about our client’s environmental permit applications.

    We provide our clients with on-going advice throughout the consultation process including what should be done about comments submitted by both the public and statutory consultees.

    Where an issue is raised, we help our clients resolve the matter as pragmatically and cost effectively as possible.  

  • strategic advice

    strategic advice

    We help our clients achieve their goals through our unique combination of direct experience, legal expertise and innovative thinking.

    We’ll listen to what you want – we’re commercially-minded and take responsibility and ownership of all instructions from the outset. 

    We dedicate ourselves to getting to know each project’s individual requirements, and ensure we keep these in mind throughout our work. 

    You can be confident you’ll get the right advice.

Environmental
  • Law and Policy

    Law and Policy

    Our work is underpinned by law and policy. For example, to make a decision on an application, planning authorities must consider their Development Plan. A planning authority’s Development Plan is a set of key documents which list the land use and environmental issues which must be addressed to achieve planning permission. When we are creating application strategies, these Development Plans are a key reference.

    We keep our clients informed about any changes in law and policy which might affect them.  We also recognise how important it is that our clients take every opportunity to shape the law and policy which could affect their development plans. 

  • Partnering and Trust

    Partnering and Trust

    We know our clients need to protect their brand and reputation. Our approach recognises this in the way we work with local communities, planning authorities, environmental and other regulators 

    This is a different approach to many other law firms, and we find we can be most successful when working in partnership with planning authorities and regulators. Our experience is that by fostering close relationships, trust and confidence grows. 

  • robust legal review

    robust legal review

    We keep up-to-date with all law and policy developments and carry out robust reviews of all developments which might affect our clients and their projects. 

    This part of our work contributes to our clients achieving their planning consents and environmental permits.

  • client updates

    client updates

    We update our clients when law and policy developments might affect their projects. We’re quick to give advice on how to proceed in a way which is cost effective and reduces delay. 

    We also keep our clients informed through our blog. The blog discusses any law and policy developments relevant to any of the sectors we work in. We also use our blog to update clients with relevant news stories. 

  • strategic advice

    strategic advice

    We help our clients achieve their goals through our unique combination of direct experience, legal expertise and innovative thinking.

    We’ll listen to what you want – we’re commercially-minded and take responsibility and ownership of all instructions from the outset. 

    We dedicate ourselves to getting to know each project’s individual requirements, and ensure we keep these in mind throughout our work. 

    You can be confident you’ll get the right advice.

  • Policy Formulation and Development

    Policy Formulation and Development

    With our unrivalled expertise and experience, naturally we’re involved in policy formulation. This has removed the risk of increased delay and cost for our clients.

    To actively develop EU and UK policy, we lead consultations on issues which affect our clients such as sustainable transport or nuclear safety issues. 

    We’ve worked with senior council planners to have our client's development briefs adopted as supplementary guidance to their Local Development Plans. This is enormously helpful in settling our clients’ phased planning applications programme, ensuring full compliance with the EIA Directive.

    Paul Zyda (Principal) previously acted for UK NIREX where he produced the planning section of UK Guidance on Nuclear Waste Disposal Authorisations (now superseded). Paul also successfully promoted policy objections supporting nuclear developments in Cumbria's Structure Plan and Copeland and the Lake District's Local Plans.

law & policy
  • Training

    Training

    At Zyda Law, we provide a training programme for company and expert witnesses who are engaged in giving evidence at an inquiry.

    Our training includes presentations in a workshop format, with short discussions being followed by intensive exercises, simulations and role-play.

    The aim of the training is not to test expert knowledge but rather to give an invaluable insight into how to deliver evidence, how to manage cross examination and how to address the Inspector. 

    The training is designed to develop the knowledge, skills and mental attitude to succeed as an expert or company witnesses. We provide help and guidance on individual performances and are able to review video footage for review/learning purposes.

  • Corporate Guidance

    Corporate Guidance

    We provide our clients with corporate guidance advice for their use across multiple sites in the UK.

    We have collaborated with the Royal Yachting Association in order to update their Planning and Environmental Handbook: Guidance on Facilities Development for Recreational Boating in the UK. We undertook a robust review of the current handbook and used their expert knowledge to produce a new complete guide to reflect both current and emerging legal and policy frameworks throughout the UK and Northern Ireland. We also set up an RYA planning helpline to provide members and clubs with direct access to specialist planning and environmental law advice.

    We have also been developing a bespoke interactive permitted development rights guide for EDF Energy. This guide is intended to help employees at EDF Energy determine whether permitted development rights may be used for a specific development. We are currently producing guides for both the English and the Scottish law on permitted development rights.

    Our guidance ensures that our clients can understand their legal position without having to seek further advice.

  • Professional Development

    Professional Development

    We share our expert knowledge with others by giving speeches on various aspects of planning and environmental law as part of CPD programmes and industry events.

    Most recently, Victoria Longmore, Assistant Solicitor, gave a speech on “Consultation, Community Benefits and the Geological Disposal Facility” at the annual Nuclear Decommissioning Conference in Manchester in May 2014. Jonathan Leary, Assistant Solicitor, has also been involved with events recently and chaired a panel on “Getting your project off the ground – avoiding the financial and legal pitfalls to minimise risk when investing onsite renewables” at the Renewables Event in Birmingham in September 2013.

    We deliver professional development at client premises/sites across the UK.

Training & Guidance
  • Planning Helpline

    Planning Helpline

    The planning application and planning appeal service provided by the Planning Helpline is intended and designed to serve the needs of clients proposing small to medium scale development including residential or commercial projects. Please visit www.planninghelpline.com for more information.

  • Small Scale Planning Applications

    Small Scale Planning Applications

    Our helpline services extend to planning applications for minor commercial and householder development. We are also able to assist clients with other non EIA, small scale development. Please contact us today and we will review your proposals and provide a competitive fixed fee for your application at www.planninghelpline.com.

  • Appeals Service

    Appeals Service

    The Planning Helpline service guides clients through the appeals process, preparing forms and appeal documentation for an agreed, low cost fixed fee. The service deals primarily with householder and minor commercial development appeals and other small scale non EIA development appeals. Contact us through our website (www.planninghelpline.com) for assistance with your appeal.

  • Objections

    Objections

    We can draft an objection letter to the local planning authority in respect of development in your area. Please contact us via the planning helpline website (www.planninghelpline.com) to find out more. 

Planning Helpline www.planninghelpline.com