Large planning developments and contentious or disputed planning schemes may be ultimately determined via Public Inquiry. This is a formal proceeding, with evidence submitted in writing and in person by an Expert Witness. In these situations, DOWSETTMAYHEW offer an expert witness planning service to assist clients to achieve their desired planning outcome.

As Chartered Town Planners, DOWSETTMAYHEW are fully qualified and highly experienced at representing clients through this part of the planning process. Our expert witness services include:

  • Instructing Barristers
  • Preparing and co-ordinating Proofs of Evidence and Statements of Common Ground
  • Providing Expert Witness testimony
  • Planning Advocacy.


Recent Experience

DOWSETTMAYHEW recently acted under the instruction of a Parish Council in the role of both Planning Advocate and Expert Witness at two, linked Public Inquiries. These were ultimately determined via call-in and recovery by the Secretary of State. These both related to significant residential development schemes. Notwithstanding the lack of objection by the Local Planning Authority, DOWSETTMAYHEW successfully argued both appeals should be dismissed.

Lawful Development Certificates

DOWSETTMAYHEW have extensive experience in successfully obtaining Lawful Development Certificates (LDCs) to confirm both existing and proposed developments are lawful. We offer specialist guidance on the implications and controls of planning legislation and whether schemes can, or will, be immune from control or Enforcement Action by Local Planning Authorities.

We are experts in guiding client’s through the complex legislation and compiling evidence to ensure Certificates can be successfully obtained.

Section 106 Legal Agreement Advice

Legal Agreements, including Section 106 Agreements or Unilateral Undertakings are regularly required to be agreed with Local Planning Authorities in conjunction with the grant of planning permission. DOWSETTMAYHEW, working with legal consultants advise on all aspects of the structure and content of these Agreements. We are expert at negotiating with Local Planning Authorities to ensure the financial obligations are minimised, and only included when required and compliant with the planning law requirements and local planning policy.