Planning and Development

Delivering your development, maximising returns. 

As a landowner, we understand that whatever the size of your development opportunity, you will want to maximise its value and your investment return.

Our team of over 16 planning and development experts based across the UK, works with landowners, public sector organisations, property developers and their teams, to deliver successful development outcomes through the planning and development process.

Whether yours is a small parcel of land for a specific build, or many hundreds of acres intended for housing, a business park or industrial estate, we will work with to deliver a joined-up planning and development strategy, to make your project happen.

Drawing on expertise from across our teams, as well as working with external stakeholders, we will help you to identify and acquire development land across the UK, and will develop your asset or portfolio, taking your project from viability and feasibility, through planning, to successful development delivery and on into occupation, letting or sale.

Our people, your partners

At the heart of everything we do, is clear communication and transparency, which helps us to ensure successful development outcomes for a wide variety of clients and schemes, including commercial, residential, retail and healthcare projects.

Our service is partner-led, which means you benefit from the in-depth market knowledge and specialist sector expertise of our planning and development advisers, who will work closely with you to unlock your development opportunity, whilst making sure your scheme works financially to ensure a profitable return.

Diverse expertise
Urban regeneration

Urban regeneration and placemaking remains high on the Government’s development agenda. We have in-depth expertise in the delivery of often complex urban regeneration schemes.

Our town centre regeneration experts are drawn from across our building consultancy, investment, valuation, lease advisory and planning and development teams, and will work with you to achieve the best town centre regeneration solution for your strategic needs, whilst meeting the changing demands of the urban landscape.

Employment land

Working closely with our agency colleagues who are active across our regions, we represent a wide range of commercial developers, landowners and investors from single sites to masterplanning large estates and science parks.

Our expertise includes undertaking Local Authority-wide land assessments, covering immediate and future land supply, as well as demand assessments to support an agreed planning strategy, where we advise on market trends, supply and demand.


We represent a significant number of local, regional and national housebuilders and registered providers, as well as private individuals and residential property companies and investors to deliver a range of residential development schemes, from large developments of several thousand houses, to new or replacement single dwellings.

Build to rent

Working with landowners, local authorities, developers, regional and national housebuilders and their teams across the UK, we will advise on the most appropriate planning strategy to achieve planning consent and deliver your built to rent development.

Health, education & leisure

We have a successful track record in working in the education, health and leisure sectors, where we have assisted in the delivery of, schools, university buildings, science parks and hospitals, libraries and community centres throughout the country.

By working for a number of health care providers, care home developers and extra care providers, we understand the challenges and opportunities faced in future-proofing development for hospitals and specialist care accommodation.

Our objective is to understand clinical strategies or business plans to deliver fit for purpose buildings often in deadline critical circumstances.

We are also experienced in marine and leisure developments including port developments, marinas and hotels, together with more unusual tourist related projects such as beach huts, nature trails and other community projects which often raise unusual challenges requiring innovative solutions. Partnership working with agencies, stakeholders, residents and LPAs is often central to the success of these projects.

Strategic land

Strategic land generally refers to green- or brownfield sites with medium-to-long term development potential, often 5-10 years or more, rather than sites for which planning permission can be delivered more immediately.

Vail Williams specialises in unlocking the value of strategic sites by working with landowners, housebuilders and developers to promote land for development through the planning system – this can be by securing the allocation of land for a specific use in a Local Plan or obtaining a planning permission.

Our specialist team of planners and development consultants can advise on all aspects of the strategic land process:

  • Site identification and assessment
  • Transaction structuring: Promotion Agreements, Options and Conditional Contracts.
  • Land assembly and collaboration agreements
  • Planning promotion and planning applications
  • Viability
  • Site sales and marketing

We work with investors and owner-occupiers to identify sites for commercial development, and deliver a viable commercial scheme, supporting you throughout all stages of the planning and development process.

Drawing on our regional agency and investment expertise, we provide in-depth strategic context to inform the deliverability of your scheme, working in conjunction with council leaders, directors and influential bodies to ensure the best possible outcome.

This ‘can do’ attitude brings clients, project teams and LPAs together, working collaboratively to enhance value and aid sustainable economic growth.

Public sector

We have a great deal of experience advising local authorities across the UK on their planning and development strategies to deliver assets which enhance value in the long-term, whether through disposal, ongoing income or occupation.

We also have a sound understanding of the operational complexities, political background and decision-making process of working with public sector and institutional organisations, such as the NHS, Local Planning Authorities and universities.

Expert Witness

Securing planning permission first time, whilst our aim, is not always possible. Sometimes a revised submission is necessary, an appeal is required or a combination of resubmission and appeals may be needed.

In this instance, we offer expert planning advice on the best way to proceed and, where necessary, provide Expert Witness representation for all stages of a planning appeal, including for:

  • Section 78 appeals and applications called-in by the Secretary of State
  • Written representations
  • Informal hearings
  • Public inquiries
  • Land supply and demand assessments
  • UK court proceedings, including Judicial Reviews
  • Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan Examinations and Hearings

Our planning team are all members of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) so we have direct access to legal professionals and can instruct them directly to work alongside Counsel.

We also advise on the most successful course of appeal, engage with legal advisers where appropriate and provide high quality, well-written evidence.

Key people