Sarah specialises in town and country planning law, advising on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Sarah acts for local authorities and developers. Prior to joining WBD Sarah was Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer for Guildford Borough Council and managed a team of lawyers across a range of disciplines. Sarah also spent a number of years at the London Borough of Hillingdon where she was a Principal Planning Solicitor.

Sarah has been involved in large projects that have required co-ordination and cross working across a range of departments and areas of experience and due to Sarah's extensive local government experience, she is able to offer advice to clients (both private and public) whilst utilising her understanding of the competing priorities, conflicts and political backdrop that is often present in planning and highway matters.


Examples of experience at WBD:

  • Acting on behalf of a public authority in respect of the development of a key life science cluster in London. Involves advice on the planning application process including the environmental statement, stakeholder engagement, addendum submissions and planning agreements.
  • Acting on behalf of a public authority in respect of the redevelopment of the largest allocated site within the Tendring Local Plan. Providing advice in respect of the planning application and consenting process, strategic master planning, planning policy documentation and planning agreements.
  • Acting on behalf of a public authority who has recently been allocated Levelling Up Funding, including advice on land assembly, compulsory purchase orders, the planning application process and governance matters.
  • Acting on behalf of a public authority who are promoting and developing a Garden village in the Greater London area. The site is part of a wider redevelopment of the area that is residential led but will include significant infrastructure improvements and a range of new community facilities.
  • Acting on behalf of a London Borough in respect of the redevelopment of Surrey Canal Triangle including the negotiation of an extremely complex planning agreement.
  • Acting on behalf of a national housebuilder in relation to the redevelopment of a former Sailing Club including the preparation and negotiation of complex planning and highway agreements.
  • Acted on behalf of a charity in respect of the redevelopment of the Fmr Chocolate Factory site in Keynsham including the drafting and negotiation of a complex deed of variation.
  • Acted on behalf of a developer in respect of the redevelopment of a site in Kensington including attendance at the public inquiry and the preparation and negotiation of a s106 unilateral undertaking.
  • Acted on behalf of a public authority in a compulsory purchase order compensation claim which was dealt with by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). Now a reported case.
  • Acted on behalf of the Estates Department of a police force to ensure that adequate provision was allocated to blue light services within a new development and planning policy more widely.

Examples of experience at the London Borough of Hillingdon (LBH):

  • Acted on behalf of LBH and with GLA, TfL and the London Borough of Hounslow on the ending of the Cranford Agreement at Heathrow Airport. Co-ordinated the teams for the Planning Inquiry and worked closely with experts to produce appropriate evidence. Negotiated and drafted the Section 106 agreement and attended the Inquiry.
  • Advised on various workstreams involving Heathrow Airport including the redevelopment of brownfield sites to hotels/car parking. Compulsory purchase negotiations in respect of compensation stemming from the development of T5.
  • Comprehensive redevelopment of various former RAF MOD sites, including the flagship development at RAF Uxbridge (St Andrews Park). Negotiated and prepared the relevant complex planning and highway agreements.
  • Prepared and negotiated various planning agreements in respect of the redevelopment of Hayes, including the Old Vinyl Factory, the Record Store and the Shipping building.
  • Development Consent Order for the M4 smart motorway improvements. Included review of impacts on the Borough, including negotiation on requirements and planning obligations with National Highways.
  • Resisted Compulsory Purchase Order in relation to Fmr Southall Gas Works site. This involved preparation of LBH's case, attendance at the Inquiry and progression of a compensation claim. This was the first GLA promoted CPO.
  • Resisted HS2 scheme on behalf of the LBH. Reviewed impacts, presented at stakeholder information meetings and assisted with legal challenge.
  • Legal representative on planning committees.

Examples of experience at Guildford Borough Council:

  • Advised on the development of a road bridge scheme in conjunction with Surrey County Council and Network Rail. Involved land assembly (including private treaty agreements), planning agreements, preparation of planning policy and review of planning application including the environmental statement.
  • Advised on the redevelopment of a former industrial site at Fmr Slyfield Industrial Estate. Residential led scheme that required advice on a host of legal issues. Preparation of the planning application, stopping up orders, public rights of way, allotments and SANG.
  • Advice on the preparation of the Council's controversial Local Plan. The Council faced thousands of objections due to the constraints around green belt. Attended all of the Examination in Public and advised on various issues throughout the process. Local Plan now adopted after successfully resisting three legal challenges.
  • Advice on the redevelopment of Guildford town centre. Involved advice on joint working with key stakeholders, relocation of key infrastructure, land acquisition strategy, stopping up orders and diversions.
  • Advice on the redevelopment of the Former Wisley Airfield site. Successfully resisted planning appeal and attended planning inquiry and negotiated and reviewed the planning agreement.
  • Council's Monitoring Officer on a number of complaints, investigations and Council reviews.
  • Attendance at a variety of Council committees.
  • Responsible for a large team of lawyers across a number of disciplines.