Emily is a Partner in the Planning and Infrastructure Consenting Team and acts for property developers, land promoters, institutions and investment companies, house builders and charities as well as local authorities and JV entities. She has a specialist interest in planning litigation and is skilled in advising clients on minimising the risk of challenge to planning decisions affecting their assets and defending challenges to consents in the Planning Court (s288, s289, judicial review). Equally she acts for commercial clients instigating or defending planning litigation either to preserve their assets from competitor development or to challenge government decisions adversely affecting their own development proposals pursuing matters to the Court of Appeal and beyond. Her experience includes advice on compulsory purchase, appropriation under the planning acts and advice in connection with the stopping up and diversion of highways, rights of way issues and town and village green applications. She also excels at running complex large team inquiries requiring expert witness evidence. 

Emily's experience includes:

  • Conducting 4 conjoined appeals for the University of Chester's Faculty of Science and Engineering adjacent to Stanlow Oil Refinery with the HSE and Essar Oil as Rule 6 parties.
  • Advice to developer clients in respect of appropriation under the planning acts
  • Advising landowners in connection with the stopping up and diversion of highways; resisting applications to modify the definitive map and town and village green applications
  • Advice to developer clients in respect of heritage issues including listed building enforcement
  • Work on several planning agreements for strategic land companies and promoters across England and Wales including complex legal agreements for large scale release of land and s111 agreements with local authorities
  • In terms of litigation Emily has been involved in a number of significant reported cases including 
  • Gladman Developments Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government & Anor [2020] EWHC 518 (Admin) (06 March 2020)
  • R. (on the application of DLA Delivery Ltd) v Lewes DC [2017] EWCA Civ 58 – sought to clarify the law regarding the system of neighbourhood development plans and their interaction with the development plan.   
  • R. (on the application of DLA Delivery Ltd.) v Lewes District Council v Newick Parish Council [2017] EWCA Civ 58, 2017 WL 00491516 – challenge to a neighbourhood plan - appellant development company appealed against the dismissal of its claim for judicial review of the respondent local authority's decision to allow a neighbourhood development plan (NDP) for a village to proceed to a referendum under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Sch.4B para.2. 
  • R (On the Application of Maynard) v (1) Chiltern DC and (2) Chalfont St Peter Parish Council [2015] EWHC 3817 (Admin) – this was the first successful challenge to a neighbourhood plan and only the fourth such challenge to be brought 
  • Cases on valued landscape and para 109 of NPPF (Forest of Dean DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWHC 2429 (Admin)) and Stroud DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 488 (Admin))
  • Trillium (Prime) Property GP Ltd v Tower Hamlets LBC [2011] EWHC 146 (Admin) -  challenge to designation of conservation area including resisting application for injunction made by third party objector
  • French - good command

Emily Williams "never ceases to impress" and is described as "one of the leading litigators in the planning sphere." "She is a well-known expert on planning disputes and is especially recommended for her work on judicial reviews." Chambers UK

The key strength is Emily Williams' leadership, experience and knowledge.  Emily Williams has in-depth knowledge and experience of the judicial and planning appeals systems; she gives clients comfort with her leadership skills, she is extremely well organised and thorough and is adept at strategy, and is sensitive to the needs of the client.

Emily Williams is comfortable taking a light touch when appropriate, but assertive when necessary.

Emily Williams is highly expert, is very quick on problems and solutions, has excellent judgement and has very good knowledge of up-to-date law and policy. Legal 500