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The BDB Pitmans team acts on all aspects of regeneration schemes, from acquisition, planning, CPO and construction to letting, funding and management.

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Real Estate

Our integrated team can work on all aspects of regeneration projects. We have acted for all relevant parties, including local authorities, developers, landowners, funders and occupiers.  Not only do we have all the relevant legal skills and decades of experience, we perhaps uniquely have experts within the team with broader commercial and political experience in the world of regeneration.

Find out about some of the regeneration projects our team have worked on  case studies.

Examples of the sort of work we can undertake include:

  • development, partnership and co-ownership agreements
  • site acquisition including compulsory purchase and option agreements
  • vacant possession strategy and implementation
  • identifying and dealing with title issues including rights to light
  • obtaining planning and necessary consents
  • funding and joint venture arrangements
  • construction contracts and appointments
  • state aid and public law issues
  • highways consents and agreements with transport bodies
  • utilities arrangements including green energy deals
  • harbour and quayside projects, including stakeholder agreements with port authorities
  • lettings
  • disposals

Our team

Our regeneration team, headed by Hugh Lumby, Christina Daniels and James Ross, brings together lawyers across all our offices and includes specialists in real estate, construction, planning, public law, tax and funding.

Hugh Lumby

Hugh Lumby has over thirty years’ experience in the law, including six years as head of the global real estate team of an international firm. Throughout his career he has specialised in development and regeneration and has won numerous awards, including for leading the teams on the Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City shopping centre developments, both of which have been the largest shopping centres in Europe. He has been ranked in numerous directories, including as a Leading Individual in the Legal 500 and as an Eminent Practitioner in Chambers UK. Hugh has been a visiting Professor at the University of Law and he has lectured on development and regeneration at the University of the Sorbonne. He was also co Chairman of the European Urban Regeneration Council at the Urban Land Institute and is a judge for the International Property Awards. He is also  an elected member of Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council; his roles include shadow cabinet member for the Local Economy and Assets.

Christina Daniels

Christina Daniels has over 20 years’ experience in residential, commercial and mixed use development, having practiced in both local government and the private sector. Christina advises on all aspects of planning law and at all stages of the acquisition and  planning process. She provides strategic planning  advice in respect of large scale development and regeneration including advising on CIL, affordable housing and viability issues. Christina drafts and negotiates complex planning and highways agreements, advises on cross-boundary issues, the implications of the Crichel Down rules (in relation to land previously acquired under compulsory purchase), rights of way including  issues arising from the Natural Environmental and Rural Communities Act 2006 , deals  with Commons Act consent and deregistration and advises  in relation the defence of village green and asset of community value applications (including strategies for avoiding the potential for such applications)

James Ross

James Ross has particular expertise in large scale development projects, having acted for investors, property companies, developers, banks and funds in connection with their acquisitions, disposals and development of all real estate classes. 

Why choose our team for advice on regeneration projects?

Our team have seen regeneration from every angle and perspective. This means they understand the issues faced by different parties and have solutions that should work for everyone, making projects more likely to succeed. They take a joined up approach to deals, reflecting the client’s needs rather than the individual demarcation so commonly seen in advisers.

We see successful regeneration as far more than advising on the law and identifying the risks. We see ourselves as an extension of the client team, joining you on the journey to a successful outcome. Our experience both from within and outside the law mean our advice can be focused on what is really important and goes to the heart of the matter, seeking routes to mitigate risks and chart a route forward.

At the heart of our approach is the desire to see improvements in our town centres and high streets, to help reverse decay and deprivation and to bring new life to communities.

All of this has made BDB Pitmans synonymous with successful regeneration projects.

Hugh Lumby has worked on regeneration for over 30 years and has seen rundown post-industrial and derelict areas transformed into vibrant destinations. In the video below, he shares some ideas on how to bring new life to our high streets.

Community engagement and support is key to successful regeneration. Residents need to feel they will benefit, whether that be through better facilities, jobs and housing and that their community spirit will be protected. Fears of gentrification and relocation can adverse effects and residents ballots can stymie change.

Local councils are often keen to facilitate regeneration within their districts. However, many do not have the resources or skills to achieve this. Government funds are available but are tightly controlled. The Government has suggested as part of its levelling up agenda that areas enter into what are being called “county deals” to devolve power and money to local authorities. In return, they need to be able to bring about change and provide services more effectively. This may assist unlocking regeneration through the use of the additional funding, making unviable or marginal schemes capable of delivery. Find out here about how new “County deals” can help boost councils boost regenerations

The Government’s levelling up agenda is perceived as being aimed at so called red wall seats. The reality is that there are left behind communities right across the country. There are, for example, parts of cities right along the south coast which are much worse off than equivalent parts of the Midlands. The support on offer can therefore be accessed for regeneration projects throughout England.

National and local governments have set ambitious targets to help reduce net carbon emissions and tackle climate change. This will increasingly impact on many aspects of our lives, not least regeneration and property development. Clean energy infrastructure and technology will for example be critical features. Retaining existing buildings can be more carbon friendly than new builds.

Freeports are being touted as a route to help regenerate deprived areas, by bringing new jobs and activities to an area. The experience of enterprise zones was however that these simply moved jobs rather than creating new ones. They are therefore likely to need support for new industries, especially in the green economy. In addition, local and national governments and other stakeholders will need to ensure that proper training and education is provided locally to support the workforce. These need to be at both graduate and apprentice level.

The use of compulsory purchase powers to unlock sites is often a crucial tool in the regeneration armoury. But the public sector needs to act with care at all times, as a slip can see the use of the powers denied or unintended consequences on the development occur. State aid and the consideration paid can represent real problems, allowing successful challenges or a loss of control.

The Government has been keen to encourage other uses within failing high streets including the provision of more residential accommodation. Its use of permitted development rights to permit changes of use without the need for further consent have helped stimulate activity. But this can undermine effective masterplanning and lead to pepper potting of other uses. This can dilute town centres as destinations when instead they need to be concentrated, to attract visitors and create a sense of place.

“Hugh is a fantastic lawyer. He’s got commercial vision, he’s got passion, he’s just good at everything”


Case Studies

1. Westfield on its Stratford City development, next to the site of the 2012 London Olympics. Hugh Lumby led the team and was involved in all aspects of the scheme, including development, construction, planning, infrastructure, leasing, funding and joint ventures. This included negotiation of anchor prelets, arrangements with the Olympic Delivery Authority, LOCOG, the LDA, LCR and Network Rail. In addition to the shopping centre, he dealt with the development and disposal of three hotels, a casino, offices, student accommodation, offices and residential.

2. Westfield on the shopping centre development in White City London, in which Hugh Lumby was involved for around twenty five years, seeing the project through from original site acquisition through development to its opening in October 2008, subsequent ongoing operation and its extension, to become the largest shopping centre in Europe. This has included joint venture arrangements with CRI, detailed arrangements with TfL and LUL, numerous acquisitions, prelets and ongoing management arrangements.

3. Westfield on its joint venture with Hammerson and its arrangements with the Whitgift Foundation in connection with the regeneration of Croydon. This has included land acquisitions, CPO arrangements with the London Borough of Croydon and prelet agreements.

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