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Howard Bassford

Howard Bassford


Howard Bassford focuses on obtaining planning and other regulatory approvals for major energy, infrastructure, marine and railway development projects as well as conventional projects.

He is often asked to advise on the highest-profile and most controversial development proposals. He has considerable experience in all aspects of planning, compulsory purchase and local government law. He advises regularly on industrial, retail and residential planning matters, as well as wider public law issues. Howard is regularly published and asked to comment on planning matters.

His recent roles include: lead planning lawyer on the first ever development consent order - which involved special parliamentary procedure; leading the legal team for the largest infrastructure project promoted by a public authority outside London - the Mersey Gateway bridge project; and securing significant concessions from the Government for a major industrial client in relation to HS2. Currently, Howard is promoting the largest project ever carried out by the National Grid and is advising on the world's first tidal lagoon energy project - Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay.

Areas of FocusReal Estate
Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


Howard is one of the pre-eminent Planning Act 2008 solicitors. He has promoted many development consent orders (DCOs) including:

  • The first DCO subject to special Parliamentary procedure, Rookery South
  • The first tidal lagoon DCO, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay
  • The first major smart motorway DCO, M4 Junctions 3 to 12
  • The first IGCC coal and gas power station DCO, C.Gen Killingholme

Howard advises regularly on Town and Country Planning Act 1990 matters, particularly in relation to complex or large residential and commercial development. Examples include:

  • Mersey Gateway, advising on the construction of the bridge and tolling
  • Securing listed buildings consent for the preservation of the Cutty Sark
  • Advising a major professional services firm on securing concessions in relation to HS2 
  • Christ Church, Oxford, BA (Hons) Modern History, 1997

Prior Experience

2005 to date, Partner, DLA Piper
2001 to 2005, Associate, UK based multinational law firm
1997 to 2001, Assistant Solicitor, UK based commercial law firm