Ben specialises in public, planning and environmental law for public bodies, corporate sector bodies and affordable housing providers. He is recognised in both the Legal 500 and Chambers as an expert in planning and environmental law. Key areas of work include large infrastructure projects, section 106 agreements and marine matters.
He has been at Browne Jacobson for over 10 years. A key part of Ben’s practice is advising on large mixed-use developments, this includes for public bodies as local planning authority, public bodies as landowner and private developers. In addition, Ben advises on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and Developments of National Significance (Wales). This includes solar farms, wind farms (on- and offshore) and tidal energy.
Ben’s marine experience includes 18 months on secondment to the Marine Management Organisation. Ben’s experienced with Harbour Orders, Byelaws, Several and Regulatory Orders, Marine Licensing, the Habitats Regulations and judicial review challenges.
Ben also advises on a broad range of other issues, including rights-of-way, community infrastructure levy, environmental impact assessments and use class, contaminated land, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, governance issues, local authority constitutions and vires.
Ben has had articles published in the Times and the Planner and works closely with bodies such as Lawyers in Local Government and the UK Environmental Law Association. He is based in our Birmingham office.
Solar farm on BMV
Ben advised on and provided the advocacy for two days of hearings about a 118ha solar farm, a large proportion of which was to be constructed on best and most versatile farmland. The arguments centred on whether the loss of the land for 40 years was required for climate change mitigation, or whether solar was most appropriate as it reduces carbon emissions.
Redevelopment of old Copper works
Ben advised a public body on the redevelopment of an old copper works in Walsall. The site was heavily contaminated, and we advised on the risks connected with the site and on securing the necessary £30m for remediation. Funding for the remediation works was eventually secured through borrowing against future business rates, demonstrating the benefit of innovative approaches to achieving redevelopment of a large and very visible site.
5000 home urban extension
Ben is working with a public body in connection with a 5,000 home urban extension in the West Midlands. This includes negotiation in relation to a framework section 106 agreement (as there will be multiple applications being brought forward), as well as the planning framework.
"Ben Standing is highly approachable and provides clear, focused advice on a range of planning matters. His advice is provided promptly, and he is a pleasure to work with."
“We know Ben Standing as Ben (Out)standing for the exemplary service he provides, automatically reaching for relevant case law to set out our options for perusal.”
“I have worked closely with Ben Standing in relation to planning matters – both complex and unusual! Ben is extremely approachable and highly knowledgeable. He deals with advice promptly and is happy to discuss matters in advance of receiving instructions – this can be really beneficial as it allows you to narrow down and focus on the most relevant issues.”
“Ben Standing always makes himself available for a discussion and advice. Ben has also supported us with temporary cover which was invaluable.”
You may be interested in...
Net Zero and Local Democracy: building and maintaining public support
Biodiversity Net Gain - Government publishes its metric consultation response & Natural England publishes their update biodiversity metric 4.0
Biodiversity Net Gain: positive for nature and an opportunity for landowners
The UK's green agenda - the outcomes of COP27 and actions since COP26
Hillside – the end of drop in applications?
On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
RAAC planks and its impact on local authorities
Recent reports of flat roofs constructed using RAAC planks collapsing without warning prompted the SCOSS alert.
Acclimatise! You can’t afford to cop out!
Climate change could result in local authorities seeing an increase in claims from the employees and the public. In this article, we share our top 10 tips for mitigating the risk of claims.
COPs 26 and 27: Reflecting Back and Looking Forward – What environmental developments and commitments can we expect in 2022 and beyond?
Watch our webinar on-demand. Issues discussed: summary of the COP26 outputs, predictions for further commitments at COP27, and more.
Private Sector Development Club - 18 January 2022
We welcome you back after the festive break to our first Private Sector Development Club of the year. Join us on-demand for four high level presentations with a chance for you to ask questions to our experts.
COP 26 - what is it and why is it important?
COP 26 is the global United Nations climate change Summit, which will take place in Scotland in November. It comes at a time when climate change, and how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is at the top of the political agenda.
Private sector development club - 22 June 2021
Watch our on-demand video that guides you through a planning update, corporate real estate and property joint ventures and dealing with agricultural tenancies.
Carbon neutrality - air quality
Catch up on our on-demand video where we discuss the current statutory framework for the regulation of air quality and how this is likely to evolve.
COP26: a once in a generation opportunity for local government
The commentary around COP26 focuses on the macro politics of the world’s largest emitters, and the challenges for developed and developing countries in meeting their pledges under the Paris Agreement to achieve net-zero by 2050.
The requirements for Net Zero - its no April Fools
With Pellings, we discussed the current statutory framework to achieve net zero and how this is likely to evolve, and also what practical steps both public and private sector organisations can take now.
Private sector development club - 3 February 2021
Catch up on our Private Sector Development Club on-demand video where we covered a variety of topics including managing construction projects during a global pandemic, tax and planning.
Private sector development club - 9 November 2020
Watch our on-demand video about our private sector development club, where we will be discussing, planning updates, permitted development and negotiating development agreements.
Dealing with net zero biodiversity and air quality issues in planning
The Secretary of State has a duty under the Climate Change Act 2008 to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 100% lower than the 1990 baseline. View our video, discussing the legal obligations of net zero and the practical options and techniques that are required.
Private sector development club - 18 August 2020
Watch our first virtual private sector development club, where we guide you through a variety of topics relevant to property development, including updates on leasehold reform and planning law, plus a guide through the negotiation of promotion and option agreements.
COVID-19 for local authorities, arms length bodies and government - 6th May 2020
An update on current issues including managing the business failure of a key contractor, litigating and working with the court system and planning.