DMH Stallard wins location battle for football club

The combined forces of South East firm DMH Stallard and 2-3 Gray’s Inn Square have won the campaign to get planning permission for Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s new stadium.

DMH planning partner Tony Allen was instructed in 2000 to prepare and submit the Championship football club’s application for the new stadium, which was intended to be built near the village of Falmer, just outside Brighton.

Despite being approved by Brighton & Hove City Council, the application became the subject of a row between the stadium’s supporters and local villagers because of the site’s location, which is considered an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Allen brought in 2-3 Gray’s Inn Square counsel Jonathan Clay to advise on the two public inquiries that followed. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott approved the stadium’s construction on 28 October, deciding that there were no other sites on which the stadium could be built.

Clay said the decision was “one of the most significant” in recent years, adding that the plan balances the football club’s needs with the stadium’s impact on the area.

Falmer Parish Council was advised by Charlie Hopkins of environmental specialists EarthRights Solicitors. Trevor Blaney, head of planning at Lawrence Graham, represented the Cook family, which was proposing an alternative site for the football ground.