Kirsten Hewson is a partner in the planning law group and is head of the planning team in the southern offices. She acts for a wide range of clients, including house builders, local authorities, public authorities, development companies and retailers on all aspects of planning law.
Hewson provides advice throughout the planning process, from strategic planning advice at site acquisition stage through to drafting complex environmental statements, planning applications and associated documentation.
She has extensive experience in drafting planning agreements and infrastructure agreements and development agreements as well as advising on compulsory purchase and historic buildings. Hewson has particular expertise in co-ordinating major public inquiries and High Court litigation.
She is currently the sole solicitor advising IKEA on the planning strategy for its UK expansion to obtain 20 new retail stores and four distribution warehouses across the UK.
Hewson is advising SEEDA on a number of projects across the south east, in particular in relation to its joint proposals for the redevelopment of a 70-acre site known as Rochester Riverside, which will be developed in collaboration with Medway Council. Kirsten is also advising SEEDA on the use of its compulsory purchase powers and planning issues including judicial review on a number of sites on the Isle of Wight.
Among Hewson’s key projects is advice to landowners on the redevelopment of a central Bath site to provide for 900 residential units, offices, retail and shared facilities. The advice on this controversial site includes planning, CPO and strategic overview of government procedures. On the public sector front she is advising Nottingham City Council in respect of three key regeneration sites in the City, one of which has been reported as the largest regeneration site outside London.
Hewson has particular experience in the area of retail planning, having previously advised the John Lewis Partnership on a number of in-town and out-of- town sites. She was planning adviser for the Prudential Assurance Company on the redevelopment of the Arndale centre and Exchange Square in Manchester.
Formerly the senior planning solicitor at City firm Lovells, Hewson joined Shoosmiths in 2003 and became a partner in May 2004. Prior to joining Lovells she worked as a lawyer in a local authority, so has a thorough understanding of the planning system from both standpoints. Hewson has written articles and given seminars on environmental impact assessment, judicial review, reforms to the planning system and residential development. She is recognised as a leading individual in the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2005.
Hewson has recently been identified as a leader in her field of planning by Chambers and Partners for its 2009 UK directory.