This Blog has a long history, dating from November 2005, when it appeared on the RTPI’s ‘Planning Matters’ website.

Since April 2010 it has been given its own spot here, and I have continued to post articles at reasonably frequent intervals, although their appearance is naturally affected by the demands of my professional work. So it is possible that two or three may appear on one day, or may follow within a day or two of each other, but there can sometimes be a gap of two or three weeks (even a month on some occasions) between posts. So you may find it worthwhile to visit this site from time to time to look for new material. Even better, you can subscribe by email and receive each new post by email automatically. Just insert your email address in the box in the sidebar on the left, and click "Submit". Alternatively, you can click on the 'Atom feed' at the bottom of the page for automatic alerts about new posts, or you can become a 'follower' of the blog.

I should point out that material published in this blog represented the law as it stood at the time when that material was first published. However, the law may have changed since the blog post was published, and so readers should not necessarily take blog posts published some time ago as being applicable now. The same applies to my replies to comments that have appeared over the years. Time does not usually allow me to go back and update earlier material, although I have occasionally done so where I thought it might be helpful.

Both the old material and the new articles have been primarily written for planning professionals, so I make no apology for the fact that they contain a fair amount of jargon, abbreviations and acronyms with which a lay person may not be familiar. However, in view of the increasing number of readers from the general public now visiting the site, I will try to spell out acronyms the first time they are used in a post.

Finally, the material on this website is made available on the distinct understanding that it does not represent legal advice and must not be acted upon without seeking appropriate advice from me or one of my colleagues at KEYSTONE LAW, based on the precise facts of your own case. The brief summaries of legal points set out in the published articles in this blog are necessarily lacking in detail, and so if you think a cited case or statutory provision mentioned there might be relevant to your own matter, you really must seek proper legal advice from KEYSTONE LAW, rather than relying on the very brief summary given here. Decided cases can establish general principles, but the detailed application of those principles will depend very much on the facts of each matter.


Every possible care has been taken in the preparation of this material but no responsibility can be accepted by me, by Keystone Law or by the site owner for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on any material appearing in any part of this blog.

WHO IS HE? (a more detailed account than you will find in "My Profile")

I am a Solicitor (admitted in 1977) who has specialised in planning law for nearly 40 years. I am a member of the Law Society’s Planning Panel and a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute. I started my planning law career with Hertsmere Borough Council in 1979, moving on to become Solicitor to the Council and Deputy Borough Secretary of Waverley Borough Council in 1982.

After six years at Waverley the next logical step would have been a Chief Officer post (Borough Secretary, Director of Administration or whatever), but I decided that I really wanted to be a full-time planning lawyer rather than a manager, and so I left local government in 1988 and, after a year with a small firm in Surrey who thought they had a planning law practice but didn’t, and were firmly against marketing (‘Not the done thing, dear boy.’), I followed the traditional advice to ‘Go West, young man’.

I spent about 8 years as a Senior Associate (whatever that means) in Clarke Willmott’s regional planning law team in Taunton and Bristol, and then joined Sisman Nichols in Bristol in 1997, where I was an Associate, and later a Consultant. I am now a Consultant Lawyer with KEYSTONE LAW, having joined this dynamic and rapidly growing firm in 2009.

It’s all been a lot of fun, so much so that I somehow forgot to retire - although nowadays I usually pass on new instructions to my very able and energetic colleagues in KEYSTONE LAW's planning law team. Planning law seems to get ever more complicated, but I am not complaining – it all makes work for the working man to do!

Martin H Goodall LARTPI

[Martin’s professional planning law practice is conducted under the auspices of KEYSTONE LAW. Personal and professional referrals will be welcome, although as explained above Martin cannot guarantee t undertake the work himself, due to his other commitments. You can contact Martin at (or you can click on the link which you will find in "View my complete profile" [below "About me" on the side bar]). Planning advice will be charged for at usual professional rates, which will be agreed with you before work commences on the matter.]


Please note that copyright in all the material in this Planning Law Blog is held solely by Martin Goodall, and so this material may only be accessed for personal study, and may not be reproduced or republished in any form without the author’s prior written permission.