Leading sector knowledge and experience in both development and natural capital, providing the country's leading integrated strategic land and development service.
Natural Capital for Development

“Julie Sharpe is an exceptional professional, extremely diligent and is one of the best solicitors I have ever worked with. We have worked together on complex transactions with tight timescales and Julie was always two steps ahead of the other side in the negotiations. No stone was left unturned.”

Legal 500 2023

“I would highly recommend Julie Sharpe” “Julie is really good – she is efficient and on the ball.”

Chambers UK 2023

Natural Capital for Development

Helping developers and landowners navigate complex land transactions and environmental policies

We have many years of experience in acting for developers and landowners on strategic real estate transactions.

Promoting, disposing or developing land to deliver new homes is a complex process requiring expert advice. Planning policy changes to protect and improve the environment mean that advising on natural capital requirements (whether BNG, nutrient neutrality, carbon or other environmental policy) is a core part of our service to developer and landowner clients looking to promote and build out sites.

Strategic land

We act for developers, landowners, and promoters on deals to secure development land.

Strategic land issues continue to be highly pressing given the current shortage of homes and well-advised landowners will be best placed to deliver developable land that achieves environmental policy requirements.

Our distinctive approach to collaboration means that our property experts work side by side with specialist planning, natural capital, private client, agricultural, tax, construction, and corporate advisers meaning you will always have access to the exact specialist knowledge required.

By considering the natural capital aspects of policy and law throughout transactions, we help our clients to maximise the value they unlock whilst also delivering on planning, agricultural, succession and tax planning matters.

House builders

We have a long history of assisting national and local developers with large site development. Our ability to integrate leading thinking on the delivery of environmental compliance or improvement as part of developments makes us an ideal partner for residential property development.

Biodiversity Net Gain

Biodiversity Net Gain or “BNG” has become a key part of efforts to mitigate the environmental impact of development, and improve biodiversity through planning value gains. We have been advising upon BNG since it came about in 2021, and now act in a large volume of transactions to secure BNG opportunities.

Nutrient Neutrality

The improvement of water quality in our watercourses has become critical for certain river catchments. This has resulted in planning requirements for the overall reduction in the discharge of nitrogen and phosphorous into rivers. As the treatment of nutrient discharge from new development catches up with demand, developers need to purchase the credits created by land use change to offset increases in discharge caused by new developments.

Case studies

Case studies

Wildlife Trust

Acting for a wildlife trust in relation to the purchase of land needed to generate biodiversity net gain credits to offset environmental impact from an adjacent housing scheme.

The deal involved dealing with BNG credits, habitat creation works, diversion of utilities and securing 30-year habitat maintenance payments/ covenants.

It also involved advising on planning liabilities in relation to the existing consents and section 106 agreements, particularly in relation to habitat creation and maintenance liabilities and discharge of associated conditions.

Option and Promotion Agreements

We have acted for various landowners and developers in relation to the structure of development documentation to address BNG requirements.

We have prepared drafting for Option and Promotion Agreements to address the route map of options for satisfying natural capital requirements that are in our client’s best interests, whether this be through cost-sharing provisions, securing off-site land or bespoke price calculations.

We use our natural capital knowledge to forward plan and future proof our client’s option and promotion agreements.

Forestry Commission

As part of a comprehensive legal services appointment, we advise the Forestry Commission on the documentation of phosphate and nitrogen mitigation schemes; including the high-profile scheme at the River Stour. This has involved the production of a bespoke suite of agreements that record the sale and purchase of the units arising from the environmental value secured.

As these Nutrient Neutrality (NN) agreements stand for 125 years, issues such as succession planning and long-term management needed to be addressed. We are currently negotiating associated section 106 planning agreements with the Local Authority which will underpin the units sold and safeguard the land use change and environmental outcomes.

Nutrient Neutrality

We are advising several landowners on Nutrient Neutrality agreements dealing with issues such as succession planning and long-term management. We are currently negotiating associated section 106 planning agreements with different Local Authorities which will underpin the credits sold and safeguard the land use change and environmental outcomes.


“We may just be one business, but by helping our clients to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the sustainability landscape, together we can deliver significant impact and positive change.”

Rachel O'Connor, Partner


ESG activity runs through everything that we do at Michelmores.

Being a responsible business

We strive to act as a responsible business, by reducing our impact on the environment, building social capital and harnessing our strengths to support the communities that we operate in. We measure our responsible business efforts through the Planet Mark framework.

Supporting a sustainable economy

We fully support the drive to a more sustainable global and UK economy. As well as chiming with our own principles, growth in the sustainable economy is creating opportunities among our clients, where there is increasing recognition that profit and purpose are compatible. Together with our clients, we are focused on working together to help shape a better world.

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Team members
Senior Associate
Senior Associate