Aaron Hopley

Senior Associate

Gateley Legal


Aaron is a planning lawyer with experience in advising both private and public sector clients (as well as high net worth individuals) in respect of a broad array of planning and highways matters, town and village green issues and asset of community value designations. 

Aaron has personal experience of working in both the public and private sector, having trained and qualified into law at a large county council and his legal experience, knowledge and practical insight is supplemented by his previous roles as both a planning officer and planning enforcement officer in a local authority. 

He has a wealth of experience with regard to providing legal advice and unlocking development for various property types and planning schemes, including the residential / housebuilding, retail, transport, manufacturing and distribution sectors.


  1. Extensive experience in drafting and negotiating complex section 106 agreements and regularly acting for numerous housebuilders (including many of the top 20 UK housebuilders), developers, affordable / registered providers and landowners in relation to large sites across the country. This includes advising housebuilder and promoter clients in connection with the delivery of on-site affordable housing which is to be secured through planning obligations, the financial viability and delivery implications of such requirements, and, where necessary, the drafting of viability reappraisal provisions to enable the contribution of affordable housing to be revisited throughout the implementation cycle of the development (including providing advice on CIL liability).
  2. Acting for both private and public sector clients in respect of all matters of planning enforcement and listed building issues, including advising on and undertaking injunction proceedings in the High Court for serious breaches of planning control and waste offences.
  3. Providing strategic and technical bespoke advice on the submission of planning applications, drop-in applications, and planning appeals, as well as advising on the use of permitted development rights and highways / rights of way issues.
  4. Carrying out complex due diligence on both residential and commercial schemes including the acquisition and refinance of large mixed-use retail / commercial sites, acquisitions of property portfolios relating to HMO use and the acquisition of large industrial sites.
  5. Advising clients on the lawful implementation of planning permissions / established use and, where necessary, on obtaining certificates of lawfulness.