Suzanne Smith



Suzanne is a partner in the Housing and Regeneration team and heads the planning law division advising on a range of town planning matters (including both policy and development control) for charities, local authorities, Methodist Church, NHS and social housing clients.


Prior to joining Capsticks in 2017, Suzanne spent 11 years working in the public sector within the in-house legal teams (one of which was shared legal service) for a number of local authorities in the South of England. 

During this 11-year period, Suzanne specialised in planning law (both contentious and non-contentious) and, having completed her training contract, in-house qualified into a Principal Solicitor role in 2012 and was appointed interim team leader of the Planning and Civil Litigation team. Suzanne also spent time specialising in planning and flood & coastal risk management whilst working for the in-house legal team at the Environment Agency.  

During this period of working in-house at both a local and national level, Suzanne has gained extensive knowledge and experience of planning law in practice.  

Suzanne has advised on many high profile and complex matters including both major residential and commercial planning applications, s106 legal agreements, planning inquiries and CIL, for example: 

  • Planning Application advice and associated S106 Agreements 
    • Numerous major residential developments (and mixed commercial use) of up to 3,500 residential units plus niche pilot models for example starter homes; 
    • Hospital buildings including brand new critical care hospitals; 
    • Major supermarkets and out of town retail leisure facilities; 
    • Wind farms; 
  • Public Inquiries 
    • Advocacy including a 5 day inquiry in relation to a gypsy and traveller site in a SSSI; 
    • Case-managed numerous bespoke 8-day inquiries relating to major residential schemes and major supermarkets; 
  • Committees – lead legal advisor at development control committee for in excess of 4 years, as well enforcement sub-committee and licensing committee; 
  • Enforcement and lawful development certificates in relation to a wide range of mixed use sites including attendance at County Court in relation to obtaining an injunction; 
  • Lead advisor in connection with the adoption of Local Plan and CIL; 
  • Advising on Neighbourhood Planning including attendance at referendums; 
  • General advice – including merits of and defending Judicial Review proceedings, CIL, NSIP, environmental permitting, listed buildings, CPO, TPO, use class queries, permitted development and prior approval, Article 4 directions, high hedges etc.

Admitted as a Solicitor



  • Law Society
  • Chartered Management Institute 


  • LLB (Hons) in Law Southampton Institute 2003
  • LPC – College of Law
  • Certificate in Management and Leadership

Contact Suzanne Smith