Victoria Du Croz
Having trained at the firm, Victoria Du Croz qualified into the planning team in 2004 and was promoted to counsel in January 2015. She advises on a range of projects from large strategic sites, to energy from waste and other infrastructure projects, to urban mixed use schemes, and single dwelling developments.
Victoria has gained extensive experience in all areas of planning law. She advises on the full life span of developments including planning application strategy and structure, minimising the risk of statutory challenge and judicial review, drafting and negotiating section 106 obligations, managing inquiry teams and the inquiry process, acting on High Court and Court of Appeal cases and advising on the delivery phase of development, including scheme changes. She acts for local authorities, developers, pension funds and individuals.
The emergence of viability assessments to justify a less than policy compliant level of affordable housing and the resulting viability review mechanisms in section 106 obligations are areas that particularly interest Victoria. Linked to this is the increased use of the Freedom of Information Act by objectors to obtain copies of commercially sensitive information contained in viability assessments. Victoria closely monitors Information Commissioner and First Tier Tribunal decisions on this topic in order to advise her clients. She works closely with her clients and their feasibility consultants to ensure that a robust approach is taken in the planning application, commercially sensitive information is protected and the viability review mechanism in the section 106 agreement reflects the client's objective of achieving certainty.
Victoria is 'enthusiastic, responsive and tenacious'
'Her ability to absorb and retain information is extremely impressive. She is extremely pragmatic and creative in finding solutions to issues.'
Areas of Focus
Victoria has advised London Legacy Development Corporation since 2010 on the residential led legacy development in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Advising Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar on the Shell Centre redevelopment on London's South Bank, including the High Court and Court of Appeal challenges.
Advising Land Securities on the redevelopment of 21 Moorfields, Moorgate advising on the consequential agreements with Crossrail and London Underground Limited.
Advising the owners of Cribbs Causeway on the proposed expansion plans for the Mall shopping centre in Bristol and on related emerging policy.
Victoria originally advised Ballymore Properties and was retained by the new owners, Oxley Wharf, on the 3,500 dwelling scheme, Royal Wharf, Newham.
Advising individuals on planning applications for large single dwelling properties primarily in Hampstead and Chelsea, including dealing with heritage matters and agreements with neighbouring properties.
Advising various energy from waste developers on proposals for new facilities and amendments to existing facilities.
Victoria regularly advises pension funds on the planning aspects of major real estate acquisitions and disposals.