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Martha Grekos
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"[Martha Grekos] is energetic, proactive and driven."

Chambers UK

“[Martha Grekos] has expertise in the planning and transport acts. She is always extremely customer friendly and gives clear and concise advice.”

Chambers & Partners

Martha is voted as one of the most influential women in planning in The Planner's Women of Influence 2018.

Martha is an expert in all aspects of planning law, with a focus on the promotion and implementation of large complex urban regeneration projects and major infrastructure projects, often in the fields of transport and energy.

She specialises in promoting redevelopment projects that are politically sensitive and involve large and complex environmental impact assessments, compulsory purchase orders, highway orders, planning agreements and appeal court proceedings including judicial review. She also drafts and promotes Development Consent Orders and Transport and Works Act Orders and drafts and negotiates infrastructure agreements.

Prior to returning to the Bar, Martha has worked as an employed barrister (from Associate to Partner level) at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, Eversheds, Irwin Mitchell and Howard Kennedy. She also taught planning law at the University of Cambridge.

Martha prides herself on her client service. She is a lawyer known for her ability to unlock issues in order to find a way through coming to an agreement with all parties involved in a planning/development project.

Martha has substantial planning experience, details of some of the schemes which she has worked on are set out in the tabs on her profile.

Regeneration

Barking Riverside (JV between GLA and L&Q) – largest housing development in the Thames Gateway – Advising continuously for 10 years on the submission of all the planning applications for Barking Riverside (outline, full, section 73 and reserved matters) and the subsequent discharge of conditions and implementation of the project and masterplan.

Lend Lease – Heygate Estate, centre of the Elephant & Castle £1.5 billion regeneration – Advising on the multi-party negotiations and drafting the challenging section 106 agreement for the outline application for the Heygate Masterplan of 2,400 affordable new homes, new park and public realm and other legal agreements with Southwark Council and Transport for London and the Greater London Authority.

LUL – Earls Court redevelopment – Advising on the joint venture with CapCo for the planning application of 6,770 homes Masterplan for the Earls Court Project, a site which spans both the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

RPW Southampton Ltd – Redevelopment of Southampton Pier Waterfront – Advising on all the multi-consenting aspects for the complex £450 million redevelopment of Southampton Pier to revamp the waterfront by featuring a multi-storey 200-bedroom luxury hotel, a mega-casino, restaurants and bars, a new marina (reclamation of land), 500 homes and to become a purpose- built new home for the PSP Southampton Boat Show.

Lucent Group – Lincolnshire Lakes 3,500 homes Masterplan – Advising on the ambitious vision in securing the delivery of Lincolnshire Lakes Masterplan, which comprises four planning applications to create a 3,500 homes residential led scheme.

ZM Land & Capital – Redevelopment of the Shredded Wheat Factory – Advising on the planning application for the redevelopment of the former Shredded Wheat Factory into a mixed use development with 850 homes, which involves complex listed building, property and open space issues.

Development & Planning

Almacantar – redevelopment of Centre Point Tower – Advising on all the strategic planning aspects and drafting and negotiating the section 106 agreement for the £350 million residential- led conversion of the 1960s Centre Point Tower in central London. The scheme is one of the highest- profile office-to-residential conversion projects in the country.

Almacantar – redevelopment of Marble Arch Tower – Advising on all the strategic planning aspects and drafting and negotiating the section 106 agreement for the redevelopment of Marble Arch Tower, a large-scale mixed use development combining prime residential, office, retail, restaurant and cinema space. Currently advising on the section 278 agreement and stopping up application.

Dar Plus – redevelopment of 150 Holborn – Advising on the planning application for the redevelopment of 150 Holborn into modern key commercial offices so as to be the HQ in London for Dar Group.

First Base – Redevelopment of Anston House, Brighton – Advising on the 230 apartment scheme in Preston park, designed by Conran & Partners, which is the first scheme for First Base outside of London.

Allied London – comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment of Herbal House – Advising on the planning application for the comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment of Herbal House, which is the former Daily Mirror printing headquarters situated at the heart of Farringdon and Clerkenwell and comprises 120,000 sq ft of workspace and 6,000 sq ft of residential space.

Telehouse – Docklands Datacentre – Advising on the complex planning application and drafting and negotiating the section 106 agreement and various other side agreements and licences for the development of its Dockland Data Centres, Telehouse North Two, which is a £135 million investment in a next generation mission-critical data centre, enabling hybrid services to realise growth for customers.

National significant energy and infrastructure projects

Smithsonhill – Proposed park for Agritech at Hinxton, Cambridgeshire – Advising on the planning application submission for the proposed Agritech park which is the first of its kind in the UK.

HS2 Ltd/Department of Transport – hybrid bill to build and operate High Speed Two – Advising on the submission of the contentious Bill to Parliament (including providing detailed legal instructions to Parliamentary draftsmen) which was deposited in November 2013.

TfL – Crossrail 2 – Advising on all planning aspects, SEA/EIA issue, consultation issues and conseting options strategy on the potential major new rail line for London and the South East.

LUL – Redevelopment of Bank Station – Advising on the redevelopment of Bank and Monument station on its complex environmental impact assessment, its challenging application of a TWAO to construct and operate the railway, its applications for planning and listed building consents, and negotiating with the City of London, landowners and utility service provider.

EDF Energy – construction and operation of nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C – Advising for 2 years on various aspects of the project e.g. planning application for site preparation works; application for DCO; interpretation of the Planning Act 2008 and IPC Guidance; Habitats Regulations; EIA; issues on community benefits; land acquisition strategy; consents required; timetables; policing issues etc.

Forewind Limited – Teesside A& B Offshore Wind Farm – Advising strategically and procedurally on the two proposed offshore wind farm arrays, forming part of the Dogger bank Teesside A&B project, which will have an installed generating capacity of up to 1,200 MW.

Heathrow Airport Limited – Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations – Advising on new Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 as to whether any change to, or extension of, Heathrow airport will always require screening under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations so as to be able to take forward discussions with Hillingdon Council on future planning applications for the airport.

Heathrow Airport Limited – hotel development near Terminal 4 – Advising on the planning permission and drafting and negotiating the section 106 agreement for the proposed hotel development near Terminal 4.

Birmingham Airport Limited – section 44 Order – Preparing draft Section 44 Order to secure delivery of runway extension project and liaising with Civil Aviation Authority/DfT; issuing enquiries to statutory undertakers to establish what interests they may have over the land; drafting draft standard agreement between Birmingham Airport and landowner for necessary rights in perpetuity to access land and to cover compensation payment to be used w prior to Section 44 Order being granted.

Compulsory purchase

Lidoka Estates – Silvertown Tunnel Development Consent Order – Representing Lidoka Estates who have a legal interest over the Evening Standard Depot land which is proposed to be compulsory purchased by TfL for their Silvertown Tunnel proposals.

London Borough of Southwark – Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme – Advising on issues surrounding CPOs by guiding the client through the legal procedure to be followed, outlining the compensation principles, and how a CPO is implemented and how it could be challenged.

Inquiries

Land Securities – 20 Fenchurch Street (“the walkie-talkie”), 38-storey building and Sky Garden, call-in inquiry – Major planning inquiry work for the call-in which involved heritage impacts on surrounding area, including St Paul’s, and rights of light issues. Preparation of documents and witnesses for the inquiry, advising on issues and rebutting arguments in the inquiry and assisting QC.

Armstrong (Kent) LLP – Sevenoaks DC Core Strategy Examination in Public – Advising on arguments to adopt in relation to the redevelopment of Fort Halstead at the Core Strategy Examination in Public, focusing on transport, green-belt, housing and retail issues.

Judicial review

The Chiltern Railways – challenge to TWA Order – Advising on the legal grounds to successfully defend the statutory challenge brought by a third party against the Secretary of State for Transport, The Chiltern Railways Company Limited and Natural England on the made TWA Order.

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority – anaerobic digester, Porthamel Farm, Talgarth – Advising on the risk of judicial review of the National Park Authority’s recommendation to approve an anaerobic digester by reviewing the report proposed to be put forward to committee and suggesting changes to the report and to the reasons in order to minimise risk of challenge.

Tesco – convenience store with 100 parking spaces, Marlborough, Witshire – Advising on the prospects of success of a judicial review challenge by Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd on Wiltshire Council’s determination to grant planning permission to Tesco for the development of an A1 supermarket by reviewing grounds, drafting a detailed response to the grounds and responding to Sainsbury’s letter before action. Sainsbury’s lawyers have recently withdraw their application for a judicial review.

Directory recommendations

Martha was recommended in both Chambers UK and Legal 500 when working as Partner (employed Barrister) in law firms in the City.

She was also listed as one of the top three planning lawyers in the UK by Planning (2016), ranked as one of the most influential women in planning by The Planner (2018) and voted by Property Week “40 Under 40” as one of the rising stars and most influential people in the property industry aged under 40 (2017).

Publications

Editorial work

  • Weekly contributor to planning practice points in Estates Gazette (2016 to present)
  • Contributor to the National Planning Infrastructure Service (2015-2017)
  • Assistant Editor to the Journal of Planning and Environmental Law (Sweet & Maxwell) (1998-2013)
  • Assistant Editor to the Encyclopaedia of Environmental Law (Sweet & Maxwell) (2000-2013)
  • Assistant Editor of the Journal of Water Law (2000-2008)
  • Monthly case-reporter for the Planning and Environmental Law Bulletin (2000-2001)

Publications/books

  • Contributing author Environmental Law in Property Transactions (Tottel, 2009)
  • Co-author, Environmental Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 2008)
  • Author, Planning Factbook (Gee Publishing, a subsidiary of Sweet & Maxwell, 2005)

Professional associations

  • Town and Country Planning Association
  • Planning and Environmental Bar Association
  • National Infrastructure Planning Association
  • Compulsory Purchase Association
  • Cambridge University Land Society
  • Chicks with Bricks

Qualifications

  • LL.M., University of Cambridge
  • LL.B. (Hons) Law, University of Bristol

Languages

English, Greek

CSR

Martha is an Associate of Newnham College, University of Cambridge (2010-2018) and a school Governor at Eltham Hill School (2018 to present).

Martha supports and is involved with: Women in Planning, Women in Property, Women Talk RE, Re:Women, Chicks with Bricks, Women in the City, and Women in Transport. She is also a member of the Fawcett Society.

Martha is also currently assisting to set up a social enterprise focusing on bringing communities and developments closer together.

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