Sara Hanrahan Partner

Photograph of Sara Hanrahan

Contact Details

“Sara Hanrahan of Blake Morgan "is approachable and helpful," according to clients. She focuses on large infrastructure and regeneration projects, covering both contentious and non-contentious planning matters. She is engaged by a range of housing associations and local authorities, as well as the Welsh Government. Another source says: "She speaks in a way that is understood by all; her advice is always very clear."”

Chambers and Partners 2019
Sara specialises in urban redevelopment and infrastructure projects, particularly advising in relation to compulsory purchase and affordable housing schemes. She also has niche specialism acting for high net worth individuals.

Main areas of practice

Sara's public and private sector work includes contentious and non-contentious planning, negotiating section 106 agreements and infrastructure agreements, compulsory purchase, listed building matters, highways, telecommunications and building regulations.


Her clients include developers, housing associations, landowners, promoters, local authorities, high net worth individuals, investors (including banks), retailers, leisure operators, airports, care providers, and various government organisations.

Significant experience

Significant cases: Sara has worked on a number of key regeneration schemes within London including New Bermonsdey, Thamesmead, the Vauxhall/Nine Elms/Battersea Opportunity Area, Dalston Square, Loampit Vale, Canada Water Basin and More London. She has also worked on various similar sized projects across the South East and Wales including Thanet's new town centre, Westwood Cross, and the regeneration of Swansea City Central.  

Examples of some of her recent casework include:

  • Sara has advised the Council of the City and County of Swansea in relation to the regeneration of the Swansea Civic Centre and the city centre redevelopment worth £6 billion in relation to planning and compulsory purchase advice.
  •  Acting for Renewal Group in relation to the £1 billion regeneration of the 30 acre site in Lewisham known as New Bermondsey including compulsory purchase powers.
  • Acting for the owners of Victoria Quay in East Cowes to allow the redevelopment of the quay to provide marina facilities comprising showers/ toilets, retail, restaurant/café, a new hotel, residential sector and a new public square.
  • Sara project managed the pre-application advice process and subsequent full planning application for a high net worth individual within a top floor flat in Mayfair and secured consent for an additional storey.

Other expertise

Articles: Sara is a regular contributor to Planning Magazine, Estates Gazette, Local Government News and Planning in London.

“Specialises in large infrastructure and regeneration projects within England and Wales.”

Legal 500 2018

“Outstanding on all fronts, including technical knowledge, commercial awareness and client service.”

Chambers UK 2018


Sara’s Blog

Raynsford Review: A review of the English planning system

At the end of last year the final report in respect of the Raynsford Review was published, we examine in more detail.

Does breaching a pre-commencement condition prevent implementation?

The recent High Court case of R (Howell) v Waveney District Council [2018] EWHC 3388 is a helpful reminder that breaching a condition going to the "heart" of a permission renders implementation of that permission unlawful.

To Pre-Commence or not to Pre-Commence?

On 1st October 2018, the Town and Country Planning (Pre-commencement Conditions) Regulations 2018 ("the 2018 Regulations") came into force.

Articles by Sara

The housing crisis - uncertainty in the era of Brexit


Uncertainty is a common issue surrounding Brexit, and this remains a theme in the part it plays in the UK housing crisis.

'Land-banking is a myth that just won't be debunked'


Sir Oliver Letwin’s housing review was set up to look into the gap between housing completions and the amount of land which has received permission for housing.

Property Week


'Land-banking is a myth that just won't be debunked'

Related Knowledge & Resources

Insolvency Rules...OK?

We look at a Court of Appeal decision that is likely to have far-reaching implications on liquidators who were, naturally attracted to the idea of referring disputes to adjudication as a means of determining monies owed to the insolvent company.

Developers are warned by the Court of Appeal not to take the law into their own hands

Local authorities will be pleased to note that the Court of Appeal accepts that they only have to consider planning issues when presented with a planning application.

Consultation on 4th edition of the RICS Code of Practice for service charges in commercial property

On 25 October, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) issued a consultation on the 4th edition of the RICS Code of Practice: Service charges in commercial property.