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 projects, particularly advising in relation to compulsory purchase and affordable housing schemes. 

Main areas of practice

Sara's private client 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, local authorities, housing associations and private clients.

Significant experience

Significant cases: Sara has recently worked on a number of key regeneration schemes in London and the South East including advising on the regeneration of the Nine Elms/Battersea Opportunity Area as well as being involved in major infrastructure railway projects.

Examples of some of her recent casework include:

  • Canada Water Basin Regeneration - As part of the £1.5bn Canada Water Basin regeneration, Sara completed a complex S106 agreement for this joint scheme between the Council, the LDA and a national house builder to deliver the highly publicised residential led mixed use scheme comprising over 1000 new homes plus various commercial units and an award winning £14m landmark public library
  • Loampit Vale town centre regeneration scheme - Sara completed the planning agreement for the new town centre scheme in Loampit Vale, Lewisham to provide a massive new urban quarter within the town. This scheme delivers over 780 new homes, new public space and in particular a new leisure centre with a competition sized state of the art swimming pool.
  • Basildon Regeneration - Sara advised on planning for the recently completed Station Road, Pitsea development in Basildon for a large mixed residential and retail scheme which forms the gateway into the town centre and was key to the area's master plan regeneration and included extensive public realm works.
  • Patching Lodge, Brighton - Sara negotiated a planning agreement for the redevelopment of a mixed use scheme for a major Housing Association which involved the construction of a seven-storey building comprising 76 sheltered housing flats together with community facilities and a care link office. An objection to the stopping up order by a local resident was not withdrawn and a successful public inquiry was held which Sara co-ordinated.

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

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.

New PPG on Build to Rent

On 13th September the Government published a new section in its Planning Practice Guidance on Build to Rent in order to simplify its treatment within the planning system and aid in the interpretation of The National Planning Policy Framework.

The new NPPF: A review of the changes since the March draft

The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 24 July. The Government has made a number of changes to the draft that was released for consultation earlier in March. We take a detailed look.

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

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.

Examining the UK’s affordable housing crisis and the methods for solving it

In an article for Lexis PSL Elaine Allen, legal director at Blake Morgan, examines issues currently facing the British housing sector, what the government is doing to combat the housing crisis and how effective the proposed solutions could be.

NERCA and the List of Streets Exception

Our expert looks at the case of Trail Riders Fellowship v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other cases that involving the application of the exceptions.