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Chris Tofts
Chris Tofts

Chris is a partner and head of the Planning team in Truro, as well as the head of our Marine sector, with a wide range and depth of planning experience, covering all matters from managing applications for very large mineral sites to dealing with enforcement notices in respect of residential development.

He qualified in September 2007 and has significant experience in minerals, waste and ‘natural resources’ planning whilst also dealing with the more usual planning matters such as drafting s106 agreements and applying for Certificates of Lawfulness. Chris has also appeared in the Magistrates’ Courts and the County Court in planning matters as well as at Planning Inquiries.

Chris acts for defendants in planning and other regulatory prosecutions having previously advised the Cornwall Council on its enforcement notices and prosecutions. He has advised on bespoke developments including Penzance Harbour, Newquay Cornwall Airport, the regeneration of Hayle and Energy from Waste. He has specialist knowledge on environmental matters including EIA, Appropriate Assessment and European Protected Species.

Chris also has expertise in dealing with highways issues, including: the legal creation of highways, Stopping Up Orders, footpath orders, the Advance Payments Code, s38 and s278 agreements.

He also advises on a Compulsory Purchase Orders, Modification Orders, Compensation, Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development and the Mines (Working Facilities And Support) Act 1966.

Chris often works with colleagues in the Mining and Minerals, Marine, Environment and Rural sectors.

Chris has a degree in Aerospace Systems Engineering and was an Air Engineering Officer on 771 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose before qualifying as a solicitor in 2007.

Chris’ personal testimonials:

Chambers and Partners (2023) – “He’s a brilliant lawyer.” “Chris Tofts is fantastic and has always made very clear arguments and instructions. He has always had good communication with the other parties and has very good judgement.”

Legal 500 (2023)“The main person involved at Stephens Scown planning was Chris Tofts and he is, in our opinion the go to person for any cases involving panning issues. He’s very communicative with all parties, accessible at any time, approachable and innovative in managing the case. We highly recommend him and his department.”

Chambers and Partners (2022)“He has a great demeanour and is always willing to look for good solutions. He understands the law well, and when you need someone to be firm on a position, he can do that too.”

Chambers and Partners (2021)“He is accessible and approachable, with the level of knowledge, common sense and pragmatism that you require of a lawyer.” “He has excellent knowledge of his subject, provides helpful and constructive advice and is very thorough.”

Chambers and Partners (2020)“He has an excellent knowledge of his subject and always offers helpful and constructive advice.”

Chambers and Partners (2019)“Exceptionally bright, with a savage attention for detail,” and “he is always on hand to help.”

Chambers and Partners (2018) – Notable practitioner.


Outside of work Chris enjoys days at the beach with his children and growing trees from seed.

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