Sarah is the foremost expert in the cross-over between the licensing and planning regimes.

She is a national specialist in the Agent of Change principle, and at the vanguard of designing solutions in this novel area of law. Sarah was the specialist adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act and informed their recommendations to Government on licensing and planning, including their conclusion on Agent of Change:

“During the course of our inquiry we have been fortunate to have as our specialist adviser Sarah Clover. She is a barrister whose encyclopaedic knowledge of licensing, planning and regulatory law has been invaluable to us. We are most grateful to her for her exceptional contribution to our work.” [Acknowledgments; paragraph 12 Report].

Sarah advises Government departments, including the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the Home Office. She has delivered briefings at No.10 on numerous occasions.

Sarah is involved in ground-breaking cases concerning the Agent of Change principle, and has an extensive national overview of how to manage urban development in proximity to licensed and leisure venues.

Sarah’s expertises include drafting applications, objections and submissions; representation in hearings and planning appeals, and specialist mediation and facilitation services. In her role as an Agent of Change Facilitator, Sarah can help to design and broker agreements that create sustainable long-term solutions for all stakeholders. Previous solutions have included private contracts; sound mitigation works to venues; deeds of easement; “agent of change agreements”; planning conditions; s.106 agreements and significant financial compensation.

Sarah is the Chairman of the Licensing Expert Group for BEIS, and sits on the BEIS ad hoc working group for hospitality recovery.

Sarah is on the Board of the Music Venue Trust, and advised on the Private Members’ Bill promoted by John Spellar MP, which developed into the Agent of Change policy in the National Planning Policy Framework in April 2018.

Sarah chaired the Licensing & Planning workshops co-hosted by the Institute of Licensing and the Home Office in 2019, and wrote the Report that followed. Sarah reprised her 2017 role as specialist adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee when they reconvened in March 2022, to examine the effects of their recommendations on the relationship between planning and licensing and Agent of Change.

Sarah is a Fellow and Trustee of the Institute of Licensing.

Sarah works closely with the Night Time Industries’ Association. She provided evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Night Time Economy concerning Agent of Change issues, and potential national planning reform.