Specialists in planning, architecture
& land promotion.

Doing it differently

We are committed to providing high level and quality planning and design advice to inform the development process from feasibility to delivery. The value is in our people and their ability to look at things differently, enabling the best prospect of success for your project.

Our Team

Founding Partners

Ben Smith, a RIBA chartered architect, and Kerry Simmons, a MRTPI chartered Town Planner, established Smith Simmons & Partners in 2018 uniting planners, architects and strategic land specialists in a single practice. Having collaborated as independent consultants for over 12 years, formalising their partnership in Smith Simmons & Partners was a natural progression.

We are a growing team of like-minded Planners, Architects and Land Promotion specialists with over 22 decades of combined experience across the public and private sectors.


Our planning team has a sound understanding and practical knowledge of all aspects of town and country planning. We work with our clients and establish network within local planning to successfully navigate the complex and challenging planning system, to secure viable planning permissions and deliver high quality development.

Within our team we have experts in strategic land to help landowners and developers promote and unlock the value of land through the process of Land Promotion.

We have unparalleled planning knowledge and experience of supporting developers promote land and secure allocation and consents; factoring in sustainability requirements and making constraints into workable solutions. Including residential, mixed use and commercial covering a geographical area spanning the south-coast, up to and including Surrey.


The architectural team is excited by both traditional and contemporary design in equal measure and strives to produce architecture that is both inspiring and complementary to its surrounding environment. We pride ourselves on building good client relationships by successfully interpreting our client briefs each and every time.


We are a growing team in a busy practice and our Practice Manager ensures the smooth running of daily operations, enabling our experts to focus on what they do best. Working closely with our Finance Manager who keeps us in check and working hard!

Our Experience


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Kerry Simmons


Kerry prides herself on applying a united approach to all of our projects to ensure we achieve the very best results for our clients. Kerry is a Chartered Town Planner with over 20 years’ experience. She started her career in the public sector where she quickly gained a solid understanding of the planning system. Having moved into the private sector, she has built a strong reputation with local developers, private clients and landowners. Kerry takes on each project with ownership and commitment. Kerry has evolving knowledge, understanding and experience of the full sphere of the planning system: policy, planning law and enforcement, planning appeals, development management, strategic land (appraisal and promotion).

Ben Smith


Ben particularly enjoys the challenge of unlocking difficult sites through clever design, and can support clients to incorporate sustainable concepts into their buildings. Ben has been working as a RIBA chartered architect within West Sussex for over 20 years. He has developed a thorough understanding of the historic local built environment and the stunning countryside that surrounds it. Through his strong design skills and passion for architecture he has successfully delivered a broad portfolio of projects ranging from extension and refurbishment work for home owners, one-off replacement houses for private clients, mixed use commercial schemes and small scale residential housing developments.

Paul White

Director of Planning

In his time as a chartered town planner spanning over 30 years, Paul has successfully secured planning consent for a wide variety of projects and development allocations in local plans and neighbourhood plans. Paul has a wealth of experience in the town-planning field, including planning research and private planning practice. Elected as a member of the RTPI in 1989 Paul has advised on planning matters for a wide variety of clients in public and private sectors, and given evidence at Local Plan and appeal inquiries for various commercial, institutional, housing and new settlement proposals.

Susan Leeson

Director of Planning

With a wide range of business and planning experience, Susan feels there is a solution to all problems. She is here to help with planning issues from Agricultural Diversification to major Housing Developments. Experience in both the private and public sector has given Susan a wholesome approach to planning issues and this, coupled with her degree in Economics, has enriched Susan with the ability to really understand her clients' desires to unlock value. Susan always strives to reach the best possible outcome for each project, keeping the client’s interests and brief at the forefront. Specialities include strategic land and regeneration projects.

Natalie McKellar

Principal Planner

Natalie has 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sector of planning and has a track record of working on successful replacement dwelling projects, particularly within sensitive locations. Accomplished in dealing with planning applications and appeal work for both minor and major development proposals, heritage, change use, signage and enforcement matters. Experience in local public sector planning has given Natalie useful insight into the planning system which is highly transferrable now working in the private sector. Her work at SSP involves advising on strategy and policy considerations, preparing supporting statements for planning applications, appeal statements and planning appraisals; as well as administration of planning applications on behalf of clients.

Anita Gardner

Principal Planner

Anita’s attention to detail in research for applications and extensive experience within district council planning facilitates successful solutions for our clients. Anita's initial interest in planning began during her studies in rural planning as part of her first degree before expanding her knowledge and education to include urban planning as part of her Town Planning degree. With over 35 years' experience in Local Authority, Anita uses her extensive experience and detailed research skills to understand the background of a planning application and creatively finding solutions to facilitate an application.

Maria Tomlinson

Senior Planner

Maria has a solid understanding of Development Management, and with 20 years working on planning applications for Chichester District Council, is adept in supporting our clients through the complexities of modern planning. A creative problem solver and logical thinker, coupled with a pragmatic and personable nature, Maria is a great guide to support clients and navigate the increasing complexities of modern planning. Maria's passion is creating nice environments for us all to enjoy, where possible, in keeping with the natural surroundings.

Lucy Brown

Strategic Land specialist

With a degree in Environmental Planning & Management and an MSc in Spatial Planning, Lucy is well-equipped to advise on all Land Promotion matters. Lucy has 20 years’ town planning experience from working in both private consultancy and public sector. Her career began in minerals and waste planning, specialising in Environmental Impact Assessment and has experience in neighbourhood planning, planning policy and development management. Her passion however is Strategic Land; an area in which she has thrived in over recent years whilst working for local developers managing their strategic land portfolios. Lucy’s skill set includes effective project management of multi-disciplinary teams and budgets, taking a constraints-led approach to masterplanning, landowner/agent liaison and community engagement.

Steve Brown

Senior Architectural Technician

Steve’s unique technical skills and industry collaborations continue to shape many projects of varying complexity, always keeping the client’s brief at the heart of his designs. Before joining our team Steve gained over 10 years' experience working on commercial builds and an impressive range of bespoke, high value residential projects with experience of complex projects from swimming pools to saunas and basements. Acutely aware of the role he plays in helping shape a project, Steve takes time to understand how clients live and their priorities. He combines creative thinking and technical expertise to envisage the brief and translate it into the best possible use of space possible. Steve is passionate about sustainability. He incorporates new, innovative and efficient technologies and products in the build process that will enhance and support both the project and environment. He is particularly proud of a bespoke family home where passive house principles were successfully adopted.

Karolina Stephenson

Senior Architectural Designer

Karolina’s strengths lie in her approach to conceptual appraisal and design ideas, expressed through strong presentation skills. After graduating in 2005 with a degree in Architecture Engineering / Architecture and Urban Planning from Silesian Polytechnic in Poland, Karo started her career in Sheffield with a large interior design practice. Dedicated to her profession, Karo has recently completed her MA Architecture at the University of Portsmouth to achieve RIBA recognition and awarded Best Portfolio Project. Karo has lived and worked on the south coast for over 12 years, during which time she has worked on an inspiringly broad range of domestic, commercial and education projects. Karo instinctively connects with people and her collaborative style ensures she actively involves her clients during the whole process.

Jenna Barnard

Practice Manager

Jenna is pivotal to the team, being principal client liaison and supporting both the planning and architectural teams, in order to support the delivery of exceptional client experience and service provision. Jenna has been with Smith Simmons from the start of our exciting journey; bringing her rich experience in client liaison from previous roles to successfully coordinating and organising our busy practice.

Zoe North

Finance Manager

Zoe’s personable nature and inquisitive mindset ensures no detail goes unnoticed. Managing the day to day accounts whilst supporting the strategic growth of our multifaceted practice. Zoe is MAAT 4 Level trained with breadth of financial planning and reporting experience across the hospitality, leisure and property sectors.