08:57, July 10 129 0 theguardian.com

2020-07-10 08:57:04
Other lives  Tony Allen obituary

As a partner of the law firm DMH Stallard, based in Brighton, East Sussex, my brother Tony Allen, who has died aged 76, helped to establish one of the country’s first multi-disciplinary planning practices, combining planning lawyers and chartered planners. He was the planning lawyer that handled the complex application by Brighton and Hove Albion FC for the development of the Amex Stadium, home to the Seagulls since 2011.

Two years after departing the Goldstone Ground in 1997, their home for 100 years, the homeless Brighton & Hove Albion first appointed Tony to handle their planning application for the conversion of Withdean Athletics Stadium. Despite strong opposition from residents in the wealthy neighbourhood the application succeeded. Martin Perry, director and later CEO of the club, then hired Tony to work again on the application for the Amex Stadium, then Falmer Stadium. On learning of Tony’s death, Perry said: “The stadium is his legacy.”

Born in Hove, East Sussex, Tony was the son of Stanley Allen, a solicitor who was also secretary of Sussex County Cricket club for five years, and Peggy (nee Wing), who worked as a nurse during the second world war. He went to school at Brighton college, then studied theology at Selwyn College, Cambridge. Following graduation in 1967 he went to Westcott Theological College in Cambridge intending to be ordained, but changed direction to attend the College of Law, in London.

He qualified as a solicitor in 1971 with Donne Mileham and Haddock (now DMH Stallard). The same year he married Torill Berg-Nillsen, the pen-friend of a colleague who was over from Norway. Following partnership in 1975, Tony qualified as a legal member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1978.

The opportunity that started Tony’s career, in 1971, was the ill-conceived Adur Saltings Bridge scheme, in Shoreham-on-Sea, West Sussex, where he acted for the objectors in successful opposition to the local council’s plan to build a bypass along the River Adur, a renowned wetland SSSI.

Another notable credit included Brighton’s Jubilee library at the start of the millennium, which was the centrepiece of a £50m development in the centre of the city and won awards for design and sustainability. Tony soon established a reputation as the “go to” planning lawyer in the south east, and drew clients from across the area, one notable one being the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight, where a replacement window had met with fierce opposition.

Tony retired as a partner in 2012 but continued as an active consultant, with a particular interest in listed buildings. His lifelong interest was model ships, and he had a wonderful collection, which he continued in retirement.

He is survived by Torill and their four children, Kim, Emma, Rachel and Henrik, and by me and a younger brother.

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