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Charles Forrest

Charles Forrest, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Year of call: 2014

Practice areas: Planning, Environment, Licensing, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation, Major Infrastructure Projects, Local Government, Regulatory Crime, Ecclesiastical Law and Religious Liberty, Rating, Public Law

Charles Forrest

Charles welcomes instructions to advise and represent clients across all of Chambers' practice areas. He joined Chambers in October 2016 having successfully completed his pupillage under the supervision of Meyric Lewis, Alexander Booth QC and Juan Lopez.

Charles' main areas of interest include:

  • Planning and Environment
  • Public law, Human Rights and EU
  • Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
  • Local Government
  • Licensing and Police

Recent work includes:

  • R (Ramblers Association) v Secretary of State for Environment and Ors [2017] EWHC 716 (Admin), appeared (as junior to Juan Lopez) on behalf of the successful Second Interested Party Network Rail in a case which concerned incapacity to dedicate arising from statutory incompatibility under s.31 Highways Act 1990
  • Appeared (as junior to Guy Roots QC) on behalf of business park landowner in a compensation claim under the Electricity Act 1989, sched. 4, para 7, following the grant of a necessary wayleave

Experience

Planning

Charles has a keen interest in planning law and has gained experience in a variety of the issues it raises.

Judicial and Statutory reviews- Charles has experience drafting pre-action letters, pleadings and skeleton arguments in a range of town and country planning matters including:

  • a grant of a planning permission which impinged on a neighbour's private rights and its Article 1 Protocol 1 ECHR implications
  • the revocation of a CLOPUD on the grounds of material falsehood in the application
  • the grant of planning permission in heritage and undeveloped coastline
  • the legality of s.106 agreements which provide for the payment to local authorities of monitoring fees
  • the duty on local planning authorities to co-operate

Planning/enforcement appeals:

  • assisted Saira Sheikh QC in a 6 day planning inquiry in which the primary issue was whether there was a five year housing land supply
  • assisted in a 3 day enforcement inquiry concerning an alleged unlawful change of use

Charles has also advised or assisted in advising on:

  • basements underneath dwellings and permitted development
  • the correct assessment of disproportionality under NPPF paragraph 89
  • the applicability of natural justice in the written representation planning appeal procedure
  • the demolition of non-listed buildings in the conservation area since the abolition of conservation area consent
  • defending enforcement prosecutions
  • advising a small scale developer in relation to affordable housing contributions since the decision of the Court of Appeal in West Berkshire
  • the merits of objecting to a CLEUD application for waste activity, a local authority’s discretion to enforce and a potential s.73 application to develop land without complying with conditions previously imposed on a planning permission
  • advising a local planning authority in relation to assets of community value

Charles has assisted in obtaining an interim injunction under s.187B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 on behalf of a local authority and also an urgent interim injunction on behalf of a private party.

Charles has also assisted a landowner in objecting to a proposed re-allocation of land in a local plan

Environment

Charles has a keen interest in environmental law and has gained experience in a variety of the issues it raises.

Judicial and Statutory reviews- Charles has experience drafting pre-action letters, pleadings and skeleton arguments in matters including:

  • the assessment of the cumulative impact of broiler houses under the EIA and Habitats regimes
  • European Protected Species Licences

Charles has also assisted in advising a UK government department on environmental law issues arising from infraction proceedings commenced by the European Commission.

Highways

R (Ramblers Association) v Secretary of State for Environment and Ors [2017] EWHC 716 (Admin), appeared (as junior to Juan Lopez) on behalf of the successful Second Interested Party Network Rail in a case which concerned incapacity to dedicate arising from statutory incompatibility under s.31 Highways Act 1980.

Charles has assisted in advising:

  • a developer in relation to a s.278 Highway Act 1980 agreement and the extent of the Highway Authority's discretion in relation to such agreements
  • a Highway Authority in relation to a s.37 (2) Highways Act 1980 notice
  • a landowner in resisting the confirmation of a modification order

Infrastructure

Charles is interested in infrastructure projects and has researched a number of DCO matters for other members of chambers.

As a first six pupil to Meyric Lewis, Charles assisted with a number of petitions to the House of Commons from residents and businesses directly and specially affected by the construction and operation of High Speed Rail 2. He attended the House of Commons Select Committee hearings on a number of occasions.

Charles has also assisted in advising:

  • a major energy company in relation to the replacement under existing planning consents of plant for the purposes of electricity generation
  • a public transport body in respect of the legality of its consultation which considered a number of proposed routes
  • a business in relation to the heads and quantum of a claim for compensation for land which will be temporarily possessed under a DCO

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Charles appeared (as junior to Guy Roots QC) on behalf of a business park landowner in a compensation claim under the Electricity Act 1989, sched. 4, para 7, following the grant of a necessary wayleave.

Charles has a keen interest in Compulsory Purchase and Compensation. He has assisted in advising a public body on the means by which the property register of land compulsorily acquired under the London Underground (East London Line Extension) Order 1997 could be discharged.

Local Government

Charles has a keen interest in local government law:

  • he assisted Robert McCracken QC (as a first six pupil) in defending the Broads Authority's decision to recover tolls from vessels in waters adjacent to the navigation area.
  • he also assisted in advising a neighbourhood association in relation to the legal bases on which a local authority can enclose a Common (e.g. for music festivals)
  • he has advised a local authority in relation to the transfer of land from a maintained school to an academy trust in preparation of the conversion of that school into an academy
  • he as acted as a legal clerk to a Standards Committee in relation to breaches of the code of conduct by Parish Councillors

Licensing

Charles has experience of and appeared before the Magistrates' Court and Licensing Sub-Committee:

  • he has appeared in the Magistrates' Court on behalf of licence holders in licensing appeal preliminary hearings
  • he has appeared before Licensing Sub-Commmittees on behalf of both licence holders and the police at reviews and summary reviews
  • he has appeared before Licensing Sub-Committes on behalf of local authorities in respect of the variation of an existing licence
  • he appeared before a Licensing Sub-Committee on behalf of the licence holder of a pizzeria in a review of its late night refreshment licence
  • he assisted Gerald Gouriet QC (as a first six pupil) in Fabric Nightclub's successful appeal against conditions imposed on its licence
  • he assisted Gary Grant who represented the licence holders of a nightclub in a summary review
  • he has acted as a legal clerk to Licensing Sub-Committees

Education

Charles is eager to practise in education law. As a law student he represented, before a panel of governors and then the Independent Review Panel, a parent whose child had been permanently excluded from school.

Ecclesiastical

Charles appeared (as junior to Gregory Jones QC) in Consistory Court proceedings concerning a substantial extension of a church in the Diocese of Chester, which raised issues in relation to the relationship between the planning and faculty jurisdictions and of lawful consultation requirements.

Other

Charles is eager to broaden his practice areas and his previous work includes:

  • Immigration- regularly drafts pleadings on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department resisting applications for judicial review.
  • Regulatory crime- assisted Robert McCracken QC (as a first six pupil) in representing a defendant prosecuted by the Environment Agency for waste offences
  • Occupiers' liability- assisted in advising a local authority in respect of liability for disused mines within their ownership but of unknown location.
  • acting on behalf of the Metropolitan Police in both Crown and Magistrates' Courts in respect of proceeds of crime, commital, closure order and sexual civil order proceedings

 

Qualifications, Achievements & Other Experience

Qualifications

  • University College London, BA (Hons) History (First Class)
  • BPP University, GDL (Distinction)
  • BPP University, BPTC (Very Competent)

Scholarships, awards and prizes

  • Major Scholarship, Inner Temple
  • Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship, Inner Temple
  • Internship Award, Inner Temple
  • GDL Exhibition, Inner Temple
  • Winner of the Senior UKELA Lord Slynn Mooting Competition (2016) judged by The Hon Mrs Justice Patterson DBE

Other experience

Prior to starting pupillage Charles spent three months at The Advocates for Human Rights in Minnesota, USA where he helped to draft laws for the Somali Constitution. Through Reprieve in Houston, USA he was part of a legal team which secured a life sentence with parole for one of the longest serving death row prisoners in Texas history. He also taught law for the African Prisons Project to inmates in a maximum security prison in Kampala, Uganda as part of their rehabilitation and education.

Professional Memberships

Charles is a member of the following professional associations:

  • Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA)
  • United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA)
  • Education Law Association (ELAS)

Publications

Recent publications include:

Anti-social behaviour- environmental breaches, Lexis Nexis PSL Practice Note (subscription required)

A new age of reason? Solicitors Journal, 13 December 2016 (SJ 160/47). Available here