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Charles Streeten

Year of call: 2013

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

Public Access

Charles Streeten

Overview

Charles is ranked in the top 10 planning barristers under 35. He has a wide public law practice spanning all Chambers' areas of expertise including environmental, planning, licensing, EU and wider public law/ human rights cases. His clients have ranged from Tarmac and Shell UK Oil Products to the Sheffield Tree Protesters and Friends of the Earth. He regularly acts for pressure groups in environmental judicial reviews, has appeared before the Court of Justice of the European Union in a case concerning the Services Directive and represented the Metropolitan Police in a groundbreaking counter-terrorism application.

Charles has appeared at all levels up to and including the Court of Justice of the European Union. He is regularly instructed to appear as sole counsel for both claimants and defendants in judicial reviews and statutory challenges before the High Court and Court of Appeal. Charles has a particular interest in cases with an international dimension and has appeared in cases engaging European law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Aarhus Convention.

In one recent decision, the Lead Judge of the Administrative Court (Mr Justice Cranston) said he "expertly exposed flaws in the Council's approach", whilst his oral submissions in another two day 'significant' High Court judicial review, which attracted national media coverage, were commended by the judge as "excellent".

Notable cases include:

  • Case C-316/16 Hemming v Westminster City Council: Junior Counsel before the Court of Justice of the European Union in a reference concerning the interpretation of 'authorisation procedures' under the Services Directive (Directive 2006/123/EC) (junior to David Matthias QC)
  • R (Tarmac Aggregates) v Secretary of State for Environment [2015] EWCA Civ 1149: Successful appeal to the court of appeal, now the leading domestic case on the meaning of 'recovery' under the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (junior to Gregory Jones QC)
  • R (Dillner) v Sheffield City Council [2016] EWHC 945 (Admin): Successfully secured an interim injunction preventing the further felling of trees across Sheffield under the Streets Ahead PFI contract and subsequently appeared as sole counsel at the two day substantive judicial review in the High Court raising issues of domestic public and European environmental law (sole counsel).
  • R (Goring-upon-Thames PC) v South Oxfordshire District Council [2016] EWHC 2898 (Admin): Secured a declaration that the Council had breached s 72 of the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and Regulation 7 of the Environmental Impact Regulations 2011.
  • R (Harris) v Norfolk Broads Authority [2015] EWHC 799 (Admin): claim for judicial review concerning the lawfulness of a public authority to 'brand' itself a National Park (junior to Gregory Jones QC).
  • Ware v McAllister [2015] EWHC 3086 (QB). Appeared for the successful claimant in a two day trial in the High Court concerning the appropriate balance between Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights in the context of journalistic publication (junior to Saira Kabir Sheikh QC).
  • Coventry v Lawrence (No 3) [2015] UKSC 50 - Challenge to the lawfulness of the UK costs system under Article 6 and Article 1 Protocol 1 of the ECHR before the Supreme Court (as a pupil assisting Robert McCracken QC)

Experience

Planning and Compulsory Purchase
Environmental
Licensing 
Public Law and Human Rights
EU Law

Information and Privacy
Injunctions and Urgent Applications
Other

PLANNING

Charles regularly advises on planning matters and appears for both developers and local authorities in planning appeals, judicial reviews and statutory challenges in the High Court.

Energy and Infrastructure: Charles has worked on a wide range of energy and infrastructure projects and has been involved with advising on a number of DCOs. He was instructed (as junior to Morag Ellis QC) to advise Hirwaun Power Limited in relation to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change's jurisdiction to include in a Development Consent Order the gas and electrical connections for the Hirwaun Power Station in Wales. His contentious work includes a current instruction as sole counsel in a judicial review challenge to the grant of planning permission for a hydropower station on the Thames and assisting Saira Kabir Sheikh QC at a four day planning inquiry regarding the Fox Covert Wind Farm in Nottinghamshire.

Retail: Charles has a detailed knowledge and understanding of retail planning, including the sequential and impact tests. He appeared as sole Counsel for the Tadworth Business Group at a planning appeal hearing resisting the proposed Sainsbury's Tadworth store. He also assisted Craig Howell-Williams QC and Mellissa Murphy in successfully defending R (Sainsbury's) v London Borough of Hillingdon [2015] EWHC 2571 (Admin) and appeared before the High Court to receive judgment.

Residential: Charles has appeared at a number of inquiries/ hearings involving residential development including for Westminster City Council in relation to the proposed development of the iconic Yard Bar in London's Soho and for Wybombe District Council in an application for a 200 home development in Buckinghamshire (as junior to Suzanne Ornsby QC). He is also currently acting (as junior to Gregory Jones QC) for a developer in a judicial review concerning a local authority's grant of planning permission for residential development in Kent and (as junior to Saira Kabir Sheikh QC) for Westminster City Council defending a judicial review in relation to a large mixed use development at Moxon Street in Marylebone.

Development Plans and Housing land supply: Charles appeared (as junior to Saira Kabir Sheikh QC) in R (Central Bedfordshire Council) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 2660 (Admin) - a challenge concerning the standard of the duty to cooperate. He assisted Morag Ellis QC in IM Properties v Lichfield DC [2015] EWHC 2077 (Admin) and has been involved with inquiries concerning 5 year housing land supply.

Enforcement and Certificates of Lawful Development: Charles has experience of a wide range of enforcement issues including injunctions, criminal sanctions and POCA as well as of the law regarding concealment both under Wellyn Hatfield and Planning Enforcement Orders. Examples of his work include appearing for Westminster City Council in an appeal concerning the application of the decisions in Miaris and Ioannou; successfully resisting an appeal against the refusal of a CLEUD for the change of use of a public house registered as an Asset of Community Value to retail use, and assisting Saira Kabir Sheikh QC in successfully appealing an enforcement notice issued against a Hindu Temple in Essex. He appeared before the High Court to receive judgment in R (Dawson) v Secretary of State [2015] EWHC 2641 (Admin).

Injunctions: Charles acts for and against local authorities in injunction applications under section 187B of the Town and Country Planning Act. He has appeared as sole counsel before the High Court in successful applications for injunctions against gypsies and travellers and secured an injunction (with costs) prohibiting the material change of use of a property in Milton Keynes to use as a HMO.

Heritage:  Charles has a good understanding of the issues surrounding heritage assets. He is currently acting as sole counsel for the Claimant in a judicial review concerning impact on the setting of listed buildings and a conservation area and has advised the of a listed country house in relation to the refusal of an application to extend the property. He has also assisted in advising on the extent of listed building curtilages and on challenging the listing of a building in south London.

Planning Obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy: Charles has a detailed knowledge of the interrelationship between s 106 and CIL, and has assisted in advising on strategies for securing planning gain in the absence of an adopted CIL Schedule as well as on the lawfulness of s 106 agreements and planning conditions. He has also advised on the meaning of 'chargeable development' and the correct All in Tender Pricing Index Figure.

COMPULSORY PURCHASE/ COMPENSATION

All three of Charles' pupil supervisors had extensive compulsory purchase practices. Charles was therefore exposed to a wide range of compulsory purchase issues during pupillage. He assisted Meyric Lewis with preparing petitions for the HS2 Parliamentary Select Committee and attended hearings before the Committee. He also assisted Alexander Booth with a compensation claim before the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) arising out of the Olympic Park CPO.

ENVIRONMENT

Charles is developing a particular specialism in environmental law and in particular in cases with an international dimension. He acts in environmental judicial reviews before the High Court and on appeal to the Court of Appeal. For example, he recently appeared in his own right for the claimant in the high profile judicial review of Sheffield City Council's tree felling program and is currently acting as sole counsel for the Claimant in a challenge to the decision to grant planning permission for a hydropower station on the Thames.

Waste: Charles appeared before the Court of Appeal (as junior to Gregory Jones QC) in R (Lafarge Aggregates) v Secretary of Stage for Environment [2015] EWCA Civ 1149. He has also assisted with advising in relation to the transposition of the Environmental Liability Directive and on breaches of the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

Air Quality: Charles has a detailed understanding of the interaction between the Air Quality Directive and the domestic regulation of air quality under the Air Quality Regulations 2010 and the Environment Act 1995. He assisted in drafting advice for a major airport regarding the UK's compliance with its obligation to meet European Union air quality targets.

Environmental Information: Charles assisted Meyric Lewis and Robert McCracken QC in Fish Legal v Information Commissioner, United Utilities plc and the Secretary of State for the Environment [2015] UKUT, the leading domestic case on the meaning of a 'public authority' under the Environmental Information Directive. He has subsequently advised on disclosure requests under both the Freedom of Information Act and the EIR.

Water: Charles is currently acting as sole counsel for the Claimant in a judicial review of a decision to grant planning permission for a hydropower station on the Thames. Together with James Pereira QC, he has produced a paper on potential challenges to the UK's policy for managing coastal erosion. He attended a training given by Thames Water on the preparation of Water Resources Management Plans and assisted with a case before the Upper Tribunal which established that Water and Sewerage Companies are public authorities for the purposes of the EIR.

Environmental Assessment: A number of the projects Charles has been involved with have engaged issues relating to environmental assessment including Hirwaun Power Station and Fox Covert Wind Farm. He acted as sole counsel in R (Dillner) v Sheffield City Council [2016] EWHC 945 (Admin) concerning the Direct and Indirect effect of the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment and he also won the final of UKELA Moot (judged by Lord Carnwath) concerning the meaning of 'indirect, secondary and cumulative effects' under that Directive.

Aarhus: Charles has been instructed in a number of cases engaging the Aarhus convention. He is well versed in applying for Aarhus costs protection under the CPR and in how environmental cases engage the principles set out in the Convention.

Nuisance: Charles has experience of both common law and statutory nuisance claims. He has appeared in a number of nuisance claims and also drafted advice concerning how the defence of statutory authority will apply under the HS2 Hybrid Bill.

Trees: Charles has acted in a number of High Court cases concerning trees. As well as acting as sole counsel for the Claimant in the high profile Sheffield Trees case he also brought a successful challenge under section 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to a Tree Preservation Order on land which the landowner hoped subsequently to develop for as a motorway service area.

Village Greens: Charles was instructed by the Environmental Law Foundation to act as sole counsel in a four day public inquiry into the registration of a Village Green in Leicestershire. He also advised and drafted submissions on behalf of the Whistable Beach Campaign in relation to the registration of the beach at Whitstable as a Town/ Village Green.

LICENSING

Charles has a strong licensing practice and regularly acts for the commercial operators, local authorities and the police across all areas of licensing including alcohol, taxis, gambling and sexual entertainment.

He appeared before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-316/16 Hemming concerning the compatibility of the fees charged by Westminster City Council for licensing sex shops with the Services Directive (Directive 2006/123/EC) (as junior to David Matthias QC) and is presently acting in that case before the Supreme Court. His commercial clients have included Fabric Nightclub, Itsu, Shell Oil Products Ltd. and Hackney Carriage and PHV operators including Delta Taxis.

Charles has particular experience of and expertise in taxi licensing. He is currently instructed in a number of tax judicial reviews including R (Rossendale Taxi Association) v Rossendale BC (CO/586/2017) in which the court has granted his client interim relief, disapplying the Council's newly adopted PHV policies.

He is on the Metropolitan Police's panel of counsel and regularly acts for police forces across the country at licensing hearings, including applications for summary review. He has, on more than occasion, secured the full revocation of a premises licence. Charles also has a niche specialism in closure order applications for police forces across the UK and has a 100% record in those proceedings including on appeal to the Crown Court. 

As a result of his wider judicial review and public law expertise, Charles is particularly suited to acting in judicial reviews arising from licensing decisions. He has been instructed to advise on potential judicial review proceedings on more than one occasion and, during his pupillage, assisted Gary Grant in successfully resisting a claim for judicial review in R (Essence Bars) v Wimbledon Magistrates Court [2015] EWHC 4334 (Admin). 

As well as assisting with advising on licensing matters he has published several articles in the Journal of Licensing and speaks regularly on licensing law including meetings of the Institute of Licensing.

PUBLIC LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Charles has an exceptional level of High Court experience (as both sole and junior counsel) for a barrister of his call. He appeared before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-316/16 Hemming (as Junior to David Matthias QC) and is regularly instructed to act in judicial reviews and statutory challenges for both claimants and defendants in the High Court and Court of appeal.

Whilst familiar with the Planning Court, Charles' public law practice extends well beyond planning. He has significant experience of cases engaging the European Convention on Human Rights and, in particular in cases involving balancing the right to a private life and freedom of expression. For example:

  • Ware v McAllister [2015] EWHC 3086 (QB) where he secured an injunction restraining the publication of journalistic material as a breach of his client's private life (balancing ECHR Articles 8 and 10) (junior to Saira Kabir Sheikh QC)
  • Mann v Metropolitan Police [2014] where he successfully resisted an application by a convicted sex offender to vary a Sexual Offences Prevention Order so that he could visit his family at Christmas (engaging ECHR Articles 8 and 9)
  • Metropolitan Police v Anatolian People's Cultural Centre [2015] Where he successfully obtained an order closing premises associated with terrorism as part of operation ONTARIAN (engaging ECHR Articles 9,10 and 11)

In Coventry v Lawrence (No3) [2015] UKSC 50, he assisted Robert McCracken QC in the Supreme Court with bringing a challenge to the compliance of the UK system of conditional fee agreements (CFA) and after the event insurance (ATE) with Article 6 and Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention. He also assisted Charles Mynors with successfully resisting an application for permission to appeal to the Privy Council concerning the compliance of the Consistory Court's decision the compliance of the Ecclesiastical Exemption with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights in Victorian Society v Dennard and another JCPC/0049.

By virtue of his police work, Charles has substantial expertise in cases involving sensitive information and/ or intelligence evidence. He has acted for the police in cases concerning national security and involving gang violence relying on evidence secured through TRIDENT. He has experience of advising on how such evidence can best be deployed and when necessary conducting parts of the case in camera.

EU LAW

Charles has a particular interest in and understanding of EU law. He appeared before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg (as junior to David Matthias QC) in Case C-316/16 Hemming concerning the meaning of an 'authorisation procedure' under the Services Directive (Directive 2006/123/EC) and has acted in a number of environmental judicial reviews raising issues of EU law, including R (Tarmac) v Secretary of State for Environment [2015] EWCA Civ 1149 (as junior to Gregory Jones QC) which is now the leading domestic authority on the meaning of a waste recovery operation and as sole counsel in R (Dillner) v Sheffield City Council  [2016] EWHC 945 (Admin) concerning the meaning of 'any change' to a project under Directive 2011/92 (the EIA Directive).

URGENT APPLICATIONS AND INJUNCTIONS

Charles has successfully obtained urgent injunctions on a number of occasions. As well as securing planning injunctions for local authorities under section 187B of the Town and Country Planning Act, in R (Dillner) v Sheffield City Council [2016] EWHC 945 (Admin) he successfully obtained an urgent interim injunction from the High Court preventing the further felling of trees in Sheffield under the £2bn Streets Ahead project without any undertaking in damages. He also obtained an urgent injunction (subsequently upheld at trial) from the High Court in Ware v McAllister [2015] EWHC 3086 (QB) preventing the further publication of material relating to his client (led by Robert McCracken QC in the initial application and Saira Kabir Sheikh QC at trial).

He regularly acts for police forces across the country in closure order applications before both the Magistrates' and Crown Courts. He succeed (against leading counsel) in an application to close premises to prevent an appearance by international rap artist Rick Ross (for which the venue had paid over £50,000); resisted an appeal against the closure of a public house that police intelligence suggested was a gang stronghold in a two day trial Crown Court trial and secured the first closure order against premises associated with terrorist activity.

INFORMATION AND PRIVACY

Charles is particularly interested in the law concerning access to and protection of information and has delivered training in this area. His work in the field ranges from High Court litigation to appeals to the Information Commissioner under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. He is currently acting for Westminster City Council in a judicial review concerning the disclosure of a commercially sensitive viability assessment in relation to a large mixed use development at Moxon Street and assisted Robert McCracken QC and Meyric Lewis in Fish Legal v Information Commissioner, United Utilities plc and the Secretary of State for the Environment [2015] UKUT, the leading case on whether a water and sewerage undertaker is a public authority for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations.

He has been involved in a number of cases engaging the right to a private life under Article 8 of the ECHR including Ware v McAllister [2015] EWHC 3086 (QB) where he secured an urgent injunction (subsequently upheld at trial) from the High Court requiring the Defendant to take down a number of web pages and preventing the further publication of material relating to his client (led by Robert McCracken QC in the initial application and Saira Kabir Sheikh QC at trial).

OTHER

Charles also accepts instructions across the full range of Chambers' practice areas. For example he recently acted (with David Matthias QC and Isabella Tafur) for a prominent member of a Middle Eastern royal family in a dispute arising out of a construction contract.

Prior to joining Chambers he worked as a litigation paralegal at Slaughter and May and at US law firms Dechert and O'Melveny and Myers. In the course of those placements he worked on defending the Serious Fraud Office against a claim for malicious prosecution brought by the Tchenguiz brothers. He also worked on a fraud claim being made by the Ras Al Khaima Government and on an inter-jurisdictional financial regulatory investigation. Whilst working on those projects Charles gained considerable experience of complex document review and disclosure exercises.  He is familiar with many of the leading document review software packages and is capable of processing substantial volumes of information in a short timeframe.

Education, Scholarships & Achievements

Education

  • MA Literae Humaniores (Classics) Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University
  • Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding) City University
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation) City University

Scholarships

  • Lord Haldane Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn
  • Buchanan Prize, Lincoln's Inn
  • Cholmeley Studentship, Lincoln's Inn
  • Hardwick Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn

Achievements

In 2015 Charles won the final of senior UKELA Lord Slynn Mooting Competition judged by Lord Carnwath.

Publications

Charles regularly delivers lectures and seminars on topical issues in public and environmental law.  Recent papers he has presented have concerned information law, developments in the law relating to protected species and the application of closure powers to combat extremism.

His publications include: