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Conor Fegan

Conor Fegan

Year of call: 2018

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

Conor Fegan

Conor Fegan is currently undertaking a twelve-month pupillage in Chambers and is free to accept instructions across all of Chambers' practice areas from 1 April. He is currently under the supervision of Suzanne Ornsby QC after having spent four months under the supervision of Philip Petchey.

Conor read law at Durham University where he graduated with a first. His main areas of interest include:

  • planning & environmental;
  • public law, human rights & EU law;
  • local government;
  • village greens & commons;
  • advertising;
  • licensing.

Conor is currently instructed to represent a local residents group at a hearing into a ground (a) appeal against an anaerobic digester located in the open countryside which raises a number of complex points of planning and environmental law.

Practice Areas

Planning

Conor has gained experience of a wide variety of planning issues during his pupillage, including:

  • judicial review & statutory challenges;
  • challenges to officers' reports;
  • lawful development certificates;
  • permitted development rights;
  • enforcement notices (in particular, ground (d) appeals);
  • the interpretation of planning policy (including, NPPF 2019);
  • listed buildings & conservation areas;
  • the interpretation & enforceability of planning conditions;
  • section 106 obligations;
  • the interpretation of planning permissions;
  • the scope of the Planning Act 2008.

Conor is currently instructed to represent a local residents group at a hearing into a ground (a) appeal against a large scale anaerobic digester located in the open countryside.

Conor assisted Saira Kabir Sheikh QC in a three-day appeal against an enforcement notice concerning the reinstatement of a stone cantilevered staircase which had been removed without listed building consent.

Conor also assisted Suzanne Ornsby QC and Alexander Greaves in a four-week inquiry concerning the non-determination of an application for outline planning application for 370 homes in the countryside near Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. The case raised a wide range of issues, including:

  • Five-Year Supply
  • Application of the Tilted Balance (NPPF 2019)
  • Prematurity
  • Landscape & Visual Amenity
  • Harm to Designated & Non-Designated Heritage Assets
  • Transport

Conor shadowed Alexander Greaves in the High Court during the hearing of South Gloucestershire Council v SSHCLG and Welbeck Strategic Land LLP [2019] EWHC 181 (Admin). He also attended the High Court during the hearing of R (Broad) v Rochford DC [2019] EWHC 628 (Admin).

Conor has experience assisting in the drafting of strategic advice on all of the above issues.

Environmental Law

Conor is keen to develop a practice in environmental law and has gained experience in this field during his pupillage, including:

  • habitats directive & regulations;
  • environmental impact assessments;
  • Aarhus Convention claims.

Conor is currently instructed in an enforcement appeal hearing which raises a number of complex environmental law points relating to the retrospective regularisation of EIA Development and the identification of the correct baseline under the EIA Regulations.

Conor assisted Gregory Jones QC in drafting an advice commenting on the legality of a local planning authority's approach to appropriate assessments under the Habitats Regulations in light of People Over Wind.

Public Law

Conor has a keen interest in public law and is comfortable accepting instructions in any field where broad public law principles are in play. He has experience of judicial reviews and statutory challenges in the context of planning and environmental law and has assisted in providing advice on a range of public law issues, including:

  • adequacy of consultation;
  • procedural fairness;
  • duty to give reasons;
  • public sector equality duty;
  • issues of vires;
  • Human Rights Act 1998.

Conor assisted Sarah Sackman in drafting summary grounds of defence in a judicial review against the grant of planning permission which was ultimately refused permission.

He also assisted in drafting summary grounds of defence in a proposed judicial review concerning an enforcement notice.

Advertising

Conor shadowed Douglas Edwards QC in the Court of Appeal during the hearing of Putney Bridge Approach Ltd v The Secretary of State for Communities And Local Government & Anor [2018] EWCA Civ 2268.

Conor has also assisted in the drafting of strategic advice on the scope of an advertisement consent. This raised a number of complex issues including the interaction between the advertisement consent and planning regimes and the scope of the Secretary of State's power to impose limitations and restrictions on an advertisement consent.

Plan-Making

Conor attended a morning session of the examination into the Runnymede Local Plan with Suzanne Ornsby QC where he assisted in the preparation of arguments relating to the soundness of the methodology adopted for site allocations.

Conor assisted in the drafting of an opinion on the power of a local planning authority to withdraw a plan from the examination process after interim findings were published. He also researched the powers of a local planning authority to object to recommendations made by an inspector during the plan-making process.

Conor also attended the Edmonton Leeside Area Action Plan examination with Douglas Edwards QC.

Village Greens & Commons

Conor gained significant experience of the law relating to village greens and commons while under the supervision of Phillip Petchey.

Conor assisted Philip Petchey in preparation for an inquiry into the proposed deregistration of Blackbushe Airport under the Commons Act 2006. He conducted research into the meaning of curtilage, the scope of the power to deregister land under the Commons Act 2006 and the human rights implications of deregistration.  

Conor also assisted Philip Petchey in drafting an advice on the applicability of the doctrines of cause of action estoppel and issue estoppel to repeat applications for registration under the Commons Act 2006.

Conor assisted in drafting an advice on the issue of overgrazing on common land and the legal powers available to remedy this issue. He also assisted in drafting an advice on the legality of holding a large entertainment festival on common land. 

Local Government

Conor assisted in drafting an opinion for a local authority on a number of issues arising under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 including issues of vires, the adequacy of consultation and the division of power under the local authority's constitution. 

Conor also assisted Gregory Jones QC in drafting grounds of appeal against a decision of the First-Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to dismiss an appeal against the listing of a public house as an asset of community value. Permission was granted on all grounds.

Compulsory Purchase / Compensation

Conor assisted in drafting an opinion on compensation payable under the HS2 Express Purchase Scheme.

Other

Conor has assisted in a number of cases arising from Northern Ireland and is comfortable accepting instructions in such cases. 

He assisted Gregory Jones QC and Richard Honey in the Supreme Court in Reference by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland of Devolution Issues to the Supreme Court Pursuant to Paragraph 34 of Schedule 10 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (No 2) (Northern Ireland) [2019] UKSC 1.

He has also assisted in advising on a number of challenges to large infrastructure projects in Northern Ireland.

Qualifications

  • Durham University, Law (First Class Honours / Top 1% of Cohort) (2014 - 2017)
  • BPP University Law School, Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding) (2017 - 2018)

Scholarships, Awards and Other Experience

Bar Awards & Scholarships

  • Prince of Wales Scholar (Gray's Inn) (2017)
  • Excellence Scholarship (BPP University Law School) (2017)
  • Michael Sherrard Access to the Bar Award (Middle Temple) (2016)

University Awards & Scholarship (Durham University)

  • Academic Commendation (x 3) (Durham Law School) (2014 - 2017)
  • Sullivan & Cromwell Award for Performance in Second Year Examinations (Durham Law School) (2016)
  • Advanced Issues in Public Law Award (Durham Law School) (2016)
  • Land Law Award (Durham Law School) (2016)

Secondary School Awards & Scholarships (St Colman’s College, Newry)

  • All-Ireland Scholarship (JP McManus) (2017)
  • Gradam an Uachtaráin - President's Cup (St Colman’s College) (2017)

Other Experience

Conor won a number of debating and mooting competitions throughout his time at school and university. He also served as President of Durham University Mooting Society in his final year at Durham University.  

Publications

  • 'The (Underutilised) Role of Mediation in Licensing' (with Jeremy Phillips QC) [2019] Journal of Licensing
  • 'Supreme Court Adjourns Devolution issues Reference (Attorney General for Northern Ireland’s Reference of Devolution Issues to the Supreme Court pursuant to Paragraph 34 of Schedule 10 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (No 2) (Northern Ireland)' (with Gregory Jones QC & Richard Honey) [2019] Lexis PSL Public Law Analysis
  • 'Case Comment: Attorney General for Northern Ireland & The Department for Justice v The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission [2017] NICA 42' [2017] YHLR 20

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