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Jonathan Welch

Jonathan Welch

Year of call: 2019

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

Jonathan Welch

Jonathan joined Chambers in October 2020 following the successful completion of his pupillage in Chambers, under the supervision of Melissa Murphy, Mark Westmoreland Smith and Hugh Flanagan. He welcomes instructions to act across all of Chambers’ practice areas.

Before undertaking pupillage at FTB, Jonathan spent a year as judicial assistant to Lindblom L.J. in the Court of Appeal.

Jonathan has particular experience in the following areas:

  • planning and environment, including enforcement
  • compulsory purchase and compensation
  • rating and valuation
  • public and human rights law
  • rights of way and highways
  • licensing
  • information law
  • public order and anti-social behaviour law

Notable examples of Jonathan’s recent and ongoing work include: 

  • Acting as sole counsel in a 9-day highways inquiry for a statutory objector, a case involving considerable technical expert evidence concerning railway operations;
  • Acting as sole counsel in an 8-day planning inquiry on behalf of an adjoining commercial landowner and Rule 6(6) party;
  • Assisting Morag Ellis QC in relation to a sensitive and strategically important site allocated for development in a local plan;
  • Advising on and preparing pre-action correspondence for challenges relating to a local authority scheme of delegation and the approach taken to flood risk; habitats issues; and assessment of noise impacts of development;
  • Appearing as sole counsel on behalf of a neighbourhood forum at a local plan examination;
  • Assisting in preparing a s.288 challenge of an inspector decision concerning a substantial residential dwelling;
  • Acting for and advising the Metropolitan Police in a number of public order and anti-social behaviour matters.

Jonathan is tech savvy and entirely comfortable working in the current world of virtual hearings and inquiries, having been involved in the first virtual rights of way inquiry to take place, a virtual planning inquiry, and two virtual local plan examinations.

Jonathan is planning editor of the Property Law UK journal.

In appropriate cases, Jonathan is happy to work on a pro-bono basis.

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During pupillage and since commencing tenancy, Jonathan has gained a wide range of experience in planning matters, specifically in the following areas:

Plan Making

  • Acting as sole counsel for a neighbourhood forum in relation to the Brent Local Plan examination - with issues arising concerning the evidence base for windfall policies;
  • Assisting with advice concerning the bodies to whom the duty to co-operate relates;
  • Assisting Morag Ellis QC in relation to a sensitive and strategically important site (used for confidential and potentially hazardous testing) partly allocated for development in a local plan - issues related to the suitability and developability of the site for the purposes of the allocation;
  • The lawfulness of developer contributions in development plans and supplementary planning documents; 
  • The publication of and public access to LDF documents;
  • The selection of sites, calculation of need and assessment of suitability of sites in waste planning.

Planning: general

  • Jonathan has a particular interest in heritage planning matters, and has gained experience in the correct approach to decisions concerning heritage assets, and the relationship between planning permission and listed building consent;
  • The scope of amendments under sections 73 and 96A of the TCPA 1990 in the light of Finney;
  • The lawfulness of planning conditions, and principles behind the power to impose; 
  • Planning conditions and relationship to competition law; 
  • Public procurement law: development agreements and Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency Notices;
  • Use of regeneration and appropriation powers and relationship to restrictive covenants and registered village greens and commons;
  • Neighbourhood planning and local government reorganisation including the creation of new parishes;
  • Prior approval and permitted development rights - the power to refuse for reasons other than those prescribed; 
  • Judicial and statutory review of planning decisions;
  • Interpretation of policy;
  • Adequacy of officer reports and inspector's decisions;
  • The powers and scope of delegation by planning committee to officers;
  • Housing land supply issues;
  • Application of the tilted balance.


  • Matters of procedure and the question of those parties who have a right of appeal against enforcement notices;
  • Enforcement against development on riverbanks/waterways;
  • Enforcement and human rights;
  • Enforcement action and previously lawful uses of land;
  • Certificates of lawfulness - requirements for application; power to issue; powers of variation;
  • Certificates of lawfulness and the meaning of substantial completion


  • Litigation arising from the Emissions Trading Scheme;
  • The proper approach to assessment of alternatives under the EIA Regulations;
  • Costs in environmental litigation;
  • Energy policy and climate change considerations in DCO context;
  • Ecology – protection available for ancient habitats;
  • The Green Deal Scheme appeals;
  • Tree felling licences and the definition of a dangerous tree.

Infrastructure, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

  • Drafting representations for DCO hearing regarding the requirement to consider alternatives to compulsory purchase;
  • Assisted Michael Humphries QC and Hugh Flanagan in relation to litigation concerning car parks at Heathrow Airport;
  • Assisted Craig Howell Williams QC and Melissa Murphy in relation to the Court of Appeal case in 2020 concerning HS2 Schedule 17 applications;
  • Assisting drafting advice relating to Wayleaves payments - Calculation and nature of compensation payments;
  • Road widening scheme - Assessment of benefits and justification for extent of land take;
  • Use of safeguarding directions;
  • Assisting drafting advice relating to Electronic Communications Code wayleave agreements;
  • Research into limitation and temporary possession issues in compulsory purchase.

Rating/Council Tax

During his pupillage, Jonathan assisted in advising on a variety of local government finance matters.  Jonathan is keen to continue to build on his experience in the following areas:

  • Interpretation of Material Day Regulations;
  • Issues arising relating to advertising hereditaments;
  • Schedule 5 exemptions;
  • Rates mitigation schemes and property guardianship - Jonathan assisted Mark Westmoreland Smith in a case concerning the identification, nature and valuation hereditaments;
  • Scope of proposal matters and the jurisdiction of the VTE;
  • Valuation: contractors method – appropriateness of substitutions;
  • Jonathan has drafted advice relating to unoccupied rates and exemptions for energy infrastructure.

Public and Human Rights Law

During his pupillage and since accepting tenancy, Jonathan has gained experience in a variety of public law matters, including the following:

  • Prison law and human rights – right to an oral hearing by CART tribunal;
  • Duty of candour in judicial review;
  • Enforcement proceedings and human rights;
  • Local government powers – Extent of devolved powers, and local government reorganisation;
  • Issues arising in the settlement of judicial review proceedings;
  • Scope of local authority delegation; 
  • Lawfulness of closed and confidential proceedings/discussions and need for transparency in local government decision making.

Highways, Rights of Way and Commons

During his pupillage, Jonathan was involved in assisting in advising on matters of highways law.  Since accepting tenancy, Jonathan has become well acquainted with highways law, having recently acted for a statutory party in a railway extinguishment order inquiry, the first such type of inquiry to take place virtually.  Jonathan has experience in:

  • Stopping up orders;
  • Rail crossing extinguishment orders;
  • Compensation under the Highways Act;
  • Traffic Regulation Orders;
  • Town and Village Green registration and deregistration, specifically in relation to local authority powers of appropriation for planning purposes.

Information law

  • Interaction between legal privilege and rights of access to information under the FOI and EIR regimes.

Public order and anti-social behaviour law

During pupillage and since accepting tenancy, Jonathan has gained experience in the following areas:

  • Lawfulness of public order conditions - human rights & proportionality;
  • Closure Order applications and extensions;
  • Sexual Harm Prevention Orders applications and variations.


  • During pupillage, Jonathan assisted Gary Grant acting for West Midlands Police in relation to summary review proceedings relating to coronavirus restriction beaches.


  • King’s College London, Theology BA (First Class Honours, top of year) (2015);
  • King’s College London, Theology MA (Distinction, top of year) (2016);
  • City University London, Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation) (2017);
  • BPP University Law School, Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent) (2019).

Scholarships & Awards

Bar Awards & Scholarships

  • Excellence Scholarship, BPP University (2018)
  • Advocacy Scholarship, BPP University (2018)
  • Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2018)
  • Lord Haldane Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2016)
  • Partial Fee Scholarship, City University (2016)

University Awards & Scholarships

  • Hanson Prize for the Philosophy of Religion (MA) (2016)
  • Relton Prize for Christian Doctrine (MA) (2016)
  • Walton Scholarship for postgraduate study, King’s College London (2015)
  • Sellers Prize for Christian Theology (2015)
  • Hanson Prize for Philosophy of Religion (2015)
  • Mascall Prize for Christian Doctrine (2015)
  • Bishop Collins Memorial Prize for Church History (2015)

Other Experience

Jonathan won a number of mooting competitions during his studies, including the UKELA national mooting competition (2017); The 9-12 Bell Yard inter-varsity criminal law moot (2016): the KCL Bar Society/Wildy & Sons contract law mooting competition (2015).

Previous Experience

Previously, Jonathan was a planning caseworker at Southwark Law Centre, where he provided advice and representation to members of the local community in relation to planning and regeneration matters.

Before undertaking pupillage at FTB, Jonathan spent a year as judicial assistant to Lindblom L.J. in the Court of Appeal, during which time he gained experience in a variety of fields including:

  • Planning and environment (Green Belt policy; Neighbourhood Development Plans procedure; Enforcement procedure and human rights; Housing Need; Consistency of Inspector’s decisions; CIL Regulations; Housing land supply; Scope of heritage asset setting; Duty to give reasons);
  • Rating/Valuation (Hereditaments – occupation);
  • Village Greens (Statutory Incompatibility);
  • EU Public Procurement (Development agreements and VEAT notices);
  • Highways (Stopping up orders and planning conditions);
  • Public Law (Consultation duties);
  • Civil Procedure (re-opening of final appeals; costs in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber));
  • Immigration;
  • Property law (service charges);
  • Coronial/Inquest law (threshold for fresh inquest).

Prior to coming to the Bar, Jonathan worked for a political communications and campaigns consultancy.


Professional Memberships

  • Planning and Environmental Bar Association
  • Compulsory Purchase Association
  • United Kingdom Environmental Law Association