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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. 

Since joining Chambers, he has built a busy practice specialising in planning and environmental matters, acting for and advising a wide variety of clients including developers, national and local government, and local interest groups. He welcomes instructions to act individually or as part of a team, across all of Chambers’ practice areas.

Before undertaking pupillage at Francis Taylor Building, Jonathan spent a year as judicial assistant to Sir Keith Lindblom L.J. (now Senior President of Tribunals), in the Court of Appeal.

Jonathan has particular experience in the following areas:

  • planning and environment, including enforcement
  • compulsory purchase and compensation
  • injunctions and public authority powers in respect of unauthorised encampments
  • rating and valuation
  • public and human rights law
  • rights of way and highways
  • public order and anti-social behaviour law

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

  • Acting for local planning authority in 4-day section 78 appeal inquiry (sole counsel);
  • Acting for local planning authority in enforcement hearing (sole counsel);
  • Junior counsel for HS2 Ltd in a variety of ongoing interim injunction proceedings against protesters, including at Euston Square Gardens;
  • Advising developer on appeal against refusal of planning permission for 50 homes;
  • 8-day planning inquiry on behalf of a commercial landowner and Rule 6(6) party;
  • Acting for appellant developer in 5-day combined s.73 and Enforcement Notice appeal;
  • Junior to Gregory Jones QC in section 289 appeal against enforcement notice on grounds of nullity;
  • Junior to Richard Honey QC in judicial review of planning decision affecting SEN school (issues including the scheme of delegation, noise, traffic and air quality);
  • Advising on local authority action to remove unauthorised encampments under the CJPOA;
  • Sole counsel in a 9-day highways inquiry for statutory objector;
  • Drafting notice of reference for Compulsory Purchase Compensation claim;
  • Secondment at London Borough legal department;
  • Appearing at call-in inquiry for a London Borough Council as Rule 6(6) party;
  • Appearing at a local plan examination on behalf of a neighbourhood forum;
  • S.288 challenge of an inspector decision concerning a substantial residential dwelling;
  • Assisting Morag Ellis QC in relation to a sensitive and strategically important site allocated for development in a local plan.

Jonathan is planning editor of the Property Law UK journal.

Jonathan is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public in appropriate cases.

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

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Jonathan has gained experience across a range of issues including in relation to:


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 for a neighbourhood forum in relation to the Brent Local Plan examination – with issues arising concerning the evidence base for windfall policies;
  • Advising London Borough in relation to supplementary planning documents;
  • Advising on the Duty to Cooperate;
  • Assisting Morag Ellis QC in relation to a sensitive and strategically important site 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;
  • Waste planning: the selection of sites, calculation of need and assessment of suitability of sites.

Planning: general

  • 4-day planning inquiry on behalf of local planning authority;
  • Acting for appellant developer in 5-day combined s.73 and Enforcement Notice appeal;
  • Appearing at section 77 call-in inquiry for Westminster City Council as a Rule 6(6) party;
  • Acting in an 8-day planning inquiry on behalf of an adjoining commercial landowner and Rule 6(6) party;
  • Judicial review of planning decision, relating to Habitats Regulations, apparent bias, the local authority scheme of delegation, noise, transport and air quality issues;
  • Advising on heritage planning matters concerning conversion of agricultural buildings to residential;
  • Advising on and preparing pre-action correspondence for challenge relating to a local authority scheme of delegation and the approach taken to flood risk; habitats issues; and assessment of noise impacts of development;
  • S.288 challenge of an inspector decision concerning a substantial residential dwelling;
  • Advising on the scope of amendments under sections 73 and 96A of the TCPA 1990 in the light of Finney;
  • Advising on the scope and lawfulness of planning conditions and obligations, especially concerning third party land, off-site contributions and infrastructure funding and provision;
  • Advising in relation to the lawfulness of planning conditions, and principles behind the power to impose;
  • The relation between planning conditions and competition law;
  • Various heritage planning matters: in particular the correct approach to decisions concerning heritage assets, and the relationship between planning permission and listed building consent;
  • Public procurement law as relevant to planning: 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;
  • Advising on waste planning matters for local residents groups;
  • 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;
  • Community Infrastructure Levy and Social Housing Relief.

Enforcement and Injunctions

  • Enforcement hearing for local planning authority relating to agricultural barn in the green belt demolished rebuilt without planning permission;
  • Acting for HS2 in ongoing injunctions matters;
  • Enforcement procedure: the breadth of types of 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;
  • Injunctive relief.


  • Prosecuting fly-tipping offences;
  • Advising on the environmental permitting regime and landfill tax for waste sites;
  • Advising on Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Regulations, in particular the adequacy of mitigation and IROPI considerations;
  • 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 of ancient habitats;
  • Green Deal Scheme appeals;
  • Tree felling licences and the definition of a dangerous tree.

Infrastructure, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

  • Drafting notice of reference for Compulsory Purchase Compensation claim;
  • 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 of London Borough of Hillingdon & Ors v The Secretary of State for Transport & Ors [2017] EWHC 121 (Admin), 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 of 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 of hereditaments: London Borough of Southwark v Ludgate House Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 1637;
  • Scope of proposal matters and the jurisdiction of the VTE;
  • Rates mitigation schemes;
  • 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 – the 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 schemes of delegation;
  • Lawfulness of closed and confidential proceedings/discussions and need for transparency in local government decision-making;
  • Advising on building safety and cladding in the light of the Grenfell disaster.

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. 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

Jonathan has gained experience in the following areas:

  • Procedure under ss.77-78 CJPOA to remove unauthorised encampments;
  • Lawfulness of public order conditions – human rights & proportionality;
  • Closure Order applications and extensions;
  • Sexual Harm Prevention Orders applications and variations;
  • Sexual Risk Orders.


  • Advising on animal licensing regime, local authority powers, and primary authority arrangements;
  • During pupillage, Jonathan assisted Gary Grant acting for the West Midlands Police in relation to summary review proceedings for public house relating to coronavirus restriction breaches.


  • 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


Quarterly Environmental Law Update

From 3.00pm - 5.00pm.

It will be run as a hybrid event enabling either in-person or virtual attendance. It will be followed by a short drinks reception for in-person attendees.

The event will be formed of five short sessions covering latest developments in environmental law, including progress on the Environment Bill and important recent litigation.

Planning image
Annual Compulsory Purchase and Land Valuation (Hybrid) Seminar

Registration from 1.30pm.  Seminar from 2- 5.30pm.  Drinks reception from 5.30-6.30pm.