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    "He is a tenacious advocate who really fights his corner."

    Chambers and Partners, Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez

Year of call: 2002

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

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Juan Lopez

Practice Profile

Juan acts in all areas of planning, infrastructure, minerals and waste (including management (hazardous/other), licensing and transfer regulation) and property, regularly working with promoters, infrastructure bodies (including Network Rail, TfL) and local authorities. He regularly combines these areas with his expertise in highway and environmental law. Juan advises extensively in rights of way matters, railway law, drainage and wayleaves. Juan is regularly instructed in judicial review, statutory challenges, other public law areas, and regulatory prosecutions.

Juan is regularly ranked in the junior section of Planning Magazine, further to having previously been ranked first of all planning barristers for Planning Court appearances [Planning Magazine], Chambers & Partners & The Legal 500.

  • "Commercially aware and prompt with advice."  Legal 500, 2016

  • "Accessible and tenacious" practitioner "who has achieved some spectacular results'' and who is ''not afraid to put his hard hat on when going into battle'' The Legal 500

  • "A very confident and clear advocate, with a relaxed and direct style" Chambers and Partners

  • "Extremely professional and diligent" Chambers and Partners


Public Law
Highways and Public Rights of Way
Compulsory Purchase, Compensation, Land Valuation and Rating
Property Law
Envrionmental Law
Local Plans
Injunctions / Restraint Orders / Seizure / POCA Etc


Juan acts on major planning projects, housing, industrial, rural and minerals and waste planning:

  • Comprehensive residential development (including schemes of up to 1,250 units, primary school, extra care facility, care home, Medway; up to 770 units, Leeds; Tideway Wharf hotel/commercial)
  • Highthorn surface coal mine, Northumberland
  • Tall Buildings schemes (including: Shell Centre, South Bank, London: call-in application for mixed use scheme comprising part demolition of Shell Centre to enable the development of 8 buildings (of 5 to 37 storeys) for office, residential, retail and community/leisure uses, including consideration of the development on the historic environment including the impact on the Westminster World Heritage Site.
  • Network Rail Infrastructure Limited
  • Planning obligations: Allied Irish Bank (UK) on releasing affordable housing obligations and offset payments; advising on the discharge of affordable housing conditions by unilateral undertaking
  • Heritage: setting of land adjacent to Grade I Kensington Palace and Gardens; iconic Westminster sites including Burberry Building, Haymarket SW1; Mayfair Conservation Area W1 development, the redevelopment of Grade II* Darsham Hall, Hampstead Garden Suburb development
  • Leisure: promoting Longine Global Champions Tour equestrian tournament, Kensington
  • Renewables: promoting onshore schemes in Cambridgeshire and Cornwall (and advising on related statutory challenges); resisting multiple sites in Northants
  • Advertisement control: A40, W12 (enforcement involving 40+ removal notices)
  • Amalgamations and basement development

Juan has considerable experience of planning enforcement and (final and interlocutory) injunction and contempt proceedings, acting for both applicants and defendants. Juan is particularly experienced in both prosecuting and defending matters (in both the Crown Court and Magistrates' Court) brought in respect of unauthorised development (including demolition), including GI and GII listed buildings and conservation area contraventions. Juan is often instructed from inception, advising on enforcement scoping, enforcement irregularities, disclosure and abuse of process, etc., consequential orders (including demolition; entry onto land, etc.) and high-value POCA liability arising from derivative revenues.


Juan advises on a broad range of public law matters, combining with his particular experience in the contractual and tortious liability of public authorities. Juan also previously ranked first in Planning Magazine of all barristers for his Planning Court appearances. Recent and significant public law challenges include:

  • Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum v Leeds CC [2020] EWHC 45 (Admin) (legal capacity of unincorporated association in statutory review)
  • Leeds CC v SSHCLG [2019] EWHC 682 (Admin) (presumption in favour of sustainable development)
  • Thornhill Estates Ltd v SSCLG [2018] EWHC 3663 (Admin) (development benefits)
  • R (oao Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd) v SSEFRA [2018] EWCA Civ 2069 (s.259 TCPA stopping up order enabling residential development)
  • Cemex (UK) Operations Ltd. v Richmondshire DC [2018] EWHC 3526 (Admin) (mineral consent interpretation; industrial noise)
  • Mansell v Tonbridge & Malling BC [2017] EWCA Civ 1314 (fallback implementation; presumption in favour of sustainable development)
  • Ramblers’ Association v SSEFRA [2017] EWHC 716 (Admin) (s.31 HA PRoW dedication; statutory incompatibility)
  • Mordue v SSCLG: (heritage asset significance)
  • Wood v SSCLG: (green belt/village development)
  • Kendall v Rochford District Council: (SEA/SA; reasonable alternatives)
  • R (oao Save Britain's Heritage) v Gateshead MBC: (Demolition under EIA)
  • R (oao Gibson) v Mid Sussex: SEA/SA; reasonable alternatives
  • South Northamptonshire Council v SSCLG: ('due priority' of the statutory development plan in decision-making; national and regional need for renewables)
  • Lambrou v SSCLG: ('second-bite' enforcement under section 171B TCPA)
  • Cogent LLP v Rochford District Council: SEA challenge to Core Strategy housing policies (general housing locations; reasonable alternatives)
  • R (oao Coleman) v London Borough of Barnet (Equality Act 2010, s.149)
  • R (oao Save Britain's Heritage) v SSCLG and Gateshead MBC: lawfulness of prior approval; meaning of ‘demolition’ in EIA development; ‘salami-slicing’ in the context of the Bridging Newcastle Gateshead multi-phase regeneration; R (oao Save Britain's Heritage) v SSCLG (2) Gateshead MBC (Admin) [2010] EWHC 2919 (Admin) [no.1]


Juan is instructed in respect of a wide range of infrastructure development projects, including proposals under the Transport and Works Act. He has advised in the context of multiple NSIPs. Other infrastructure work includes wind energy schemes, promoting in Cambridgeshire and Cornwall and resisting in Northants.

Instructions include:

  • Network Rail
  • Anglian Water Services
  • Thames Water
  • Willi Betz GmbH & Co


Juan is a specialist practitioner in highway law. He advises extensively in areas including all rights of way matters, drainage and repair liability claims and other civil actions, railway land, wayleaves, and the promotion of contentious highway infrastructure. He regularly works with major infrastructure bodies, landowners and other promoters, in addition to public authorities. He is one of the few practitioners to regularly combine an expertise in highway matters with property, planning and major infrastructure, environmental law, and railway law. Juan has particular experience in judicial review and statutory challenges in these and other areas. Juan is regularly ranked in the Junior section of Planning Magazine, further to having previously been ranked first of all planning barristers for Planning Court appearances [Planning Magazine Survey 2015]: Chambers & Partners & The Legal 500. Notable challenges include

  • Ramblers’ Association v SSEFRA [2017] EWHC 716 (Admin) (s.31 HA PRoW dedication; statutory incompatibility)
  • R (oao Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd) v SSEFRA [2018] EWCA Civ 2069 (s.259 TCPA stopping up order enabling residential development)


Juan has significant experience in promoting and resisting CPOs. He is experienced in land valuation and regularly advises both claimants and acquiring authorities. His compensation work has included consideration of a broad range of issues including planning assumptions, injurious affection, business losses, Pointe Gourde, betterment and costs.

Instructions include:

  • Wayleaves: advising landowners and electricity companies on contractual wayleaves, (pre-compensation) planning strategies & related easements; public inquiry applications for necessary wayleaves (UK Power Networks); compensation assessments under UT(LC) references; advising on 2020 digital fixed line infrastructure wayleave agreements for London local authorities
  • HS2: advising landowners on compensation
  • London Borough of Southwark v Kingpin Ltd, Vumpine (University of Manchester) v Secretary of State and Land at Bethnal Green Road: resisting inclusion of residential order property (planning assumptions relevant to valuation and ransom land)
  • A50 Growth Corridor (Uttoxeter) CPO
  • Multiple ransom valuation claims, including enhanced value
  • Blight notices: CPO and compensation
  • Town regeneration: CPO and compensation
  • CPO (judicial review): liability in costs following service of discontinuance notice under CPR r. 38.3 (Mount Cook Land Ltd. v Westminster City Council principle)
  • Departure Foundation v London Borough of Hounslow: charitable rates relief
  • Land at The Wireworks, London SE1: considering Secerno Ltd, Sportsworld Ltd & Xou Solutions Ltd v Oxford Magistrates' Court & Another [2011] EWHC 1009 (Admin) and Regulation 42 of the Non-domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) Regulations for liability assessment
  • Alamin v Sevket: appeal against finding of non-compliance with section 214 Housing Act 2004 (residential occupation under an assured shorthold tenancy); jurisdictional competence, applying Draycott v Hannells Letting Ltd [2010] EWHC 217

He also advises extensively on valuation, rate exemption and relief matters.


Juan advises generally on real property and related matters, including overage, disputed title and land registration, conveyances, adverse possession, proprietary estoppel, easements and restrictive covenants, party wall and boundary disputes. Juan's commercial & residential landlord and tenant practice includes lease interpretation, forfeiture claims, possession, tenancy renewals, dilapidations, rentcharges (including developer liability for estate rentcharges) and rent reviews. He advises on, and appears in First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) proceedings.

Juan's experience extends to construction and engineering disputes with regard to building and conversion works, contractor and sub-contractor liabilities, reasonable care and skill. He is often instructed at the early stage of proceedings (Technology & Construction Court): pre-emptive relief, pre-action and particulars of claim stages. He is particularly experienced in relation to commercial premises, housing schemes and private amalgamations.


Special Protection Area/Special Area of Conservation development (SANGS and SAMMS) 


  • Leeds Site Allocations Plan (2019) (Examination): Leeds District-wide housing, employment, retail and greenspace allocations, accounting for 11 Housing Market Characteristic Areas, 30+ emerging neighbourhood plans and 7000+ comments
  • Leeds Core Strategy Selective Review (2019) (Examination)
  • Plan:MK
  • Winchester City Council Local Plan
  • South Cambridgeshire Local Plan
  • Representing developers at Local Plan Examinations


Juan has acted on behalf of tens of local authorities in applications made for prohibitory injunctions against unauthorised movements onto land, original and persistent breaches, and is very familiar with QBD procedure and contested multi-defendant and multi-handed injunctions with a view to insulating repeat applications and/or future committal, with associated human rights argument, and in drafting complex orders (e.g. scoping family groups; multi-ownership; persons unknown; orders of up to 25 named individuals). Juan advises on tailoring necessary supporting evidence and the particulars of draft/orders (see e.g. St. Edmundsbury BC v Oakley [2015] EWHC 1975 (QB)). Juan also has particular experience in restraint orders, asset seizure and recovery and POCA (defending/prosecuting) of all genres. 


  • Planning and Environment Bar Association
  • National Infrastructure Planning Association
  • Compulsory Purchase Association

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