CPO and Compensation
Infrastructure / Parliamentary
Melissa is recognised as one of the leading juniors at the planning Bar and has extensive experience of planning matters. The following summaries give a flavour of that experience.
- HS2 - Melissa advised two local authorities along the HS2 route and presented the petition of South Northamptonshire District Council at the Select Committee
- Heathrow - Melissa was instructed as a junior to Craig Howell Williams Q.C. in relation to Heathrow Airport Limited 2015 appeal, a decision is awaited.
Housing and mixed use developments
- Promoting and resisting major residential and mixed use developments. As part of large multi-disciplinary teams, Melissa was instructed in relation to a new neighbourhood for Crawley; and 1,900 dwellings in the Green Belt proposed by Pinewood Studios; current instructions include an appeal concerning the proposed redevelopment of Fulham Town Hall (with Hereward Phillpot Q.C.)
- Numerous instructions in relation to housing in the countryside (in Wales and in England), involving consideration of the adequacy of the 5 year housing land supply; affordable housing; and impact on the landscape
- Experience of appeals concerning housing for the elderly, including residential care homes
- Significant experience of resisting development including housing in the Green Belt (on behalf of local authorities and third parties)
- Strategic advice dealing with the promotion of sites for housing through the local plan process
- Various inquiries concerning the retention of employment land where higher value uses are proposed. For example, the development of a hotel on employment land in Norwich; and the development of a Circle promoted private hospital in Test Valley; and logistics development on sites allocated for other employment purposes
- Part of a team promoting significant mixed use development in Polegate, East Sussex
- Strategic advice to Norwich City Council as landowner in relation to the promotion of a major mixed use development in its area
- Repeat instructions from Sainsbury's - including a rights of way inquiry to facilitate a store expansion on the Isle of Wight
- Particular expertise in relation to listed buildings prosecutions
- Numerous inquiries concerning the impact of development on listed buildings and the character and appearance of conservation areas
- Melissa has a particular interest in the interrelationship of domestic and EU law. Given that interest, she has regularly conducted seminars addressing sustainability and environmental assessment, to private and public sector audiences as well as advising
- In 2014 and 2015, she has advised developers and local authorities in relation to the adequacy of assessments at both a strategic and site level.
- Advice and representation in relation to local plans
- Melissa was part of the team which successfully promoted the Cherwell Local Plan
- Melissa is well versed in planning enforcement matters. She has frequently appeared at public inquiries in relation to s.174 appeals, concerning a wide range of development, from Gypsy sites, to stables for polo ponies, to residential development in a national park. She has had considerable success in dealing with enforcement notice prosecutions.
The majority of Melissa's public/administrative law practice is linked to her planning and compulsory purchase work.
See, for example:
- R. (on the application of Sainsbury's Supermarkets Limited) v. Hillingdon LBC  EWHC 2571 (Admin)
- Delaney v. SSCLG  EWCA Civ 585 (High Court:  EWHC 1303)
- LB Hillingdon v. SSCLG  EWHC 1557
- Chetwynd v. South Norfolk DC  EWHC 1070
- Taylor Wimpey v. Crawley Borough Council  EWHC 2644
INFRASTRUCTURE / PARLIAMENTARY
Melissa is one of the few juniors at the planning bar with substantial experience of proceedings concerning major infrastructure projects.
Here are some good examples:
Parliamentary proceedings - HS2 - Melissa has recent experience of appearing before the HS2 Select Committee and advising on representations to the Committee.
Public inquiry work - Heathrow - Melissa and Craig Howell Williams Q.C. appeared on behalf of the Mayor of London, Hillingdon LBC and Hounslow LBC in the Heathrow Airport Limited appeal inquiry in 2015; a decision is awaited.
Lands Chamber (compulsory purchase compensation) - Thameslink - Melissa has been instructed by Eversheds on behalf of Network Rail to deal with compensation issues arising from the Thameslink project.
Transport and Works Act 1992 proceedings re the Network Rail (Hitchin (Cambridge Junction)) Order inquiry
Strategic advice to local authorities in relation to infrastructure projects
COMPULSORY PURCHASE AND COMPENSATION
Melissa has attracted particular attention for her strength in promoting "tricky compulsory purchase orders". She is interested in and enjoys CPO work. In addition to town and country planning CPOs, she has also advised in relation to CPOs under the Housing Act. As part of her major CPO/planning inquiry work, Melissa was part of a team representing Schroders and Stanhope plc, objecting successfully to Croydon Council's controversial proposals at the Croydon Gateway site.
Recent clients include:
- Southwark Council (Aylesbury Estate)
- Ralli Solicitors (Salford Central)
- Ceredigion County Council (Aberystwyth town centre).
Melissa has considerable experience of disputes relating to compulsory purchase compensation. She has been instructed in Lands Tribunal proceedings by the London Development Agency, Essex County Council and Kent County Council, as well as by private individuals.
Her work has included detailed consideration of matters such as valuation of the land taken; compensation for severance, injurious affection and disturbance; mitigation, betterment, planning assumptions and the application of statutory disregards and Point Gourde (on which she has lectured to both public and private sector audiences); and costs.
She appeared in the Lands Tribunal in the following reported cases:
- Scotia Plastic Binding Limited (in administration) v. LDA  RVR 307
- Essex Showground v. Essex County Council  RVR 336
Much compensation work, of course, is directed to ensuring that a negotiated outcome is achieved and often advisory work is all that is required. Recent instructions include advice to a private sector client, as junior to Michael Humphries Q.C.
PUBLIC/ ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
Melissa advises on and appears in cases concerning public and administrative law matters, principally those with a planning/compulsory purchase focus.
Recent cases include:
- R. (on the application of Sainsbury's Supermarkets Limited) v Hillingdon LBC  EWHC 2571 (Admin)
- Delaney v. SSCGL  EWHC 1303 - Claimant's appeal dismissed by Court of Appeal on 13th May 2013
- LB Hillingdon v. SSCLG  EWHC 1557
- Chetwynd v. South Norfolk DC  1070