Infrastructure Projects and Transport and Works Act Schemes
Merrow has gained considerable experience of the Transport and Works Act procedure, having represented a principal objector at three TWA Inquiries over the past year. She is currently instructed to represent the Ramblers at the Inquiry into the Proposed Network Rail (Essex and Others Level Crossing Reduction) Order taking place over the course of September to November 2018. Merrow previously represented the Ramblers at the Inquiry into the Proposed Network Rail (Cambridgeshire Level Crossing Reduction) Order which sat between November 2017 and February 2018.
More recently, Merrow represented two statutory objectors - Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Councils - at the Inquiry into the Proposed Network Rail (Suffolk Level Crossing Reduction) Order between February and May 2018.
She has previous experience of the TWA procedure having shadowed both Richard Honey and Melissa Murphy at TWA Inquiries during her pupillage.
Merrow has also gained experience of Development Consent Orders, including assisting in advising on the scope of statutory entry powers in relation to a highways DCO project.
Rights of Way and Highways
Merrow has also gained significant experience of rights of way law through her involvement in the Proposed Network Rail (Essex and Others Level Crossing Reduction) Order, the Proposed Network Rail (Cambridgeshire Level Crossing Reduction) Order and the Proposed Network Rail (Suffolk Level Crossing Reduction) Order.
She has previously advised a developer on the appropriate application of section 278 agreements to be entered into with the highways authority and is currently acting as junior Counsel for a highway authority in response to a claim for judicial review.
Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
Merrow has gained wide experience of CPO-related matters, which includes:
- Assisting in drafting a defence to a claim made under Part 1 of the Lands Compensation Act 1973.
- Research work into the powers of local authorities to CPO land outside of their area.
- Assisting in assessing the scope of a highway authority’s CPO powers over Crown land.
Merrow has a keen interest in planning law and gained wide experience of planning-related issues during her pupillage.
During her second six, Merrow provided advice to a developer on a number of planning considerations arising out of a housing development scheme in Somerset. In this regard, she provided written advice on the prospects of potential reserved matters applications and on the correct interpretation of a planning condition in an outline permission. Merrow further advised on the possible implementation of multiple, and overlapping, planning permissions.
Merrow has gained considerable experience in the law surrounding Certificates of Lawful Existing Use or Development. She has advised a private client on the merits of a proposed CLEUD application, and has assisted in advising three other clients in relation to CLEUD proceedings during her pupillage.
Merrow's further experience in planning law includes:
- Advising on permitted development rights under the General Permitted Development Order 2015, in relation to the extension of a residential building.
- Attending, and assisting in, a number of planning inquiries for housing development schemes that have involved issues ranging from housing need, educational services, transport impacts, landscape and visual impacts and appropriate design for developments. This work has involved assisting both at the inquiries themselves and in the preparation stages.
- Helping to draft submissions on a legal point that arose during an inquiry into a large-scale housing development about the relationship between outline and reserved matters permissions.
- Shadowing Hereward Philpot QC and Richard Honey in Suffolk Coastal District Council v Hopkins Homes Ltd and another  UKSC 37, whereby the Supreme Court ruled on the application of paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
Merrow has also had the opportunity to gain experience in local plan and neighbourhood plan-making processes. This experience includes:
- Assisting in advising local authorities in their preparation of local plan documents, including assessing evidence-based documents, and assisting in advising on the implementation of local-plan making procedures.
- Assisting both in advising a local authority on the neighbourhood plan-making process and in assessing the merits of an underlying sustainability appraisal.
- Assisting in drafting the summary grounds of resistance against a judicial review of a neighbourhood plan.
- Assisting in the review of draft neighbourhood plans prior to examination.
Merrow has assisted in advising on a variety of matters relating to enforcement appeals and the application of enforcement notices. Merrow has also assisted in advising a local authority on the merits of bringing a prosecution under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
Merrow has gained experience of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and its application in relation to planning enforcement offences. She has acted for both a local authority and a defendant in confiscation proceedings in the Crown Court and has assisted in drafting a skeleton argument in an application for POCA proceedings to be stayed as an abuse of process.
Merrow is particularly interested in environmental law and environmental regulation.
Merrow has assisted in representing an interested party in relation to enforcement appeal proceedings arising out of an environmental dispute in Northern Ireland. Merrow assisted in drafting legal submissions and in evaluating an environmental statement and habitats assessment.
Merrow's experience in environmental law also includes the following:
- Shadowing Robert McCracken QC and Charles Streeten in a judicial review of the Secretary of State's failure to exercise his powers to call-in a planning application, having regard to the potential effect that the proposed development would have on air quality in the local area and the UK's obligations under the EC's Air Quality Directive.
- Research work into matters of air quality law and the government’s recent Air Quality Plan 2017.
- Research work into legal updates surrounding environmental damage regulation and compensation.
- Pro bono assistance to a local residents' group in relation to the potential environmental impacts of a proposed expanded waste facility.
During her pupillage, Merrow has assisted on a number of matters involving local government law. This includes:
Assisting in the preparation of a judicial review against a local authority's exercise of its powers under sections 1 and 4 of the Localism Act 2011.
Assisting in preparing grounds of challenge against the decision of a local planning authority to exclude the public and press from a planning committee meeting and/or to refuse disclosure of a report to be discussed at that meeting.
Village Greens and Commons
Merrow has been involved in a variety of matters relating to the law on village greens and common land. Merrow's experience includes:
- Assisting in drafting the skeleton argument for an objector to a village green inquiry, addressing a number of procedural issues including the operation of "trigger events" under Schedule 1A of the Commons Act 2006.
- Assisting in advising registration authorities on the existence of implied powers both in relation to their dealings with village green applications and to orders to de-register and/or exchange common land.
- Assisting in advising on whether use by local residents of a particular piece of land has been "by right" as opposed to "as of right".
Merrow welcomes instructions in all areas of licensing. She has appeared at the Crown Court in licensing-related matters and before a Licensing Sub-Committee in a licensing review hearing.
Merrow's experience of licensing includes assisting on matters involving premises licenses, hackney carriage licences and caravan sites. She has assisted in advising a local authority on the re-designation of an area as subject to selective licensing under the Housing Act 2004, including the procedural requirements that would apply.
Merrow has represented an education authority in proceedings relating to a proposed change to an Education, Health and Care Plan. She has also assisted in research into the current procedure governing school exclusions and when legal challenges may be appropriate.