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    "A standout at the junior end of the Bar, she's an old head on young shoulders, who possesses brilliant judgement."

    Chambers and Partners, Rebecca Clutten

Rebecca Clutten

Rebecca Clutten, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Year of call: 2008

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

Rebecca Clutten

Practice Profile

Rebecca Clutten was called to the Bar in 2008 and is currently ranked 1st in the top planning juniors under 35, having held a top 5 position for the last 5 years, and ranked 5th in the overall top planning juniors list. Rebecca is also listed in Chambers and Partners Guide to the UK Bar (2017) and the Legal 500 (2016/17), where she is described as "very fast, astute and client-friendly" and as "[articulating] extremely complex issues superbly, and has a great approach with the clients."

Rebecca's practice spans Chambers' core areas, but has a particular focus infrastructure planning and compulsory purchase and compensation matters. She has acted for and advised utilities, developers, landowners and private individuals, as well as central and local government. Notable clients include Centrica, National Grid, Network Rail, Peel Group and Transport for London.

Rebecca's experience covers the appellate courts at all levels, as well as the Upper Tribunal and planning inquiries, and she welcomes instructions to act individually or as a junior across all of Chambers' practice areas.

She is a serving Committee Member to PEBA and the CPA, and additionally an ordinary member of NIPA.

Planning and Environment

Rebecca's core planning practice covers a diverse range of work, including housing and retail schemes, leisure uses, permitted development rights, planning obligations, advertisements, as well as complex enforcement matters.  She regularly appears in planning and enforcement inquiries, as well as having experience in the appellate courts on planning matters.

As a result of Rebecca's infrastructure planning work, she has particular experience of advising in respect of the EIA and HRA matters, including the adequacy of Environment Statements and Habitat Regulations Assessments. She also has substantial experience in respect of water and sewerage law.

Recent or notable work in this area includes:

  • Successfully resisting an appeal by Gladman Homes for a new residential scheme outside settlement boundaries, in circumstances where the local authority had a substantial five year housing land supply deficit.
  • Acting in respect of the 'Castle under the Hay Bales' - securing a recommendation for the grant of temporary permission prior to the intervention of the then-Secretary of State.
  • Successfully challenging the validity of the inclusion in section 106 agreements of obligations providing for permit-free developments.
  • Advising and acting for the Manchester Ship Canal Company Limited in respect of a claim against United Utilities for unauthorised sewage and waste water discharges into the Manchester and Bridgewater Canals, including before the Supreme Court.
  • Advising a well-known restaurant chain in respect of enforcement issues relating to noise from plant and equipment and upon the subsequent successful planning strategy.

Infrastructure Planning

Rebecca has developed a broad practice in the infrastructure sector, with experience covering energy developments, rail infrastructure, water and sewerage and airports, across the Town and Country Planning, DCO and Transport and Works Act regimes. Rebecca's experience also covers the Hybrid Bill procedure, having advised Petitioners to the High Speed 2 Rail Link. In this context, Rebecca has also appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee.

Recent or notable work in this area includes:

  • Advising National Grid in respect of the Hinkley Point C Connection Project (consented 2016) and advising and acting in respect of the North London Reinforcement Project (consented 2013). Rebecca was junior to Michael Humphries QC on both occasions.
  • Advising and acting, in her own right, for DONG Energy in respect of the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm (consented 2014).
  • Advising and acting for London Underground Limited, as junior to Andrew Tait QC, in respect of the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade, a £1/2billion upgrade to Bank Station in the City of London (consented 2015).

As part of her infrastructure practice, Rebecca has significant practical experience of advising in respect of EIA, HRA, consultation and land acquisition matters. She also has experience of highways matters, including stopping up.

Compulsory purchase and land valuation

Rebecca's experience in this area has grown considerably in recent years, and includes advising on and acting in respect of the promotion of  compulsory purchase orders, bringing and responding to claims for compensation in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), blight notice proceedings and non-domestic rating. She also has experience of advising respect of claims made pursuant to temporary possession powers and HS2's discretionary compensation schemes.

Recent or notable work in this area includes:

  • Advising Network Rail in respect of claims arising out of acquisitions made pursuant to the Thameslink 2000 Order, including, as junior to Michael Humphries QC, in respect of the News Building in the London Bridge Quarter.
  • Advising and acting for BPP (Farringdon Road) Limited, as junior to Robin Purchas QC, in respect of the acquisition and temporary possession of a major commercial development site adjacent to Farringdon Station.
  • Successfully promoting a CPO in the Paddington Basin, on behalf of Westminster City Council.
  • Acting, as junior to Richard Glover QC, in relation to a dispute as to the rateable value of CCGT power stations in England.
  • Rebecca also has experience of assisting in mediations relating to compulsory purchase compensation, amongst other matters.

Local Government

Rebecca's local government experience covers:

  • Local Authority land acquisition, disposal and regeneration
  • Application of local authority powers, including the Localism Act power of general competence
  • Notable work includes advising Westminster City Council in relation to its multi-million pound Housing Renewal Strategy, which aimed to regenerate five estates within the London Borough.
  • "She's extremely well organised, extremely strategic and someone who does a great job explaining quite complex issues to clients."  Chambers and Partners 2018

  • "A standout at the junior end of the Bar, she's an old head on young shoulders, who possesses brilliant judgement."  Chambers and Partners 2018

  • "She is very, very good and down-to-earth and detailed." Chambers and Partners 2017

Publications

Rebecca regularly contributes to textbooks and journals. Published work has included contributions to:

Associations

  • Committee Member, PEBA and the CPA
  • Member of NIPA
  • Member of the Steering Committee, YCPA
  • Former Secretary, Inner Temple Mooting Society
  • Former President and Secretary, Sidney Sussex Law Society

Qualifications

  • Exhibitioner of the Inner Temple; recipient of the Michael Hodges Benefactors Award
  • BVC, College of Law
  • MA (Cantab) Law; Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

Prior to coming to the Bar, Rebecca worked for Volkswagen Group UK, liaising with management across the five main brands (Audi, VW, Skoda, SEAT, and VW Commercial Vehicles) during the most difficult trading conditions of recent times. As a result, Rebecca has a keen understanding of commercial needs and pressures, and aims always to bring this to her advice.