Charles is very highly regarded for his environmental work generally, and for work with an international dimension in particular. He acts for central and local government, commercial parties, and environmental NGOs. In appropriate cases, Charles is willing to act pro bono and was nominated as Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year by the Environmental Law Foundation, amongst others, for his work in this area. He has a strong grasp of EU law and the principles which underlie it, and is at home applying these principles to the interpretation of EU environmental legislation.
Examples of his environmental experience include:
Energy / Climate Change
- Currently bringing a judicial review of the Secretary of State’s refusal to give reasons for refusing to revoke planning permission for an open cast coal mine in light of changes to energy/ climate change policy following the grant of consent.
- Judicial review of the grant of planning permission for a hydropower station (R (Goring-upon-Thames PC) v South Oxfordshire DC  EWHC 2898 (Admin).
- Successfully resisting a called-in appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a Wind Farm in Leicestershire.
- Advising Hirwaun Power Limited regarding the Secretary of State’s jurisdiction to grant development consent and/or compulsory acquisition powers in a DCO for a power station in Wales.
- Appearing before the High Court and Court of Appeal in the leading case on the impact of the EU Air Quality Directive on planning decisions (see R (Shirley) v SoSCLG  EWHC 2306 (Admin))
- Struck out a judicial review of Bristol’s policy on emissions standards in R (Bristol Blue Taxi Association) v Bristol CC.
- Advised a major airport on the methodology for monitoring air quality impacts.
- Acting in a high profile judicial review on behalf of Sheffield Tree Protestors of the felling of trees in Sheffield under ‘Streets Ahead’ PFI on the grounds that EIA was required (see R (Dilliner) v Sheffield CC  EWHC 945 (Admin).
- Securing a declaration that EIA should have been carried out for the grant of planing permission for a hydropower station (see R (Goring-on-Thames PC) v South Oxfordshire DC  EWHC 2898 (Admin).
- Successfully resisting a challenge to the grant of planning permission for a green waste operation in the Green Belt (see R (Becker) v Hertfordshire CC  EWHC 1974 (Admin)).
- Successfully overturning the approach of the Environment Agency, Secretary of State, and High Court to the definition of waste recovery under the Waste Framework Directive (see R (Tarmac Aggregates Ltd) v SoS Environment  EWCA Civ 1149).
- Prosecuting and defending offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, including acting for the prosecution in cases where custodial sentences have been imposed.
Habitats/ Protected Species
- Presenting the ecological case for the Wildlife Trust at the inquiry into the M4CaN extension. Following Charles’ cross-examination, the Welsh Government undertook a number of further surveys.
- Advising in relation to and resisting claims for judicial review engaging the Habitats/ Birds Directives.
- Advising in relation to prosecutions under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Habitats Regulations 2017.
- Represented the Liverpool Green Party in relation to its intervention in R (RSPB) v SoS Justice  EWHC 2309 (Admin).
- Acted in a number of judicial reviews in which the Aarhus ‘Cost Cap’ Under CPR 45 has been contested.
- Presently acting in a judicial review in which the relevance of the Aarhus convention to the duty to give reasons is in issue.
- Advised on the relevance of the Aarhus convention to requests for Environmental Information under the EIR.
- Acted for the Sheffield Tree Protestors in R(Dilliner) v Sheffield CC  EWHC 945 (Admin)
- Successfully brought a section 288 challenge to the decision to make a TPO in relation to woodland intended for development.
- Defended prosecutions for breach of TPO.
Rights of Way/ Village Greens
- Appeared for the applicant in a four day village green inquiry
- Advised the Whitstable Beach Campaign in relation to the registration of the beach at Whitstable as a Town/ Village Green and rights of access to the foreshore.
- Appeared for Doncaster MBC in an inquiry into the modification of the definitive map.