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Merrow Golden

Merrow Golden

Year of call: 2014

Practice areas: Environment, Planning, Major Infrastructure Projects, Town and Village Greens and Open Space, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation, Rating, Local Government

Merrow Golden, Planning

Merrow has a broad planning law practice and regularly advises local planning authorities, developers and local residents on planning issues.  Her experience includes:

  • Representing the local planning authority in successfully resisting a section 78 appeal for a proposed mixed-use development, comprising a drive through Burger King, multiple retail units and a lorry fueling and EV station in Nottinghamshire (the appeal was dismissed on multiple grounds, see here).
  • Representing Liberty pro bono (as junior to Sarah Sackman) in their intervention in Lisa Smith v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government – a case which raises questions of significant public interest concerning discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers and the definition of “Gypsies and Travellers” contained in Annex 1 of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015. 
  • Acting for the local planning authority at a section 78 inquiry regarding a scheme for over 300 dwellings.  
  • Advising (with Richard Honey) a Parish Council on the lawfulness of the grant of planning permission for the relocation of a farm business and temporary agricultural dwelling (two decision notices had been issued, one of which was subsequently quashed via a consent order and the other revoked by the Council).
  • Advising a developer on a number of planning considerations arising out of a housing development scheme, including on the prospects of potential reserved matters applications and on the possible implementation of multiple, and overlapping, permissions.
  • Advising a local authority on an application for prior approval for permitted development (change of use) and whether a previous planning condition had withdrawn such rights.
  • Advising a local authority on the correct interpretation of a permission and its conditions, in circumstances where the underlying planning documents conflict.
  • Advising a local authority on whether a permission granted under section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 triggered liability for CIL, having regard to the exception in regulation 6(1)(c) of the CIL Regulations.
  • Advising a developer on whether affordable housing contribution could be sought on a development based on the NPPF’s definition of “major developments”.
  • Advising various parties on matters relating to viability, including the application of the Exceptional Circumstances Relief test under the CIL Regulations and the lawfulness of proposed viability reviews following the judgment in McCarthy & Stone [2018] EWHC 1202.
  • Advising multiple clients on the merits of proposed CLEUD applications.

Enforcement:
Merrow has advised on a variety of matters relating to enforcement appeals and the application of enforcement notices, including for example: 

  • Representing the local planning authority at a recent four-day inquiry into a combined enforcement and planning appeal concerning the use of a residential unit in a London borough. 
  • Representing Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland at a two-day hearing before the Planning Appeals Commission in June 2018 into the combined enforcement appeal proceedings and regionally significant planning application for the extraction, transportation and working of sand and gravel from Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland.
  • She has aAssistinged in advising a local authority on the merits of bringing a prosecution under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

She has also gained experience of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and its application in relation to planning enforcement offences, having acted for both a local authority and a defendant in confiscation proceedings in the Crown Court.

Plan-making:

Merrow has experience in local plan and neighbourhood plan-making processes.  This includes assisting in advising local authorities on their preparation of local plan documents and on the local plan-making and neighbourhood plan-making processes.  She has also assisted in the review of draft neighbourhood plans prior to examination.