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News and Resources

Below is a selection of news items, case notes, articles, books and papers authored by members of Chambers.

There is also a separate Archive of Inspector’s Reports in respect of applications to register new town or village greens.

James Rankin, licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Buiding

Witcombe Cider Festival Wins New Licence.

At a packed meeting of Tewkesbury Borough Council on 19/6/18 the popular live music festival was granted a licence for its new site in Brockworth. There was substantial local and police objection to the new site which would have allowed the festival an increased capacity of 10,000 people for the three day August Bank Holiday. The previous licence had been for 2250. The Council granted the licence for the hours sought, together with the new capacity. Witcombe Cider Festival was represented by James Rankin of Francis Taylor Building. Read more

Richard Honey, public and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Village Green Application Fails to Stop Development

Somerset County Council has accepted the recommendation of an inspector following an inquiry lasting almost three weeks into an application to register as a village green land at Norton St Philip in Somerset.  The application site was almost five hectares but only a small part of the application site – one corner – is to be registered.  The application was rejected in relation to the great majority of the land, including all the land proposed for housing development.  The inspector concluded that there was no qualifying use of the bulk of the site, once account was taken of use referable to defined paths, both public rights of way and other well-walked routes.  Read more

Sarah Sackman, public, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Katherine Barnes, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Planning Permission Quashed for Major Estate Redevelopment on Equalities Grounds

In a significant victory for residents of the Foxhill estate, Bath who have campaigned against the demolition of their homes and redevelopment of the estate for 5 years, on Wednesday 20 June 2018 Mr Justice Lewis handed down judgment in R (Buckley) v Bath and North East Somerset Council. The local authority had granted planning permission for the demolition of the existing estate of 542 homes and their replacement with 700 new dwellings, resulting in a net loss of 204 units of social housing. Read more

Simon Bird QC, planning, local government and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Charles Forrest, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Mark Westmoreland Smith, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Ned Westaway, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Hugh Flanagan, public and planning law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Wisley Airfield Appeal Dismissed

The Secretary of State has dismissed the proposal for a new settlement of up to 2,068 dwellings with associated infrastructure on 114.7 ha of land at the former RAF Wisley Airfield near Guildford in Surrey – which closed in 1979 (read the decision and Inspector’s report here).  Development at the site, which is in the existing Green Belt, was very controversial and was called in for determination and heard at inquiry over a number weeks in September and October 2017. Read more

Gregory Jones QC

Cotswold Local Plan and CIL Both Found Sound

Inspector, Mr William Fieldhouse, has found the Cotswold District Local Plan and CIL to be sound and policy compliant. Gregory Jones QC appeared for the District at the examinations in public into both the local plan and also the CIL.   Read more

Annabel Graham Paul, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Appeal by Way of Case Stated in Respect of Planning Prosecution Allowed

On Friday 8 June 2018, Garnham J allowed an appeal by way of case stated in respect of a decision of a District Judge to stay a planning prosecution as an abuse of process. Ceredigion County Council had brought a prosecution against four Defendants for failing to comply with three enforcement notices requiring removal of habitable structures within a forest, and the cessation of residential use. Read more

Timothy Comyn, planning barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Charles Forrest, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Inspector Recommends an Important Modification to The Camden (Torrington Place to Tavistock Place) (Prescribed Routes, Waiting and Loading Restrictions and loading Places) Traffic Order [2017] in Bloomsbury, London

The Torrington Place to Tavistock Place corridor is an important traffic thoroughfare in Bloomsbury which connects Judd Street/Hunter Street with Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road.  The Traffic Order, as proposed by Camden Council as traffic authority pursuant to its power to make such an order under ss.6 and 9 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (and which had been in effect on an experimental basis since November 2015) would, inter alia: Read more

Charles Streeten, planning barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Housing Appeal Dismissed

West Oxfordshire District Council has successfully resisted an appeal by Spitfire Bespoke Homes Limited against the refusal of full planning permission for 46 residential dwellings, together with associated infrastructure and landscaping (including a 'village green')  in Brighthampton. Spitfire specialises in 'high-quality, bespoke residential development' and promoted the scheme on this basis. Read more

Meyric Lewis, planning and judicial review barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Success in Section 288 Challenge on Interaction of NPPF Paras. 14 and 134

The Secretary of State has submitted to judgment in West Oxfordshire District Council’s challenge to an appeal decision relating to a proposed Gladman development at Cote Road, Aston, Oxfordshire. The Council’s grounds of challenge were that the Inspector had fallen into the trap of failing to consider the interaction between paras. 134 and 14 of the NPPF and therefore applied the wrong test when balancing the harm and benefits of the development, with a consequent failure to comply with the requirements of section 66(1) of the Listed Buildings Act 1990. Read more

Mark Hill QC, religious liberty and ecclesiastical law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

UK Supreme Court Addresses Northern Ireland’s Abortion Law

The Supreme Court has today delivered its long-awaited judgment concerning abortion law in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission had sought a declaration that the law criminalising abortion was incompatible with Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case was argued last October before a seven judge court. Mark Hill QC acted for the Fifth Interveners. Read more