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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.

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

Boston Barrier TWA Order Made

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has decided to make the Boston Barrier Order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 following a four week inquiry held in April/May 2017.  The Order provides for the construction and operation of the £100 million Boston Barrier, a tidal flood barrier on the Haven in Boston, and the compulsory acquisition of necessary land and rights. Read more

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

Important Heritage Decision in Oxford – Student Accommodation Appeal Dismissed

Oxford City Council’s refusal of planning permission for 286 units of student accommodation on Merton College’s former playing fields site has been upheld on appeal after a two week inquiry. The site lies within the Central (University and City) Conservation Area and neighbours numerous significant heritage assets including the Grade I listed St Catherine’s College, Magdalen College’s Grade I registered deer park and the undesignated Holywell Cemetery, the resting place of Kenneth Grahame the author of the Wind in the Willows.  It is nevertheless allocated for the provision of student accommodation in the City Council’s Sites and Housing Plan adopted in February 2013. Read more

Ned Westaway, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Supreme Court Requires Reasons for Controversial Planning Decisions

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal in Dover DC v CPRE Kent [2017] UKSC 79 (judgment here; press summary here) and affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal quashing permission for major development in the Kent Downs AONB. In an important judgment that reviews the obligation to give reasons in planning cases, Lord Carnwath (with whom Lady Hale, Lord Wilson, Lady Black and Lord Lloyd Jones agreed) held that: The standard of reasons summarised by Lord Brown in South Buckinghamshire DC v Porter (No.2) [2004] 1 WLR 1953 applies generally, and is relevant for environmental impact assessment (EIA) development If a party can establish a material defect in reasoning, the appropriate remedy will generally be to quash the planning permission For EIA development in particular “the provision of reasons is an intrinsic part of the procedure, essential to ensure effective public participation”, so it is insufficient to provide a statement of reasons after the grant of planning permission; in that regard the Supreme Court declined to follow the reasoning in R (Richardson) v North Yorkshire County Council [2004] 1 WLR 1920 At common law, fairness may require the provision of reasons for the grant of planning permission, despite the lack of an express statutory duty A separate statement of reasons will therefore likely be required for the grant of planning permission against officers’ recommendation for controversial development in conflict with local and national policies; Oakley v South Cambridgeshire DC [2017] EWCA Civ 71 was correctly decided Read more

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

Habitats Directive: Application to the Supreme Court

An application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court from the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland has been made in the case of a judicial review brought by Chris Murphy against the decision of the NI Minister for Infrastructure to proceed with the A6 Randalstown to Castledawson road scheme under the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993.  Read more

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Alexander Greaves, planning and licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Mark Westmoreland Smith, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

No Duty on Secretary of State to Give Reasons for Decision not to Call-in the Paddington Cube Application

The High Court has dismissed a challenge by Save Britain’s Heritage which argued that the Secretary of State was under a duty to give reasons for his decision not to call in a large redevelopment adjacent to Paddington Station know as the Paddington Cube. Following the decision not to call in the application, Westminster City Council granted planning permission for the development. Save contended that the outcome of a successful challenge in respect of a duty to give reasons would have the consequence of rendering the planning permission granted by Westminster City Council unlawful and liable to be quashed.  Westminster City Council maintained that the permissions could not be challenged through a collateral challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal to give reasons not to call-in the decision and any such challenge had to be made to the permissions themselves which had not been the position. Furthermore as the permission had been issued, any duty to give reasons for not calling in the scheme was academic in respect of the Paddington Cube development in any event. Read more

James Pereira QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Ned Westaway, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

James Pereira QC and Ned Westaway Nominated for Legal 500 Bar Awards 2018

We are pleased to announce that James Pereira QC and Ned Westaway have been nominated as Real estate, environment and planning Silk and Junior of the Year 2018 respectively. James Pereira QC was also nominated in 2016. Read more

Gary Grant, licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Southwark Wins Rock Island Appeal

The London Borough of Southwark has successfully fought off a challenge by the operator of Rock Island Bar and Grill who sought to extend its operating hours and remove the “restaurant condition” from its premises licence just six months after it was granted. The appeal, heard before District Judge Karim Ezz at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court, also raised an interesting legal issue on the jurisdiction of the appeal court to consider a licence variation that was previously withdrawn before the licensing sub-committee. Read more

Hereward Phillpot QC, planning and environmental barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Caroline Daly
Saira Kabir Sheikh QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

High Court Refuses Permission to Bring Challenge to Comprehensive Redevelopment at West Hampstead Interchange

Mr Justice Supperstone has refused permission to apply for judicial review of a decision by LB Camden to grant planning permission for a comprehensive redevelopment of land at 156 West End Lane, West Hampstead (Travis Perkins (Properties) Limited v. LB Camden (CO/3591/2017)). The proposed development includes 164 residential units, flexible non-residential, employment and community floorspace, and provision for new public open space. The site is located in an area described as the West Hampstead Interchange and identified as an Area for Intensification in the London Plan, and by LB Camden as a growth area. It is also an allocated site in the Camden Site Allocations Local Development Document. Read more

Guy Roots QC, planning and environtmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Guy Roots QC Visits ‘Pointe Gourde’

Guy Roots QC was invited to present a paper about the Pointe Gourde principle at the 6th Annual RICS/IPTI Caribbean Region Conference which took place recently in Trinidad only a short distance from the Pointe Gourde peninsula which gave its name to the well known case Pointe Gourde Quarrying & Transport Co Ltd v Sub-intendent of Crown Lands [1947] AC 565. Although in UK this principle has now been put into statutory form, it still applies in other jurisdictions where compensation law derives from UK. He was also invited to present a separate paper on expert evidence. Read more

Hereward Phillpot QC, planning and environmental barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Mark Westmoreland Smith, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Secretary of State Rejects Another Gladman Housing Appeal in Winslow, Buckinghamshire

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has dismissed an appeal by Gladman Developments Limited against the decision of Aylesbury Vale DC to grant planning permission for 211 houses on a greenfield site south of Verney Road, Winslow, Buckinghamshire (APP/J0405/W/15/3137920).  A public inquiry was held over six days in July 2016, and the Inspector reported to the Secretary of State in October 2016. Read more

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