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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.

Mark Westmoreland Smith and Ned Westaway Appointed to the Attorney General's B Panel

FTB is delighted to announce that Mark Westmoreland Smith and Ned Westaway have been appointed to the Attorney General's B panel of approved counsel. Their appointments commence on 1st September 2017. Read more

Royal Courts of Justice

Boydell Lecture Cancelled – 28 June 2017

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Boydell Lecture due to be given on Wednesday 28 June by Sir John Laws has been cancelled. Read more

Stoke’s Last Lap-dancing Club Loses Its Licences

“ST1 Platinum”, in Stoke on Trent, was the last remaining lap-dancing venue in Staffordshire. In that sense it was arguably justified in marketing itself as Stoke’s “premier lap-dancing club”, since there were no others. The club’s website promoted its dedication to bringing gentleman visitors “the finest late night entertainment in the most luxurious atmosphere, surrounded by some of the UK’s most beautiful ladies”. What the marketing blurb left out was the darker activities carried out at the venue under the auspices of its Premises Licence and Sexual Entertainment Venue licence. A robust and detailed police investigation revealed a number of highly disturbing incidents at the club where  vulnerable customers were targeted and criminally exploited under the watchful eye of the owner/operator. Read more

Gregory Jones QC

Court of Appeal Northern Ireland Reserves Judgment in Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland Appeal Against Dredging in Lough Neagh

The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland has reserved judgment in an appeal by Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland against Maguire J's decision last year upholding the Minister's decision not to issue a stop notice preventing sand and gravel extraction from Lough Neagh.  The Lough is an EU protected site and SSSI. No planning permission exists and the development is schedule 1 under the EIA Directive. The minister issued an enforcement notice in May 2015 requiring the dredging to cease the within 1 day - the sand traders appealed suspending the notice.  Extraction has continued for the last two years and is ongoing.  No date has yet been set for an appeal hearing. Gregory Jones QC appeared for Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland. Read more

Housing Scheme Allowed in Cambridgeshire Despite Lack of Affordable Housing Provision

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal brought by Hallmark Hotels (Bar Hill) Limited against the decision of South Cambridgeshire District Council to refuse planning permission for 40 residential dwellings across two sites and also made a costs award in favour of the appellant. The key issues in the appeal were 1) whether proposal would make adequate provision of affordable housing and 2) the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the area. Read more

Energy and Climate Change Policy tops the Agenda at the Highthorn Surface Mine Inquiry

Today (Wednesday 31st May) sees the opening of the call-in Inquiry into the proposed surface mine (including augur mining) for the extraction of coal, sandstone and fireclay over a seven-year operation/restoration period, and related ecological works, at Highthorn, Widdrington, Northumberland. The Secretary of State’s main issues for consideration will include the consistency of the proposal with Government policies for meeting the challenge of climate change, the sustainable extraction of minerals, the Government’s stated commitment to replace coal fired power stations with gas, and the transition to a low carbon energy future (including consideration of domestic and international policy, GHG emissions targets, indigenous coal production and the future demand for coal in meeting electricity consumption, and the potential implications of Brexit on the future delivery of low carbon energy generation). The County Council’s Strategic Planning Committee resolved to approve the development in July 2016, prior to the call-in direction. Read more

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London Legal Support Trust Logo

London Legal Walk: Advocaid Sierra Leone

On 22 May 2017, FTB will be participating in the London Legal Walk to raise money for the London Legal Support Trust.  In addition, this year, half of the money raised by FTB will be donated to the charity AdvocAid Sierra Leone.  Read more

Survey Says Saira Kabir Sheikh QC Among Barristers with Best High Court Win Rates

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC appears very highly placed in a survey of barrister case wins in the High Court. Read more

Court of Appeal Confirms “Permit Free” Obligations Not Within Section 106 – but May be Saved in London by 1974 Act

The Court of Appeal has confirmed in R (Khodari) v. RB Kensington and Chelsea [2017] EWCA Civ 333 that “permit free” obligations (ie restrictions on the ability of owners/occupiers of residential developments to apply for parking permits) do not come within section 106 and so such restrictions cannot be imposed under them.  However, where the obligation is also subject to the provisions of section 16 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 then that will be effective to render the obligation enforceable. Read more

Court of Appeal to Decide Whether Village Green May be Registered on School Land

The Court of Appeal (Lindblom LJ) has granted permission to appeal the High Court’s decision in Lancashire CC v SSEFRA [2016] EWHC 1238 (Admin). Read more