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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.

Gerald Gouriet QC
Charles Holland, licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Uber Appeal

Judgment in the appeal by Uber (“ULL”) against Transport for London’s refusal to renew its PHV operator’s licence was given on 26 June 2018. Uber was given a licence for a limited ‘probationary’ period of 15 months, subject to a schedule of new conditions. Read more

Isabella Tafur, planning law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Charles Streeten, planning barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Appeal Upheld Against Noise Abatement Notice

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court has upheld an appeal against a noise abatement notice issued by Westminster Council for an alleged statutory nuisance created by the playing of ‘loud amplified music and speech’ at a domestic property. The allegation of statutory nuisance was based on the subjective judgment of an environmental health officer having observed a single incident of noise for a period of 15 minutes. While it is not a requirement of the Environmental Health Act 1990, the Judge was critical of the Council for not taking any noise recordings of the incident. Read more

Isabella Tafur, planning law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Sarah Sackman, public, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

High Court Quashes Permission for 85 Houses on Greenfield Site in Canterbury

The High Court has quashed the grant of planning permission on appeal for a housing development on a greenfield site adjacent to the village of Blean, in Canterbury. The challenge was brought by Canterbury City Council on the basis that the Inspector had misinterpreted relevant policies in the development plan and therefore failed to apply the s.38(6) duty. The policies in question supported housing development on allocated sites and on previously developed land within villages. They were permissively worded and did not contain any express restriction on housing in other locations. The Inspector concluded that in the absence of any restrictive wording, the proposed development on an unallocated greenfield site was not in conflict with those policies. Read more

Gary Grant, licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Leo Charalambides, licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Ealing’s LA Confidential Loses its SEV Licence

Following a heavily contested hearing before Ealing’s licensing sub-committee on 21 June 2018 the Council has refused to renew the Sex Entertainment Venue (SEV) Licence of LA Confidential, the London Borough’s only remaining lap-dancing club. The case has attracted national media interest. LA Confidential has operated for some 11 years. In January 2018 an anonymous letter was sent to the licensing authority by a former dancer at the club. She complained of breaches of the dancers’ code of conduct, drug-taking, financial exploitation of dancers by the management, sexual acts taking place between dancers and customers out of view of the CCTV, and complicity by the door security who took bribes to turn a blind-eye. Read more

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

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