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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.

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

Judicial Review Challenge to Government’s Voter ID Pilots

A Judicial Review has been launched challenging the Government’s plans to implement voter identification requirements in 10 local authority areas in the May 2019 local elections, with a view to rolling the scheme out nationally in future.  The pilots require voters in those areas to produce photographic and other forms of ID before they can be issued with a ballot. According to the Electoral Commission 3.5 million electors (7.5% of the electorate) do not have any photo ID. Read more

Gregory Jones QC
Richard Honey, public and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Conor Fegan

Supreme Court Adjourns Attorney General’s Reference

On 14 January 2019, the Supreme Court (Lady Hale, Lord Reed and Lord Kerr) handed down judgment on a preliminary issue arising from the reference of five devolution-issue questions to the Supreme Court by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland ([2019] UKSC 1). Read more

Horatio Waller

S288 Challenge Granted Permission on the Papers – People Over Wind, Habitats Directive, Local Plans and Aarhus Convention Claims

John Howell QC has granted permission for a parish council to challenge a planning inspector’s decision to grant planning permission for a residential scheme at Broden Stables in Crondall and decided that the Aarhus costs capping provisions apply. Read more

Professor Pavlos Eleftheriadis, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Court Challenge to the 2016 Referendum Moves to The Court of Appeal

A number of British citizens residing in the European Union, led by Sue Wilson, have brought a challenge to the legality of the EU Referendum of 2016. They are also challenging  the decision of the Prime Minister to ignore the findings of illegality by Vote Leave and Leave.EU by the Electoral Commission. The claim is based on the common law and on general constitutional principle. This is because the European Union Referendum Act 2015, which determines the legal nature of the referendum, says nothing about the validity of the referendum in case of breaches of funding rules by the designated campaigner and other campaigners, such as those found by the Electoral Commission in May and July 2018. The claimants argue that in the absence of detailed statutory language to the contrary, the general principles of the common law should apply. They rely, among other cases, on the Bradford Case (No 2) (1869) 1 O’M & H 35, 19 LT 723, a case which dates before electoral law became a matter for statute under the Ballot Act 1872, where the court ruled as follows: Read more

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Ned Westaway, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Permission Granted for Demolition of Buildings in Conservation Area

Enforcement notices requiring the reconstruction of three 19th Century buildings unlawfully demolished in the Coldharbour Conservation Area have been quashed following an inquiry (appeal ref. Read more

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

Supreme Court to Hear Argument on Northern Ireland Devolution Reference

On Monday 17 December 2018, the Supreme Court (Baroness Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Reed) will hear argument on a preliminary question arising from the reference of five purported devolution-issue questions by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland. The reference arises from the ongoing political stalemate in Northern Ireland, which has now been without a functioning government since January 2017. On 9 August 2018, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland referred five purported devolution-issue questions to the Supreme Court. These questions collectively concern the functions of Northern Ireland Departments in the absence of Ministers in Northern Ireland — in particular, the questions relate to limitations imposed on the functions of Departments by the ministerial code, the programme for government and the requirement to refer specified matters to the Executive Committee for discussion and agreement.  Read more

Michael Humphries QC, property development law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Rebecca Clutten, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Planning Permission Granted for National Grid’s Viking Link Interconnector Project

Planning permission has been granted for National Grid’s Viking Link Interconnector Project following a successful appeal against an earlier refusal by East Lindsey District Council (‘ELDC’). ELDC had initially refused permission for the project, which will provide 1.4GW of electrical interconnection capacity between the UK and Denmark capable of powering up to 1 million homes, because of concerns about the impacts of construction of the necessary underground cables on the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on local farming businesses, although by the time of the inquiry in November 2018 they had entered into a Statement of Common Ground with National Grid Viking Link (‘NGVL’) acknowledging that those concerns had been overcome. Read more

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

East Caribbean Court of Appeal Compulsory Purchase Decision

The East Caribbean Court of Appeal has handed down its decision on an appeal concerning compensation for the compulsory purchase of land for an extension to the runway at the airport on the island of Anguilla: Estate of Bernice Lake QC (Deceased) v Attorney General of Anguilla AXAHCVAP2016/0003. Guy Roots QC appeared for the Attorney General (that is, the Government) of Anguilla. Departing from the approach normally adopted in UK, the Court held (amongst other things) that the before-and-after method of valuation was a legitimate means of assessing the value of the land acquired and injurious affection to the land retained and that the land should be valued on the basis that it was suitable for high-end tourism development and so the Court increased the amount which had been awarded by the Board of Assessment. Read more

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC Appointed as Consultant Editor for Halsbury’s Laws of England Volume 55 Highways, Streets & Bridges

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC has been appointed as Consultant Edtior for Volume 55 Highways, Streets and Bridges of Halsbury’s laws of England.  The title is due to be published in August 2019. Read more

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

Flood Alleviation Scheme CPO Confirmed

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed the Environment Agency (Little Hadham Flood Alleviation Scheme) Compulsory Purchase Order 2017.  The CPO was made under the Water Resources Act 1991 for a £9 million flood alleviation scheme to be constructed in conjunction with a new bypass on the A120 in Hertfordshire.  The scheme involved creating flood storage areas to reduce the risk of flooding to the 72 properties at risk in Little Hadham and Hadham Ford.  Read more

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