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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.

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

Appeal Allowed and Outline Permission Granted following Previous Determination of Appeal and Subsequent Quashing by High Court

Cooper Estates Strategic Land Limited’s appeal against Wokingham Borough Council has been allowed and outline permission for 57 residential dwellings granted.  This follows a previous determination of the appeal, which was quashed by the High Court on 21 July 2017.  The Inspector’s decision letter raises a number of interesting points. Read more

Emyr Jones

Emyr Jones Joins FTB

FTB is delighted to announce that Emyr Jones is joining Chambers as a tenant with immediate effect. Emyr was called to the Bar in 1999 and has practised in Cardiff until joining FTB. Before coming to the Bar he gained a first in PPE at Jesus College, Oxford and was a lecturer at Keble College whilst undertaking research in political philosophy.  Read more

Gary Grant, licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Modern Slavery Appeal Summarily Dismissed for Non-Compliance with Court Directions

In a rare procedural step, Hastings Magistrates’ Court has summarily dismissed an appeal against the revocation of a premises licence following the failure by the Appellant to comply with Court directions requiring him to serve his evidence on the Respondent, Rother District Council. The case highlights a novel yet effective procedure open to licensing authorities faced with recalcitrant appellants abusing their statutory right to appeal licensing decisions in the magistrates’ courts.  Read more

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

Mark Hill QC Addresses G20 Interfaith Forum in Buenos Aires

Professor Mark Hill QC is concluding a short series of lectures in South America. It began in Rio de Janeiro for the conference of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies of which he is Vice-President. Thereafter he attended a symposium at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in Sao Paulo, and gave a guest lecture on Religious Freedom in the United Kingdom, at Uberlandia University, Brazil at the invitation of Professor Rodrigo Vitoria Souza Alves. His visit now concludes in  Buenos Aires at G20 Interfaith Forum. Argentina currently chairs the G20 and the Interfaith Forum is designed to explore religious contributions towards sustainable development. Lord Williams of Oystermouth, formerly Archbishop of Canterbury, opened the Forum with a powerful theological reflection on the centrality human dignity. Mark was charged with leading the a cohort focussing on religion in the workplace, drawing recommendations for the G20 governments on ensuring reasonable accommodation. The expert panel also included Carlo Custer, Former Secretary General, World Confederation of Labour, Argentina, Professor Richard Foltin, Senior Scholar, Religious Freedom Center, Washington DC, and Juan Martin Vives, Universidad Adventista Del Plata, Argentina. Further details . Further details here. Read more

Douglas Edwards QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Inspector Orders Demolition of New house

An Inspector has upheld an enforcement notice requiring demolition of a large new detached house in the Hertfordshire countryside. Planning permission had been granted for erection of the new dwelling on the site. However, the footprint of the dwelling, as it was constructed, was adjusted, without consent, so as to be closer to the boundary with an adjoining property. The development site was also re-profiled and raised without approval. The dwelling, as it had been constructed, was considered to have substantially adverse effect on the living conditions of adjoining occupiers. After a lengthy process of litigation by adjoining occupiers, including the quashing of an earlier decision letter, the matter eventually came to a head at an enforcement appeal. The Inspector in his decision letter dismissed the appeal, and upheld the notice. The decision letter, and the background to the appeal, is a salutary reminder of the hazards of a developer departing from the details approved through a planning permission without first securing approval. Read more

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

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Grants Development Consent for the Eggborough Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (“CCGT”) Generating Station

On 20 September 2018 the Secretary of State granted development consent to Eggborough Power Limited for the construction of the Eggborough Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Generating Station on land located at the existing Eggborough Coal-Fired Power Station site near Selby in North Yorkshire. The new power station will have a gross output capacity of up to 2,500 megawatts and be capable of supplying the electricity needs of around 2 million homes. A new underground gas pipeline will be constructed to the north of the power station to connect it to the national gas transmission system. The new generating station will connect to the national grid through the existing substation which currently serves the coal-fired generating station. Read more

Gregory Jones QC

High Court Quashes Planning Permission for Energy Storage Facility Following Environmental Impact Assessment Errors Regarding Major Development

R (oao Kenneth Ross) v East Hampshire District Council and Anesco Limited (Case No.: CO/2073/2018) Read more

Gregory Jones QC

Back Garden Development Rejected: Emerging Conservation Area is Non Designated Heritage Asset

A proposal for 4 three storey three bedroomed houses in part of a back garden at the rear of No 45 Lewisham Park (with access onto Fordyce Road) in Lewisham has been rejected on appeal.  The applicants had claimed that following the sub division of the garden and sale of the house facing onto the Park along with the front part of the back garden to third parties that the rear part of the back garden sold to the appellant was no longer in a garden use.  Lewisham officers recommended the scheme for approval.  At the committee meeting, following written and oral submissions by both the Lewisham Park (Crescent) Residents’ Association and the appellant’s consultants, members unanimously refused permission.   The appellant appealed seeking the matter to be determined by written representations.  The inspectorate directed the appeal to be by way of hearing.  Before the hearing the appellant changed its position and accepted for the purposes of the appeal only that the lawful use of the land was as garden but that it no longer had a garden function or characteristics.  The inspector concluded: Read more

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

Aldeburgh Brickfields AONB Inquiry Closes

The inquiry on the appeal brought by M S Oakes Ltd against Suffolk Coastal District Council’s refusal of planning permission for 43 dwellings on a former brickworks site in the AONB in Aldeburgh has closed after six days of evidence and argument. Planning permission was refused contrary to officers’ recommendation on landscape and design grounds.  Arguments included whether the proposals involved “major development” in the AONB within the meaning of footnote 55 of the revised NPPF and whether the Council could demonstrate a five year housing supply calculated in accordance with the terms of the new NPPF. Read more

Douglas Edwards QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Local Plans for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Found Sound

Inspectors appointed to examine the local plans for Cambridge City and for South Cambridgeshire District have issued their reports, following a joint examination, and have found both plans to be sound. The examination process, which lasted several years, considered a range of detailed and complex issues concerning wide ranging development needs of the two local authority areas and the strategy to meeting those needs. Of particular note is that the Inspectors found sound the use of the Liverpool method for addressing unmet housing need and the use of a joint housing trajectory, covering both local authority areas. Douglas Edwards QC was instructed to represent Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council at the joint examination. Read more