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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.

Ned Westaway, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Merrow Golden
Andrew Tait QC, Head of Chambers and planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Richard Honey, public and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Permission Granted for Challenge to Oxford-Cambridge Expressway Corridor Decision

On 12 September 2018 the Department for Transport accepted the recommendations of Highways England as to the preferred corridor area for the new Oxford to Cambridge Expressway road. The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust sought judicial review of the decision on three grounds: (1) the decision should have been subject to a formal environmental assessment process under EU Directive 2001/42/EC on strategic environmental assessment (“SEA”), (2) the decision should have been subject to appropriate assessment under the Directive 92/43/EEC on habitats, and (3) by failing to carry out full public consultation on the route corridor options the Secretary of State acted in breach of a legitimate expectation generated by the UK’s ratification of the Aarhus Convention, in particular Article 7 of that Convention. Read more

Robert McCracken QC, public, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Morag Ellis QC, planning and ecclesiastical law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Annabel Graham Paul, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Caroline Daly

Court of Arches Orders Demolition of Spitalfields Nursery

In a much anticipated judgment which brings to an end years of litigation concerning the future of a nursery and community building unlawfully erected in the disused, but consecrated, burial ground of Christ Church, Spitalfields, the Court of Arches has ordered that a restoration order be made with the effect that the nursery is to be demolished by February 2029. Read more

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

Composting Case to go the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal against the decision of HHJ Keyser QC in the case of R (Becker) v Hertforshire CC [2018] EWHC 1974 (Admin).  The claim relates to green waste operations in the Metropolitan Green Belt.  The High Court quashed permission to operate a maturation site on the basis of an error (admitted by the Defendant and Interested Party) in the application of policy.  However, the High Court dismissed other grounds of challenge to a separate decision to vary the terms on which the wider composting operation is managed, including (i) varying the condition relating to vehicle movements, (ii) varying the condition relating to site operations and (iii) altering the description of the land on which the compost could be used (on the Claimant’s argument, materially extending the scope of the permission). The appeal will likely be heard in June or July. Ned Westaway, instructed by Richard Buxton Environmental and Public law, acts for the claimant/appellant; Charles Streeten, instructed by Woodfines LLP, acts for the interested party/second respondent. Read more

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

High Court Clarifies Permitted Development Rights for Telephone Boxes

On 5 February 2019, the High Court handed down an important judgment concerning the scope of permitted development rights for telephone boxes with advertising capabilities (Westminster CC v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government & Ors [2019] EWHC 176 (Admin)). Ouseley J, allowing an appeal against the decision of an Inspector to grant prior approval for the replacement of two existing telephone boxes with a single new kiosk within the area of Westminster City Council, held that the proposed development fell outside Part 16 Class A of the General Permitted Development Order (“GDPO”). Read more

Simon Bird QC, planning, local government and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Isabella Tafur, planning law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Melissa Murphy

Grade I listed Jacobean Mansion in its Grade I Designed Garden and Parkland: Appeal Decisions Published

The old police training college at Bramshill is regarded as one of the most important historic buildings in the country, a fabulous Jacobean mansion, set within its designed garden and parkland. It is unusually well preserved. The house was built to accommodate the king on royal progress and was designed to provide royal and family apartments and included public and private rooms. The provision of either one or two full state apartments was rare; and Bramshill is only one of three houses built during the Jacobean period to have dual state apartments for the king and queen. Read more

Melissa Murphy

Planning Permission Granted on Appeal in Long-running North London Saga

Good news for the owners of a five storey building in Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area in London: planning permission has been granted on appeal, for the building’s conversion into an apart-hotel (C1). The grant of planning permission is the latest episode in a long running saga. Read more

Isabella Tafur, planning law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Confirmation of Town Centre Regeneration CPO

The Secretary of State has confirmed the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (Marketfield Way) Compulsory Purchase Order 2018 and associated Highway Extinguishment Order Read more

Morag Ellis QC, planning and ecclesiastical law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Morag Ellis QC Appointed as QC Church Commissioner

Chambers is delighted to announce that Morag Ellis QC has been appointed as the QC Church Commissioner on the nomination of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.  The appointment is effective from 1 January 2019 for an initial period of three years. Morag will continue to be a full-time practising member of the Bar. Read more

Charles Streeten, planning barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Bradley Coal Mine JR Succeeds

A claim of judicial review of the Secretary of State's decision not to revoke the grant of planning permission for an open cast coal mine in County Durham has been allowed. Planning permission was granted for the mine in 2015. However, the developer, UK Coal Mining Ltd subsequently went into liquidation. However, shortly before the permission expired, the land was bought by HJ Banks and Co. Read more

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

Liverpool Open Spaces Judicial Reviews Succeed on Heritage and Open Space Grounds

The High Court has allowed two claims for judicial review brought by the Liverpool Open and Green Spaces Society (“LOGS”). The claims challenged two grants of planning permission for developments (one a housing scheme and the other to enable a miniature railway to be moved to provide land for the housing scheme) in Calderstones Park, Liverpool.  Read more

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