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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
Alexander Greaves, planning and licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Permission for Strategic Materials Recycling Facility Quashed Following Misinterpretation of Consents Relied Upon for Fall-back Position

The High Court has quashed the decision of an inspector granting permission for the extension and retention of a strategic materials recycling facility (“MRF”) at Lower Compton, near Calne in Wiltshire. The claim was brought by a group of local residents, known as the Wiltshire Waste Alliance (“WWA”), who appeared as a rule 6 party at the inquiry, but were left as the de facto main party defending the appeal following the Council’s last minute decision not to defend its reasons for refusal. Read more

Gregory Jones QC

Gregory Jones QC Addresses Law and the Environment 2018 16th Annual Conference at University College, Cork

Gregory Jones QC addressed Law and the Environment 2018 16th Annual Conference at University College, Cork.  He spoke on the recent  decision of the high court of Ireland in Connelly v ABP on the giving of reasons in planning and Appropriate Assessment cases and contrasted by the approach of the Irish and English courts.     Read more

Gregory Jones QC

India Club Restaurant and Strand Continental Hotel Not to be Relisted

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that the London home of the India Club Restaurant and Strand Continental Hotel will not be listed. Marston Properties, the family-owned company which own the building, has plans to "refurbish and update the building to modern standards while retaining and repairing the external front façade, which dates from around 1910".  The operators of the India Club restaurant had applied to have the building officially listed as a place of historic importance.  It was claimed the club had been an Indian restaurant and meeting place since as far back as the 1950s, with links to the Indian independence movement. Marston Properties opposed the listing, submitting its own independent heritage report. In reporting to DCMS with a recommendation to the Secretary of State not to list, Historic England re-confirmed their own viewpoint that “the building did not come into use as The India Club until 1964 and had no direct link” (with The India League). They also stated that “143-145 Strand falls far short of the criteria for listing on the grounds of architectural special interest”. Read more

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

Meyric Lewis Appointed Chambers' Pro Bono Champion

We are delighted to announce that Meyric Lewis has been appointed as Chambers' Pro Bono Champion as part of the Bar Pro Bono Unit's initiative to encourage barristers to take on not-for-profit work. Read more

James Pereira QC, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building

City Centre Regeneration CPO Given Go-ahead

James Pereira QC has acted successfully for Canterbury City Council on a CPO to unlock the redevelopment of an important part of Canterbury city’s town centre.  The Canterbury City Council (Land to the Rear of  7-10 St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury) Compulsory Purchase Order 2017 was made by the Council to unlock the redevelopment of the site of the former Slatter’s Hotel, located in a commercially significant and historically sensitive part of the city.  The CPO was confirmed by the Secretary of State in April 2018, following a public inquiry and a favourable recommendation by the Inspector.  In recommending confirmation, the inspector concluded that “There is no doubt that the CPO and the planning permissions for the scheme would contribute towards the economic, social and environmental well-being of the city centre, and Canterbury city and District as a whole. There is an urgent and pressing need to regenerate the site, which has been derelict for over a decade. This would repair an unfortunate eyesore within the city centre townscape, preserve two important listed buildings, deliver much needed high quality hotel accommodation for the tourist industry which is vital to the town’s economy, and introduce additional multiplier expenditure into St Margaret’s Street itself and the wider city centre.”  Mr. Pereira QC was instructed on behalf of the City Council by Christopher Stanwell and Rory Bennett of DAC Beachcroft solicitors. Read more

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

Judgment St Mary Chartham [2018] PTSR 794; [2017] ECC Can 1; [2018] WLR(D) 101

Morag Ellis QC, Commissary General of the Diocese of Canterbury, granted a Faculty to install CCTV cameras in the Grade 1 listed church of St Mary the Virgin Chartham. The proposal was part of the church’s partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund to widen public access. In her judgment, she set down principles to guide the determination of similar petitions in the Diocese. She reviewed secular legislation and guidance in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Data Protection Act 1998, deciding to follow the Government’s Surveillance Camera Code of Practice voluntarily, as well as the Data Protection Commissioner’s statutory guidance. Applying these principles in a church context, she held that, whilst, in principle, CCTV cameras can pursue the proportionate aims of deterring crime and desecration and increasing personal security, the siting and scope of cameras are particularly important. She therefore ruled that the lens should not be trained on areas set aside for  pastoral ministry, such as Sacramental Confession and healing, and that there should be no filming during services. A designated person or persons should be responsible for the security of the equipment and data collected and for dealing with any complaints. A notice should advise visitors of the use of CCTV cameras and when they will and will not be in use. The equipment automatically overrides and a condition was imposed that this should happen monthly. Taking these measures and detailed considerations as to sensitive siting into account, she was able to conclude that there would be no harm to the heritage significance of the building or its character and function as a place of prayer. Read more

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

Welsh Government Launches Infrastructure Project Consultations

WG has launched simultaneous consultations on “Changes to the Approval of Infrastructure Development” and “National Development Framework: Issues, options and preferred option” on 30 April. Consultations close on 23 July. The first document reflects changes to the law as a result of the Wales Act 2017, which will, from 1 April 2019, have the effect of devolving power to the Welsh Ministers in relation to: Read more

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

Uber Refused Renewal of Licence in Brighton

The licensing panel of Brighton and Hove have refused to renew Uber’s licence. In a heavily contested application, heard in public on 23 April, the local Private Hire trade representatives said that Uber was not a fit and proper company to hold an operator’s licence. The recent data breach in America, and the cover-up of it, had serious repercussions world-wide, including Uber passengers in Brighton and Hove. Uber could not escape the consequences of the acts of their ultimate holding company.  The licensing committee agreed. Read more

Jeremy Pike, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Charles Streeten, planning barrister at Francis Taylor Building

Court of Appeal Hands Down Important Judgment on Applications for Permission to Appeal, Reopening Final Appeals, and s 31(2A) of the Senior Courts Act

The High Court (Cranston J) held that the Council had breached its statutory duty under s 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, but refused substantive relief pursuant to s 31(2A). The Appellant then applied for, and was refused, permission to appeal. The decision to refuse permission on the papers was made shortly after the amendment to CPR 52.5 which withdrew the right orally to renew an application for permission to appeal. The Appellant argued that the decision of Raffery L.J. to refuse permission to appeal was so unjust as to engage the Taylor v Lawrence jurisdiction (now set out in CPR 52.30) and to require the court to reopen the appeal. Read more

Morag Ellis QC, planning and ecclesiastical law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Andrew Tait QC, Head of Chambers and planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Annabel Graham Paul, planning and environmental law barrister at Francis Taylor Building
Charles Streeten, planning barrister at Francis Taylor Building

M4 Corridor Around Newport Inquiry

The longest road inquiry ever to be held in Wales finished just before Easter. Morag Ellis QC promoted the Scheme for the Welsh Government. Read more