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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.

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

Shortlisted Chambers and Partners Bar Awards 2018

FTB Receives Two Nominations for Chambers and Partners Bar Awards 2018

Francis Taylor Building is delighted to receive two nominations for the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards 2018. Michael Humphries QC has been nominated as Environment/Planning Silk of the Year. Michael won this award in 2013. Richard Honey has been nominated as Environment/Planning Junior of the Year. Richard was nominated for this award in 2016. The Chambers Bar Awards will be held at The London Hilton, Park Lane on 25th October Read more

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

North Sea Link CPO Confirmed

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has decided to confirm the National Grid North Sea Link Limited (East Sleekburn) Compulsory Purchase Order 2016, with modifications requested by the promoter, National Grid North Sea Link Limited. The CPO was made under the Electricity Act 1989 to allow the connection of the North Sea Link Interconnector to the national grid.  North Sea Link is a proposed 1,400 MW electricity interconnector between the British and Norwegian high voltage electricity transmission systems.  The CPO included land and rights for cables and a converter station.  It included part of the Northumberland Shores SSSI.  The cables would also pass under an operational railway. Read more

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

Salutary Costs Lesson for Judicial Review Defendants

The Claimant challenged the Defendant’s grant of prior approval for alleged permitted development involving a change of use from B8 storage to C3 residential use. The Defendant asserted in pre-action correspondence that the Claim was misconceived and would be resisted, but failed to file an acknowledgement of service, or detailed grounds of resistance after judicial review permission was granted on paper. Having indicated a preference for a substantive hearing date, the Defendant then waited until after the Claimant had filed its skeleton argument before consenting to judgment. Read more

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

One of the First - if not the First - Decision Letters Applying the Revised NPPF Design Policies Including Paragraph 130

LB Sutton refusal on design grounds upheld. Redrow Homes scheme dismissed. An appeal has been dismissed against the London Borough of Sutton’s refusal to vary two conditions attached to a planning permission in one of the first cases to be determined on the revised NPPF’s design guidance. Redrow Homes had applied to vary two conditions attached to a planning permission granted in 2014. The result of the variation would be to substitute a full set of new plans for the second phase of the development scheme for Redrow Homes’ uniform design. Read more