Sarah's core planning practice spans a wide range of issues including housing and retail schemes, mineral and waste planning, permitted development rights, advertisements, fracking, planning conditions, energy and transport infrastructure. Sarah appears regularly in the High Court in planning Judicial Reviews and statutory appeals. She also has considerable experience in planning and enforcement inquiries, appearing most recently in Transport and Works Act inquiry in connection with the High Speed 2 Rail Link.
In connection with Sarah's planning and infrastructure work, Sarah has developed particular expertise in planning matters involving environmental law, including environmental impact assessment and habitats matters. Sarah acts for both claimants (including Friends of the Earth, Thamesbank and Environmental Law Foundation) and public bodies (including Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and the Environment Agency) in environmental cases. Sarah is particularly strong in cases with a European law dimension. Her experience encompasses air quality, species and habitats protection, pollution control, statutory nuisance, waste and strategic environmental assessment. Sarah recently provided high-level advice to Defra in respect of its new species licensing policies.
The most recent edition of Chambers & Partners (2017) describes Sarah as:
'a rising junior' in the Planning Law. She is described as having "a very thorough strategic grasp and a light touch" and "she's very good with clients"
Sarah's planning and environmental law experience includes:
- judicial review and section 288 and 289 appeals
- waste and mineral planning
- planning enforcement (including inquiries, injunctions)
- habitats and species licensing
- planning cases raising equalities and human rights issues (faith schools, social tenancies, Gypsy and traveller cases)
- retail planning
- historic environment and listed buildings
- landscape, open space and Town and Village Greens
- Highways, rights of way
- Trees and high hedges
- Infrastructure (windfarms, road/motorways, aviation)
- Transport and Works Act Orders
Notable inquiries include:
- High Speed 2 (Greatmoor Railway Sidings) Transport and Works Act Order - 8 day inquiry acting for Natural England, species/HRA issues.
- Cornelly Quarry mineral permissions - represented Natural Resources Wales in mineral planning inquiry for permissions for major quarry complex supplying Port Talbot steelworks;
- Granville Road - Residential development 130 home residential scheme. Represented Rule 6 Party
- Hatfield Peverel inquiry - 3 conjoined appeals for 150 homes in countryside. Represented parish council
Notable cases include:
- R (on the application of Morge) v Hampshire CC  UKSC 2 1 WLR 268 - Supreme Court authority on the interpretation of Article 12 of EU Habitats Directive (junior to Charles George QC).
- Peters v Haringey LBC  EWHC 192 (Admin) - Judicial review of Haringey Development Vehicle. Considered local authority's powers under the Localism Act to establish public-private partnership. Junior to David Wolfe QC (ongoing)
- R (Buckley) v Bath and North East Somerset District Council  EWHC 1551 (Admin) - Judicial Review of decision to demolish 542 homes. Re: Public Sector Equality duty in planning decisions.
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea v SSCLG  EWHC 3223 (Admin) - s.288 appeal re: treatment of certificates of lawful use or development.
- R (Cherkley Campaign) v Mole Valley DC  EWCA Civ 567;  2 E.G.L.R. 98 - JR of planning permission for golf course in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Case raised key questions about whether the supporting text to a planning policy forms part of the development plan (junior to Douglas Edwards QC).
- R. (on the application of Skelmersdale Ltd Partnership) v West Lancashire BC  EWCA Civ 1260 - JR concerning interpretation of retail planning conditions (junior to Douglas Edwards QC).
- Davis v SSCLG  EWHC 274 (Admin) - successfully defended s.289 challenge in relation to horse training in Green Belt.
- R. (on the application of Rungay) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 627 - statutory challenge to high hedge decision
- Islington Borough Council v SSCLG  EWHC 62 - interpretation of planning policy on redevelopment of public houses
- Eaton v Natural England  EWCA Civ 628 - JR concerning scope of Natural England's enforcement obligations (junior to Richard Honey)
- R. (Lady Hart of Chilton) v Babergh DC  EWHC 3261 (Admin);  J.P.L. 491 - successful JR regarding heritage assets and requirement to refer cases to Secretary of State (junior Gregory Jones QC).
- Jaytee (Rainton) LLP v SSCLG  EWHC 2835 (Admin) (junior to Clive Newberry QC) - JR re: interpretation of policy on motorway service areas.
- R. (on the application of Sienkiewicz) v South Somerset DC (junior to Greg Jones QC) - successful JR of unlawful personal occupancy condition.
- LB of Wandsworth BC v HMRC - (ongoing) JR challenge to indexing provisions under Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations. Representing Claimant authority (junior to Douglas Edwards QC)
- Canterbury City Council v SSCLG  - S.288 appeal. Approach to interpretation of planning policy. Acting for Defendant. (ongoing)
- Ace Airport Parking v SSCLG  - s.288 appeal challenge to refusal of Gatwick Airport parking scheme Represented successful Defendant.