Planning in London Bar
'Unbeatable in their field', Landmark Chambers 'given its size has the highest concentration of top practitioners in the planning field, with broad experience across the planning piece'. The set has 'extraordinary strength in depth', from in-demand silks through to junior-juniors who appear in major matters. Members have been instructed in two recent Supreme Court cases: Dan Kolinsky QC and Hannah Gibbs represented the local authority in R (Samuel Smith Old Brewery) v North Yorkshire County Council concerning quarrying in the "green belt", and in LB Lambeth v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (factually concerning if a branch of Homebase was banned from selling food); Kolinsky QC and Sasha Blackmore represented the Secretary of State, Matthew Reed QC represented Lambeth, and Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC and Yaaser Vanderman represented the freehold owner of the site. Inquiry highlights include proposed diversion of the A303 around Stonehenge, in which Reuben Taylor QC and Richard Turney represented Highways England, while Paul Brown QC and Richard Moules represented Wiltshire County Council. In the enforcement space, Taylor QC also successfully represented the owners of a RIBA National Award-winning building, the demolition of which was demanded by Islington Council, which was represented by Kolinsky QC.
39 Essex Chambers has 'exceptional breadth and depth' and remains 'a superb set for planning, environment and public law', covering a range of matters in the planning space from inquiries concerning major infrastructure projects through to Supreme Court cases on challenging issues of planning law. Peter Village QC represented the brewery in R (Samuel Smith) v North Yorkshire CC. In another Supreme Court case, Dill v SSCHLG, Richard Harwood QC represented an owner of a listed country house who was issued with an enforcement notice having sold two lead finials 15 years prior; Stratford-Upon-Avon deemed them to be part of the building. John Steel QC represents Harrow School in a dispute with its council regarding proposed new sports facilities to be erected on "green belt" land. Among the set's juniors, James Burton successfully represented the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in an appeal concerning a proposed development which would place London's last gay leather fetish club under a residential development.
For some 'the pre-eminent set for infrastructure work, with huge strength in depth for this and the related areas of Parliamentary and CPO work' Francis Taylor Building has members instructed across elite infrastructure projects and more complex issues of planning law. Michael Humphries QC and Isabella Tafur represented Riveroak Strategic Partners, the applicant, on a proposal to re-open Manston Airport in Kent for cargo flights; the site was owned by a company with plans to turn the site into housing. Gregory Jones QC's recent instructions have included the Wiltshire Council v Cooper Estates Strategic Land, a Court of Appeal case concerning the registration of land as village greens. Among the set's juniors, Richard Honey advised the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on making special development orders for Brexit-related lorry parks and customs facilities in Kent and Essex, while Hugh Flanagan was sole counsel for Heathrow Airport in the public examination of the new London Plan.
Cornerstone Barristers has 'a good range of practitioners who are experienced in local authority work', with 'strength and depth at all levels and covering all of the key areas of planning and infrastructure work'. Richard Ground QC represented Tendring District Council in an enforcement case against over 50 inhabitants of chalets, all of whom were litigants in person, who occupied them all year despite a ban on them staying for extended periods in the winter months. Also of note, Ground QC, along with rising star Ben Du Feu, secured an injunction to stop a referendum on a neighbourhood plan in the Mendips. Unled, Robin Green represented the claimant in R (McLennan) v Medway Council, in which the High Court found that the local authority was irrational to have ignored that a development would obstruct a neighbour's solar panels, while Edward Grant successfully represented the London Borough of Hounslow in defeating a proposal by the Duke of Northumberland to build on existing allotments and replace them over a Grade 1-listed Capability Brown landscape in Syon Park.
'Traditional and friendly' set Six Pump Court has both silks and juniors doing a range of planning work, with criminal and regulatory expertise to add to its enforcement arsenal on top more conventional planning work. William Upton QC represents Swale Borough Council in a call-in appeal of its decision to refuse permission for 675 homes in Sittingbourne, citing among other reasons the council's declaration of a "climate emergency". Giles Atkinson represented the local authority in LB Haringey v SSHCLG and Muir, reinstating an enforcement notice against uPVC windows in a conservation area, with at issue if the new windows constituted a development.