Alistair Mills > Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC
Landmark Chambers


Alistair’s areas of practice are planning and environmental, and public law.  He is the author of Interpreting the NPPF: the New National Planning Policy Framework (Bath Publishing, 2018).  In 2019 he was ranked by Planning Magazine in the list of the highest-rated planning juniors under 35.  He has appeared in leading cases in the Court of Appeal.  He has been a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Civil Counsel (C Panel) since 2017.

Planning and Environmental Law

Alistair has been in a number of significant cases.

  • R (Shirley) v SSHCLG [2019] EWCA Civ 22 – Alistair appeared for the successful Secretary of State, led by James Maurici QC.  This case concerned a challenge to the refusal of the Secretary of State to call in a planning application for his own consideration, and raised arguments concerning the Air Quality Directive.  The appeal was dismissed on all grounds.
  • R (Historic England) v Milton Keynes Council [2019] JPL 28 – Alistair appeared for the successful local planning authority, unled.  This case concerned the duties on local authorities when determining planning applications in conservation areas, and the requirement to give reasons under the EIA regime.
  • Dunnett Investments Ltd v SSCLG [2017] JPL 848 – Alistair appeared for the appellant, led by Christopher Katkowski QC.  The appeal concerned the important question of the exclusion of permitted development rights by condition.
  • R (West Berkshire DC and Reading BC) v SSCLG [2016] 1 WLR 3923 – Alistair appeared for the local authorities, led by David Forsdick QC.  This case concerned a challenge to new national policy concerning developer contributions from small developments, and the vacant building credit.
  • R (Smech Properties Ltd) v Runnymede BC [2016] JPL 677 – Alistair appeared for the Appellant led by James Maurici QC, in a case concerning the discretion of the court not to quash a grant of planning permission.
  • Jones v Mordue [2016] 1 WLR 2682 – Alistair appeared unled for the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal, in this significant case concerning the approach to challenging decisions of Planning Inspectors in the heritage context.

Alistair appeared unled for the successful Secretary of State in (to his knowledge) the first ever determined appeal under the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses Regulations 2012.  Alistair appeared for the Environment Agency, led by Charles Banner, in the inquiry concerning water abstraction from the Test, Itchen and Candover.

In addition to major court challenges, Alistair has experience of proceedings before Planning Inspectors.  He recently represented a group of developers at the Epping Forest Local Plan Examination (led by Charles Banner).  He represented the developer at a two week inquiry into a residential-led scheme (led by David Elvin QC), and the local planning authority at the call-in inquiry concerning intu Milton Keynes (also led by David Elvin QC).

Alistair has a wide-ranging advisory practice.  As well as his book on interpreting the NPPF, Alistair is the editor of the Digest of Decisions interpreting the 2012 NPPF, and an Assistant Editor of the Planning Encyclopedia.

Public Law

Alistair has a broad range of experience in public law matters.  In the field of social security, he appeared for the successful Secretary of State, led by David Blundell, in a lead case on the interpretation of EU Regulation 1408/71: SSWP v MC [2019] UKUT 84 (AAC).  He appeared for the successful Secretary of State, unled, in SSWP v RR [2019] PTSR 19 (a case concerning whether a room counted as a bedroom for the purposes of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, reg B13(2)).  He represented the appellant in IG v SSWP [2016] UKUT 176 (AAC), a case concerning payment of benefits and EU Regulation 883/04.

In the field of immigration, Alistair appeared for the successful Secretary of State, led by Sasha Blackmore, in R (Taste of India Ltd) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 414 (Admin), a case concerning Tier 2 sponsor licences.  He appeared for the second appellant in the Iran Country Guidance case SSH and HR (illegal exit: failed asylum seeker) Iran CG [2016] UKUT 308 (IAC).

Alistair is the Assistant Editor of the Journal Judicial Review.  He has taught Administrative Law for many years, and is External College Lecturer in Law at Magdalene College, Cambridge.


Alistair graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge, with a Double First in 2009.  He obtained a distinction on the Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford in 2010.  He was awarded Outstanding on the Bar Professional Training Course from Northumbria University in 2011.

  • Eldon Scholar, Oxford University 2011 (previously awarded to, amongst others, Lords Denning, Wilberforce and Bingham)
  • Trinity Chambers Prize for Best Overall Performance (on BPTC, jointly awarded with another)
  • Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray’s Inn 2010
  • ECS Wade Prize for Administrative Law, Cambridge 2008

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Planning

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 4

Alistair Mills  – Landmark Chambers