Hugh has a wide-ranging planning practice. He has been instructed on a number of significant proposals, both in public inquiries and on judicial review challenges in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Hugh was ranked 12th in Planning Magazine’s 2012 survey of top-rated planning barristers under the age of 35.
Inquiry and Hearing work includes:
- St. Alban’s Church Planning Inquiry – successfully resisting proposals to convert a C19 church to residential use on grounds of unnecessary loss of the community facility, in a five day inquiry, representing the London Borough of Ealing (as sole counsel) (April 2013).
- Land South of The Limes Planning Inquiry – Successfully appearing on behalf of the local authority in a three day inquiry resisting proposals for housing development in open countryside (as sole counsel) (April 2013).
- Woodland View Planning Inquiry – successfully representing Dacorum Borough Council in an appeal against refusal of planning permission to build a substantial replacement home in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (as sole counsel) (November 2012).
- Ruckholt Road Planning Hearing – acting for the London Borough of Waltham Forest in an appeal in respect of an application for 100 homes, where the issues were viability and affordable housing provision (as sole counsel) (June 2012).
- 50 Nine Mile Ride Enforcement Inquiry – successfully representing the local authority in a three day enforcement appeal concerning the felling and change to garden use of an area of protected woodland (as sole counsel) (July 2012).
- Cigala Enforcement Inquiry – successfully appearing for the local authority in a two day enforcement appeal regarding mobile homes (as sole counsel) (April 2012).
- Shinfield West Planning Inquiry – appearing for Wokingham Borough Council in a six week inquiry into proposals by the University of Reading for 1350 homes in the countryside (2011-12). Hugh was junior to Anthony Porten QC and dealt with the witnesses relating to affordable housing and education. Other issues included: infrastructure provision; design; ecological impact (SANG and SAMM provision); landscape; and highways.
- Farnborough Airport Planning Inquiry – appearing for Rushmoor Borough Council in a six week inquiry into proposals to increase flights at Farnborough Airport (junior to Simon Bird QC). The issues included noise, climate change, and economic benefits.
Court work includes:
- EU Plants Ltd v Wokingham BC  3305 (Admin) – successfully acting for the local authority in a High Court challenge under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to the imposition of a Tree Preservation Order on a commercial fruit farm (as sole counsel) (November 2012).
- South Bucks DC v Smith – prosecution for breach of enforcement notices relating to change of use of Green Belt land to a car park. The prosecution was followed by a 3 day contested application for a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, resulting in a £36,000 confiscation order (as sole counsel) (January 2013).
- R(on the application of Garner) v Elmbridge BC  EWCA Civ 46 – acting for Gladedale Group as Interested Party in resisting the Claimant’s application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court (junior to Mary Cook). The claim involves a judicial review challenge to the planning permission for development opposite Hampton Court Palace (ongoing).
- Re Rasbridge’s application  UKUT 246 (LC) – successfully representing Swansea City Council in an application before the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to discharge a restrictive covenant in a section 106 agreement which limited occupation of a dwelling to those employed in agriculture (as sole counsel) (June 2012).
- R(on the application of Young) v Oxford City Council  EWCA Civ 46 – acting for Oxford Brookes University as Interested Party in resisting a judicial review of its new campus development (junior to Morag Ellis QC) (January 2012).
Hugh also regularly provides written and oral advice on planning matters. Examples include advising on the merits of appeals under s.288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, on the listed building regime and the service of repairs notices under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and on the advertisement control regime under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.
Hugh assisted with several significant planning cases while working as a judicial assistant in the Supreme Court:
- Welwyn Hatfield Council v SSCLG  UKSC 15 (whether time limits for enforcement action do not apply in cases of deliberate deception, and construction of s.171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990).
- R(on the application of Morge) v Hampshire CC  UKSC 2 (the definition of disturbance of a protected species for the purposes of the Habitats Directive, and the extent of a planning committee’s duty to have regard to the requirements of the Habitats Directive).
- R(on the application of Edwards) v Environment Agency  UKSC 57 (what is meant by the obligation under the EIA Directive, the IPPC Directive and the Aarhus Convention to ensure proceedings are not prohibitively expensive).