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Philip Kolvin

Dr Ashley Bowes

Called
2013
Telephone
020 7242 4986
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Dr Ashley Bowes specialises in all aspects of planning, property, licensing and local government law.

Dr Ashley Bowes specialises in all aspects of planning, property, licensing and local government law.

He was called to the Bar in 2013 as a Prince of Wales Scholar by Gray's Inn and holds a Ph.D. in law. He brings his industry experience of being a member of a local authority,  running a consultancy and lecturing in property law to provide the highest quality advocacy and advisory service. He particularly enjoys working as part of a team with a diverse range of clients including developers, local authorities, landowners and residents' groups.

Ashley advises and appears in a wide range of areas within the development and licensing industry including, residential, retail and commercial schemes, energy projects, town-centre regeneration schemes, local plan examinations, village green, common land and rights of way inquiries, taxi, private hire, premises and sex venue license applications. He has significant experience of litigation in those sectors at all levels of court, including to the Supreme Court.

He is the General Editor of Sweet & Maxwell's Journal of Planning & Environment Law, a contributing editor to Oxford University Press' A Practical Approach to Planning Law, and an author of the planning law commentary for Westlaw's Insight service. His opinion on planning law and practice is often sought by the industry press,  recently by The Daily Telegraph  and Estates Gazette. 

"It was very comforting for us to have someone with such in-depth knowledge in this specialised area of planning helping and advising us. At the Inquiry itself our excellent choice of barrister was readily apparent. We were all very impressed with Ashley's presence, the way he supported our witnesses and his approach in dealing with any arguments raised by the objectors' barrister".

Client Allan Jones, founder member and a Director of Bryants Bottom Community Trust CIC

"Leading Junior [whose] background prior to joining the Bar shows he has a rounded understanding of planning issues." Legal 500 (2015) "Construction, Planning and Environment" (Regional Bar, South Eastern Circuit) 

Overview

Ashley acts for developers, local authorities, landowners and residents' groups from the planning application stage, through public inquiries and on to litigation in the courts.  

His recent work this last year has seen a particular focus on the issues arising from residential schemes, notably calculating objectively assessed housing need, determining housing land supply, residential development on the Green Belt, promoting sites through local plan examination and the application of the presumption in favour of sustainable development, as well as energy projects:

  • Appearing in the Supreme Court (with Jonathan Clay) in the first case before the Court to consider the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and its "presumption in favour of sustainable development" Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes Ltd  & Richborough Estates Partnership LLP v Cheshire East BC  [2017] UKSC 37. Ashley and Jonathan were successful in persuading the Court to adopt the "narrow" approach to paragraph 49 NPPF, contrary to appraoch of the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Secretary of State himself, although the appeals were dismissed on their individual facts. 

  • Appearing in a test case in the Court of Appeal concerning the meaning of "previously developed land" (otherwise known as "brownfield" land) within the NPPF: Dartford Borough Council v SSCLG [2017] EWCA Civ. 141.

  • Appearing in the High Court in the first legal challenge to the Secretary of State's decision to grant  planning permission for high-volume hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as "fracking") (with David Wolfe QC) Preston New Road Action Group & Frackman v SSCLG  [2017] EWHC 808 (Admin.). 

  • Successfully appearing for Test Valley Borough Council in the High Court to resist a challenge to a refusal to issue a Lawful Development Certificate. The case considered the complex issue of "residential curtilage": Burford v SSCLG [2017] EWHC 1493 (Admin.). 

  • Successfully appearing for a property management company in the High Court to quash a lawful development certificate for the residential use of a roof terrace in London:  Claydon Proeprties Ltd v SSCLG [2017] EWHC 1829 (Admin.). 

  • Appearing for CPRE in the High Court in the first legal challenge to a dismissal of a planning appeal on air quality grounds Gladman Developments Ltd v SSCLG (CO/873/2017) (to be heard in October 2017).

  • Successfully appearing for Braintree District Council to resist a 65 residential scheme, inspite of a 3.1 years' land supply. The Inspector accepted that the harm to the valued landscape dis-engaged the "tilted balance" by operation of footnote 9 and paragraph 109 NPPF, but ultimately found the harm to the Grade II listed chruch and conservation area was not outweighed by the public benefits of the housing scheme. The appeal concerned Land off Finchingfield Road, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex (APP/Z1510/W/17/3173352).  

  • Successfully appearing for Braintree District Council to resist a 98 residential unit, 8 self built plot and business hub scheme, inspite of a housing land supply shortfall. The appeal concerned Land at West Street, Coggeshall, Essex (APP/Z1510/W/16/3160474). 

  • Successfully appearing for Waverley Borough Council to resist a 20 unit residential scheme on a previously develoepd former nursery site in the Green Belt. The appeal concerned Land at Wheeler Street Nurseries, Wheeler Lane, Whitley, Godalming, GU8 5QP (APP/R3650/W/16/3163050) and is reported in full here [2017] 10 JPL 1208-1219.
  • Successfuly appearing for Charnwood Borough Council to defend its housing requirement against a new OAN figure in a public inquiry concerning 195 units. The appeal was dimsised on all grounds. The Inspector accepted the Council's interpretation of its Core Strategy policies and found its saved Local Plan policies to be consistent with the NPPF. The appeal concerned Land at Seagrave Road, Sileby, Leicestershire: (APP/X2410/W/16/3152082) and is reported in full here [2017] 7 JPL 769-781.

  • Successfully appearing for Charnwood Borough Council in an early test of its recently adopted Core Strategy in a public inquiry concerning 74 units. The appeal was dimsissed on all grounds. Crucially, the Inspector also prefered the Council's housing land supply evidence to find a 5.26 years' supply, securing the spatial distribution strategy for Charnwood. The appeal concerned Land at Nanpanton Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire: APP/X2410/W/15/3028159 and is reported in full here [2017] 5 JPL 562-570. 

  • Advising a group of Surrey authorities on their ability to require affordable housing contributions for developments of 10 or fewer units following the Court of Appeal's decision in West Berkshire Council v SSCLG [2016] EWCA Civ. 441, [2016] 1 WLR 3923. His advice led to one of the first affordable housing obligations being upheld at appeal on a scheme of fewer than 10 units, following the re-introduction of the exemption policy by the Secretary of State in May 2016 (APP/K3605/W/16/3146699).

  • Appearing in the first high volume hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") project to be considered by the Secretary of State following a five-week long public inquiry. The appeal concerned Land at Little Pumpton Farm, Preston New Road, Preston (APP/Q2371/W/15/3134386) and is reported in full here [2017] 2 JPL 209-230. 

  • Successfully appearing for a residents' group to resist a 640 unit residential scheme in Cheltenham. The appeal was recovered and dismissed by the Secretary of State on 5 May 2016 (APP/B1605/W/14/ 3001717). He successfully resisted a subsequent legal challenge by the developer in the High Court against the decision: Bovis Homes Ltd  & Miller Homes Ltd v SSCLG [2016] EWHC 2952 (Admin.)

  • Appearing for South Cambridgeshire District Council in a case concerning the meaning and scope of the exemption for affordable housing in the Green Belt at paragraph 89(v) NPPF: R(Robb) v South Cambridgeshire DC  [2017] EWHC 594 (Admin.). 

  • Successfully appearing for a neighbouring landowner in the High Court to quash a grant of planning permission for a gypsy and travller site, in which the Inspector had mistakenly thought the highways authority witness was present on the site visit giving highways evidence: Rees v SSCLG  (CO/2735/2016)

  • Successfully appearing for Dartford Borough Council in the High Court to quash a town-centre residential scheme which failed to provide for a suitable mix of housing in accordance with the development plan: Dartford BC v SSCLG (CO/4454/2015)

  • Successfully appearing for South Cambridgeshire District Council in the High Court to resist a challenge judicial review to a refusal to determine a planning application: HC (Builders) Ltd v South Cambridgeshire DC  (CO/1058/2016).

  • Successfully appearing for the London Borough of Brent  in the High Court to quash a residential extension scheme: Brent LBC v SSCLG  (CO/1292/2016).

  • Appearing in a case testing the relevance of an emerging neighbourhood plan to a planning appeal decision – Villages Action Group v SSCLG [2015] EWHC 2729 (Admin.)

  • Successfully resisting a 70 unit residential scheme for Charnwood Borough Council on the basis it was not "sustainable development" Land off Cotes Road, Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire (6 November 2015) (APP/X2410/W/15/3004925.)

  • Advising Danish magic-circle law firm Plesner on the first high-volume hydraulic fracturing application in Denmark by Total.

  • Appeared to promote  housing sites in the Guildford, Arun, Basingstoke & Deane and Horsham local plan examinations.

Cases

Court of Appeal to define the scope of the Commons Act 2006
04.10.2017
The Court of Appeal (Jackson, Lindblom and Thirwall LJJ) will today begin to hear three days of argument in the co-joined appeals of Jones v NHS Property Services Ltd and....

Housing scheme refused in-spite of 3-year land supply
11.09.2017
Ashley Bowes and John Fitzsimons have successfully represented Braintree District Council to resist an appeal for 65 residential units at Finchingfield Road, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex. The Inspector accepted the Council's submission....

Housing and Business Scheme Refused in Spite of Land Supply Shortfall
13.07.2017
Ashley Bowes and pupil barrister Liam Wells have successfully represented Braintree District Council to resist an appeal for 98 residential units, 8 self-build plots and a business hub at West....

High Court clarifies meaning of residential curtilage
23.06.2017
Estelle Dehon and Ashley Bowes have successfully represented the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government and Test Valley Borough Council respectively, in the most recent consideration by the....

Assessing Openness and Weighing Housing Need in the Green Belt
21.06.2017
Ashley Bowes has successfully represented Waverley Borough Council to resist a development of up to 20 new dwellings in the Green Belt in Surrey following a two-day public inquiry. The decision....

Fracking cases to be heard by Court of Appeal
08.06.2017
Jackson LJ has granted Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Dove J had previously dismissed their challenges to the Secretary....

Supreme Court re-defines the scope of NPPF in relation to 5 year housing land supply
10.05.2017
Court of Appeal approach to "policies of the supply of housing" overturned In a dramatic and far-reaching judgment, the Supreme Court has overturned the received wisdom on the vexed question of....

High Court dismisses challenges to fracking in Lancashire
12.04.2017
Judgment was handed down today in the High Court challenge to the first decision by the Secretary of State concerning hydraulic fracturing. The challenge was brought by two claimants: a....

Ashley Bowes Successfully Defends Housing Figure
28.03.2017
Ashley Bowes has successfully represented Charnwood Borough Council to resist an appeal for 195 new units on a Greenfield site at Seagrave Road, Sileby, Leicestershire. The Inspector dismissed the appeal on....

Government’s approval for high volume hydraulic fracturing challenged in Court
14.03.2017
Today sees the beginning of three days of legal argument in the co-joined cases of Preston New Road Action Group v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and....

A return to “garden grabbing”? Court of Appeal to consider whether some private residential gardens are brownfield land
09.03.2017
Today the Court of Appeal (Gloster and Lewison LJJ) will hear the appeal in Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Dartford Borough Council are appealing....

Cornerstone Barristers in Supreme Court Planning Case
22.02.2017
Jonathan Clay and Ashley Bowes will be appearing today and tomorrow for Suffolk Coastal District Council in the co-joined appeals of Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes Ltd and Cheshire....

Ashley Bowes secures possession order over 200 acre development site
31.01.2017
Ashley Bowes has secured an order for possession on behalf of the landowners to enable the expeditious completion of Peter's Village, a 1,000 home strategic residential site on the east....

Legal challenges to fracking planning decisions
21.11.2016
Last week, two sets of legal proceedings were issued challenging decisions by the Secretary of State relating to hydraulic fracturing proposals in Lancashire. Preston New Road Action Group ("PNRAG") issued an....

Government grants permission for fracking in Lancashire
06.10.2016
In a landmark decision the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has today granted planning permission for shale gas fracking (hydraulic fracturing) at a site in Lancashire. The Secretary....

High Court rejects challenge to refusal of planning permission for 650 homes in Cheltenham
05.09.2016
Mr Justice Holgate has refused Bovis Homes and Miller Homes permission to proceed to challenge the decision of the Secretary of State to withhold planning permission for 650 new homes....

Court of Appeal to re-consider statutory incompatibility doctrine in village green cases
22.08.2016

Ashley Bowes has secured permission to appeal for Mr Tim Jones, a local resident, against the judgment of Mr Justice Gilbart in NHS Property Services Ltd v Surrey County Council [2016] EWHC 1715 (Admin.)

....

Garden Grabbing Case To Be Heard By The Court Of Appeal
17.08.2016
Ashley Bowes has secured permission for Dartford Borough Council to appeal the decision of the High Court in January, which held that residential gardens outside the "built-up area" are previously....

Cornerstone team wins permission to appeal to Supreme Court in leading housing case
12.07.2016

The Supreme Court has granted permission to Suffolk Coastal District Council and Cheshire East Council to appeal the landmark decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Suffolk Coastal D.C. v Hopkins Homes and Richborough Estates Partnership LLP v Cheshire East Borough Council.

....

Council lawfully refused to consider post-enforcement notice planning application
13.05.2016

The High Court has refused permission for a developer to bring judicial review proceedings against South Cambridgeshire District Council's decision to refuse to consider a planning application. The application sought planning permission for part of an office building subject to a pre-existing enforcement notice.

....

Secretary of State dismisses appeal for 650 homes at Leckampton, Cheltenham
09.05.2016

The Secretary of State agreed with his Inspector that the harm (principally to the valued landscape and transport network) would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the "substantial" benefits of the scheme.

....

DCLG policy shift on Green Belt?
04.04.2016

On 31 March 2016 the Secretary of State granted outline planning permission for 1,500 units at Perrybrook, Brockworth, Gloucestershire.

....

Transcript now available in significant brownfield land judgment
30.03.2016
The transcript of the judgment of Charles George QC (sitting as Deputy High Court Judge) has now become available in Dartford Borough Council v SSCLG [2016] EWHC 635 (Admin.). The Court....

Court of Appeal clarifies meaning of “policies for the supply of housing” at paragraph 49 NPPF
17.03.2016

In joined appeals Hopkins v SSCLG and Cheshire East DC v SSCLG [2016] EWCA Civ [168] the Court of Appeal considered the scope of paragraph 49 NPPF, which is engaged where a Council cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites in accordance with paragraph 47 NPPF.

....

High Court holds that some residential gardens are brownfield land
21.01.2016

Ashley Bowes, of Cornerstone Barristers who acted for Dartford BC in the case comments:

....

A return to “garden grabbing”? Planning Court to consider whether some private residential gardens are brownfield land.
19.01.2016

On Tuesday, the Planning Court will hear arguments in the case of Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/4129/2015). Dartford Borough Council are seeking to quash the decision of an Inspector, which found that only residential gardens "in built up areas" are greenfield land, whereas others, in the countryside, are previously developed land (commonly known as "brownfield").

....

Court of Appeal considers what are “policies for the supply of housing
14.01.2016

The Court of Appeal will today and tomorrow hear arguments in the joined appeals of Hopkins Homes Ltd v SSCLG and Cheshire East BC v SSCLG.

....

Secretary of State agrees to quash grant of planning permission for residential scheme in Dartford
03.12.2015

Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/4454/2015)

....

Government to have final say on Lancashire fracking sites
27.11.2015
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government yesterday informed Lancashire County Council that the final decision on planning appeals concerning two fracking sites in Lancashire will be made....

Cornestone Barristers acts for local resident in successful village green application
29.09.2015
Ashley Bowes has successfully represented a local resident, Mrs Flip Cargill, to register Leach Grove Woods, Leatherhead, Surrey as a new village green. Despite their Inspector William Webster having concluded....

Cornerstone Barristers instructed on major fracking planning appeals in Lancashire
28.09.2015

Four members of Cornerstone Barristers have been instructed in the UK's first planning appeals in respect of proposals to develop wells and associated works to carry out high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at two sites in Lancashire.

....

News

Journal of Planning & Environment Law
25.01.2017
James Findlay QC, Tom Cosgrove and Ashley Bowes have written articles for the latest edition of the Journal of Planning & Environment Law. James has co-written an article on housing delivery....

Brexit: Planning and the Environment Outside the EU
06.07.2016
The UK vote to leave the European Union raises significant questions around the potential impact on our domestic legislation. EU law is deeply embedded in our planning and environmental protection regimes.....

Cornerstone Barristers advise on voluntary right to buy scheme
04.07.2016
Kelvin Rutledge QC and Ashley Bowes were instructed by the Future Housing Review to provide an analysis of the legal implications of the Government's Manifesto pledge to extend the statutory....

Inside Housing - Housing associations could be vulnerable to judicial review if they refuse to sell tenants the homes they are living in under the extended Right to Buy
22.06.2016
Inside Housing has published an article which considers a legal opinion by Kelvin Rutledge QC and Ashley Bowes. The legal opinion commissioned by Future Housing Review, states that there is....

Affordable housing policy exclusions small sites, and vacant building credit
16.05.2016

On Wednesday 11th May the Court of Appeal allowed the Government's appeal on all four grounds against Mr Justice Holgate's judgment in West Berkshire District Council and Reading Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 2222 (Admin).

....

Daily Telegraph - Protected green belt could be developed after minister's ruling
13.04.2016
Ashley Bowes has been quoted in an article in the Daily Telegraph about a landmark ruling which saw the Communities Secretary give permission for the development of 1,500 new homes on....

Cornerstone Barristers in fracking inquiry underway in Lancashire
09.02.2016
The appeal brought by Cuadrilla against the decisions of Lancashire County Council to refuse planning permission for fracking developments in Lancashire has started this morning in Blackpool. Cornerstone Barristers' Estelle Dehon....

LexisNexis Webinar - Regulatory aspects of fracking
29.01.2016
Estelle Dehon and Ashley Bowes have co-presented a webinar on fracking regulation and planning law for LexisNexis.   The webinar provides practical guidance on a range of issues including:

  • The licensing regime....

  • Journal of Planning and Environment Law - As of Right?: Where are we now?
    21.01.2016
    Ashley Bowes has written an analysis of the decisions of the Supreme Court in Barkas v North Yorkshire CC and Newhaven Port & Properties v East Sussex CC and the High....

    Local Government Lawyer - Planning Court to hear key case on residential gardens and brownfield land
    19.01.2016
    Local Government Lawyer has reported on the case of Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/4129/2015) which concerns whether private residential gardens can be considered brownfield....

    Ashley Bowes speaks at RTPI East of England Annual Planning Law Update
    04.11.2015
    Ashley Bowes is speaking at the RTPI East of England Annual Planning Law Update taking place at Downing College, Cambridge, on Friday 6th November. Ashley will be presenting a case law....

    Dr Ashley Bowes joins Cornerstone Barristers
    20.08.2015

    We are very pleased to announce that Dr Ashley Bowes has joined Cornerstone Barristers from Guildford Chambers.

    ....

    Events

    Cornerstone Annual Planning Day 2016
    07.11.2016


    Tickets are now available for the Cornerstone Barristers' Annual Planning Conference aimed at practitioners in the private sector, taking place on 7th November 2016. The day will be hosted by Cornerstone....

    West Midlands Planning Seminar (Public Sector)
    26.09.2016

    2
    Cornerstone Barristers and Birmingham City Council invite you to the West Midlands Planning Law Seminar taking place on Monday 26th September at 43 Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5LS. Aimed at local....

    Birmingham Private Planning Seminar
    19.09.2016

    2
    Autumn approaches. After the tumultuous events of this year it is time to take stock and to examine what the future may have in store for the planning system and....

    Overview

    Ashley advises and represents local authorities, responsible authorities, the licensed trade and objectors on all licensing matters, including alcohol and public entertainment, gambling, sex licensing, taxis and private hire.

    He has significant experience appearing before Licensing Sub-Committees and on appeal before Magistrates' Courts:

    Recently he has:

    • Successfully appeared for Newark & Sherwood District Council to resist an appeal against a rare immediate revocation of a taxi and private license. The appeal was dismissed with costs: King v Newark & Sherwood DC (7 April 2016) 

    • Successfully appeared for Warwick District Council to resist an appeal against a revocation of a taxi and private license. The appeal was dismissed with costs: Ahmed v Warwick DC  (28 March 2017)

    • Successfully appeared for a night-club owner to obtain the first sex entertainment venue license in Guildford in Surrey.

    • Successfully represented the Guildford Hackney Carriage Association to persuade Guildford Borough Council not to alter its fare calculator.

    Ashley has also chaired Licensing Sub-Committees determining premises and taxi licensing applications. 

    Cases

    Guildford Borough Council grants one of the first Sex Entertainment Venue licenses in Surrey
    27.08.2015

    Guildford Borough Council Licensing Sub-Committee today resolved to grant Star Oyster Limited a Sex Entertainment Venue ("SEV") license for its new premises on Bridge Street in Guildford town centre

    ....

    News

    Dr Ashley Bowes joins Cornerstone Barristers
    20.08.2015

    We are very pleased to announce that Dr Ashley Bowes has joined Cornerstone Barristers from Guildford Chambers.

    ....

    Overview

    As part of a full development service, Ashley frequently advises on property matters which arise out of the development of land.

    Ashley has experience across a wide range of property litigation matters, appearing before the High Court and County Court as well as various specialist tribunals and inquiries in the following matters:

    • Restrictive covenants
    • Easements
    • Adverse possession
    • Land option agreements
    • Boundary disputes
    • Common land
    • Village greens
    • Rights of way
    • Possession of land

    His recent work includes:

    • Successfully securing a possession order over a 200-acre site to enable a 1,000 unit strategic residential scheme at Peter's Village, Medway, Kent to proceed. 
    • Advising on use of restrictive covenants to resist implementation of planning permissions. 
    • Advising on the scope of a right of way needed to implement the conversion of an agricultural stable  to residential units. 
    • Advising a London authority on obtaining possession of land, and resisting an adverse possession application.
    • Advising a developer on access issues to land by utilising implied easements and easements created by prescription.

    Village Greens and Commons
    Ashley has developed a particular specialism in this area of property law. He has appeared for promoters and objectors alike. He has been classified by barrister inspectors as "an expert in this area of the law" (Village Green Inquiry Report, Leach Grove Woods, 2015 para.12). He is also the author of the village green chapter in Oxford University Press' A Practical Approach to Planning Law textbook, as well as a number of published articles on the subject.

    He was commended by Mr Justice Holgate in R(Tadworth & Walton Residents' Association) v SSEFRA [2015] EWHC 972 (Admin.) for his conduct of a common land inquiry and subsequent judicial review at [98]: "... I do not think that [the Claimants'] interests could have been better advanced than by the untiring efforts of Dr Bowes."

    His recent work includes:

    • Successfully appearing for a residents' group in Leatherhead to register Leach Grove Woods a new village green following a contested public inquiry. 

    • Successfully acting for a local inhabitant to scure the removal of roping excluding him and others from engaging in lawful sports and pastimes over a registered village green.

    • Successfully appearing for a residents' group in Buckinghamshire to register Bryant's Bottom Fields as a new village green following a contested public inquiry.

    • Appearing in the Court of Appeal in the co-joined appeals NHS Property Services Ltd v Surrey County Council and Lancashire CC v Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs testing the principle of statutory incompatibility as it applies to public auhtorities (to be heard October 2017). 

    • Appearing in a test case on the meaning of implied permission (Naylor v Essex CC – [2014] EWHC 2560 (Admin.).[2015] JPL 217).

    • Currently engaged (with Richard Ground QC) to resist registration of school playing fields in Bristol.

    • Advising a local authority on appropriating land to "planning purporses" in to override the Victorian legislation protecting village greens so as to enable the construction of a new cricket pavillion. 

    • Acting for a landowner in a rare claim for private nuisance arising out of landowner's obstruction of inhabitants' rights of recreation over a village green. 

    News

    Dr Ashley Bowes joins Cornerstone Barristers
    20.08.2015

    We are very pleased to announce that Dr Ashley Bowes has joined Cornerstone Barristers from Guildford Chambers.

    ....

    Events

    Cornerstone Annual Planning Day 2016
    07.11.2016


    Tickets are now available for the Cornerstone Barristers' Annual Planning Conference aimed at practitioners in the private sector, taking place on 7th November 2016. The day will be hosted by Cornerstone....

    Overview

    Ashley's energy experience includes:

    • Appearing in the first public inquiry to consider a high volume hyraulic fracturing ("fracking") proposal to be considered by the Secretary of State. The appeal concerned Land at Little Pumpton Farm, Preston New Road, Preston (APP/Q2371/W/15/3134386) and is reported in full here [2017] 2 JPL 209-230.

    • Appearing in the High Court concerning the first legal challenge to the Secretary of State's decision to grant planning permission for hydaulic fracturing (with David Wolfe QC) Preston New Road Action Group & Frackman v SSCLG  [2017] EWHC 808 (Admin.).

    • Advising Danish magic-circle law firm Plesner on the first high-volume hydraulic fracturing application in Denmark by Total.

    • Resisting and promoting wind turbine schemes at planning application and appeal inquiries.

    • Resisting and promoting solar farm applications and at appeal inquiries. 

    • Resisting allocation of Ham Farm, Steyning, West Sussex for soft sand extraction in West Sussex Minerals Plan. 

    Cases

    Fracking cases to be heard by Court of Appeal
    08.06.2017
    Jackson LJ has granted Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Dove J had previously dismissed their challenges to the Secretary....

    High Court dismisses challenges to fracking in Lancashire
    12.04.2017
    Judgment was handed down today in the High Court challenge to the first decision by the Secretary of State concerning hydraulic fracturing. The challenge was brought by two claimants: a....

    Government’s approval for high volume hydraulic fracturing challenged in Court
    14.03.2017
    Today sees the beginning of three days of legal argument in the co-joined cases of Preston New Road Action Group v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and....

    Legal challenges to fracking planning decisions
    21.11.2016
    Last week, two sets of legal proceedings were issued challenging decisions by the Secretary of State relating to hydraulic fracturing proposals in Lancashire. Preston New Road Action Group ("PNRAG") issued an....

    Government grants permission for fracking in Lancashire
    06.10.2016
    In a landmark decision the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has today granted planning permission for shale gas fracking (hydraulic fracturing) at a site in Lancashire. The Secretary....

    Government to have final say on Lancashire fracking sites
    27.11.2015
    The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government yesterday informed Lancashire County Council that the final decision on planning appeals concerning two fracking sites in Lancashire will be made....

    Cornerstone Barristers instructed on major fracking planning appeals in Lancashire
    28.09.2015

    Four members of Cornerstone Barristers have been instructed in the UK's first planning appeals in respect of proposals to develop wells and associated works to carry out high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at two sites in Lancashire.

    ....

    Fracking planning applications set to rise with new licences offer
    20.08.2015

    The UK Oil and Gas Authority's announcement this week concerning the offering of new fracking licences is further evidence of the government's commitment to shale gas production. This, combined with plans to fast-track fracking applications, could mean that local councils will soon find themselves under pressure to respond quickly to an increasing number of planning applications.

    ....

    News

    The Oil and Gas Authority Becomes an Independent Regulator
    04.10.2016
    As of 1 October 2016, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) became the independent regulator for offshore and onshore oil and gas operations in the United Kingdom. The Cornerstone Hydrocarbon....

    Cornerstone Barristers in fracking inquiry underway in Lancashire
    09.02.2016
    The appeal brought by Cuadrilla against the decisions of Lancashire County Council to refuse planning permission for fracking developments in Lancashire has started this morning in Blackpool. Cornerstone Barristers' Estelle Dehon....

    LexisNexis Webinar - Regulatory aspects of fracking
    29.01.2016
    Estelle Dehon and Ashley Bowes have co-presented a webinar on fracking regulation and planning law for LexisNexis.   The webinar provides practical guidance on a range of issues including:

  • The licensing regime....

  • Events

    Cornerstone Annual Planning Day 2016
    07.11.2016


    Tickets are now available for the Cornerstone Barristers' Annual Planning Conference aimed at practitioners in the private sector, taking place on 7th November 2016. The day will be hosted by Cornerstone....

    Inside Housing - Housing associations could be vulnerable to judicial review if they refuse to sell tenants the homes they are living in under the extended Right to Buy

    22nd June 2016

    Inside Housing has published an article which considers a legal opinion by Kelvin Rutledge QC and Ashley Bowes. The legal opinion commissioned by Future Housing Review, states that there is no legal barrier to prevent a housing association exempting its entire portfolio under the extended Right to Buy scheme, providing it adopts a policy explaining why the homes should not be sold. The opinion notes that tenants may have grounds to judicially review the decision to exclude their property.

    Click here to read the opinion.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - Are all considerations equal?

    1st May 2016

    'Are all considerations equal? A muse on materiality' [2016] 5 JPL 443 (with James Findlay QC).

    Daily Telegraph: Protected green belt could be developed after minister's ruling

    13th April 2016

    Ashley Bowes has been quoted in an article in the Daily Telegraph about a landmark ruling which saw the Communities Secretary give permission for the development of 1,500 new homes on green belt land near Gloucester.

    Click here to read the full article.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - As of Right

    1st February 2016

    '"As of Right" where are we now?' [2016] 2 JPL 123.

    LexisNexis Webinar: Regulatory aspects of fracking

    29th January 2016

    Estelle Dehon and Ashley Bowes have co-presented a webinar on fracking regulation and planning law for LexisNexis. The webinar provides practical guidance on a range of issues including:

    • The licensing regime with the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Environmental permitting
    • The planning process and policy
    • Environmental Impact Assessments – at both permitting and planning stages
    • Monitoring

    Estelle and Ashley regularly advise on major energy infrastructure projects and are currently acting in a series of planning appeals concerning highly contentious fracking sites in Lancashire.

    To view the webinar, register on the LexisNexis website.

    Public Law - The Localism Act 2011 and the General Power of Competence

    1st July 2014

    'The Localism Act 2011 and the General Power of Competence' [2014] Public Law (Jul) 373 (with Dr John Stanton)

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - Determining a neighbourhood area

    1st August 2013

    'Determining a neighbourhood area' [2013] 8 JPL 926.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - "As of Right" the current conceptual crisis in the public law of prescription post Barkas

    1st May 2013

    '"As of Right" the current conceptual crisis in the public law of prescription post Barkas' [2013] 5 JPL 495.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - Delivering Housing Need

    1st October 2012

    'Delivering Housing Need: an assessment of the NPPF' [2012] 10 JPL 1174.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - The Uncertain Prescriptive Underpinnings of the Town and Village Green Regime

    1st July 2012

    'The Uncertain Prescriptive Underpinnings of the Town and Village Green Regime' [2012] 7 JPL 789.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - The Registration of Town or Village Greens and the Res Judicata Myth

    1st January 2012

    'The Registration of Town or Village Greens and the Res Judicata Myth' [2012] 1 JPL 10.

    Judicial Review - To Consider or not to Consider?

    1st September 2011

    'To Consider or not to Consider? – the Materiality of off-site Benefits in Compulsory Purchase Law' [2011] 16(1) Judicial Review 60.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - The Rise of the Neighbourhood Triffids

    1st April 2011

    'The Rise of the Neighbourhood Triffids' [2011] 4 JPL 386.

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - Revocation of Regional Strategies

    1st February 2011

    'Revocation of Regional Strategies, a State Frontier Rolled Back too Soon?' [2011] 2 JPL 137.

    Ashley brings his diverse industry experience as a local authority member, running a planning consultancy and lecturing in property law to provide:

    • Early advice on liklihood of obtaining permissions or licenses.
    • Tailored consultations on design and content of applications.
    • Responding to local authority and resident objections.
    • Advice on conducting public consultations.
    • Promoting applications at hearings and public inquiries.
    • Challenging adverse decisions through the courts.
    • Amending permissions or licenses.
    • Tailored in-house advisory work (for example assisting a local authority prepare a local plan, or undertake a SHMAA).
    • Specialist in-house training (for example, public inquiry training).
    • Conference case law updates (for example to the RTPI annual conference).
    • UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA)
    • Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA)
    • Property Bar Association (PBA) 

    Case

    Court of Appeal to define the scope of the Commons Act 2006

    4th October 2017

    The Court of Appeal (Jackson, Lindblom and Thirwall LJJ) will today begin to hear three days of argument in the co-joined appeals of Jones v NHS Property Services Ltd and....

    Case

    Housing scheme refused in-spite of 3-year land supply

    11th September 2017

    Ashley Bowes and John Fitzsimons have successfully represented Braintree District Council to resist an appeal for 65 residential units at Finchingfield Road, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex. The Inspector accepted the Council's submission....

    Case

    Housing and Business Scheme Refused in Spite of Land Supply Shortfall

    13th July 2017

    Ashley Bowes and pupil barrister Liam Wells have successfully represented Braintree District Council to resist an appeal for 98 residential units, 8 self-build plots and a business hub at West....

    Case

    High Court clarifies meaning of residential curtilage

    23rd June 2017

    Estelle Dehon and Ashley Bowes have successfully represented the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government and Test Valley Borough Council respectively, in the most recent consideration by the....

    Case

    Assessing Openness and Weighing Housing Need in the Green Belt

    21st June 2017

    Ashley Bowes has successfully represented Waverley Borough Council to resist a development of up to 20 new dwellings in the Green Belt in Surrey following a two-day public inquiry. The decision....

    Case

    Fracking cases to be heard by Court of Appeal

    8th June 2017

    Jackson LJ has granted Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Dove J had previously dismissed their challenges to the Secretary....

    Case

    Supreme Court re-defines the scope of NPPF in relation to 5 year housing land supply

    10th May 2017

    Court of Appeal approach to "policies of the supply of housing" overturned In a dramatic and far-reaching judgment, the Supreme Court has overturned the received wisdom on the vexed question of....

    Case

    High Court dismisses challenges to fracking in Lancashire

    12th April 2017

    Judgment was handed down today in the High Court challenge to the first decision by the Secretary of State concerning hydraulic fracturing. The challenge was brought by two claimants: a....

    Case

    Ashley Bowes Successfully Defends Housing Figure

    28th March 2017

    Ashley Bowes has successfully represented Charnwood Borough Council to resist an appeal for 195 new units on a Greenfield site at Seagrave Road, Sileby, Leicestershire. The Inspector dismissed the appeal on....

    Case

    Government’s approval for high volume hydraulic fracturing challenged in Court

    14th March 2017

    Today sees the beginning of three days of legal argument in the co-joined cases of Preston New Road Action Group v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and....

    Case

    A return to “garden grabbing”? Court of Appeal to consider whether some private residential gardens are brownfield land

    9th March 2017

    Today the Court of Appeal (Gloster and Lewison LJJ) will hear the appeal in Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Dartford Borough Council are appealing....

    Case

    Cornerstone Barristers in Supreme Court Planning Case

    22nd February 2017

    Jonathan Clay and Ashley Bowes will be appearing today and tomorrow for Suffolk Coastal District Council in the co-joined appeals of Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes Ltd and Cheshire....

    Case

    Ashley Bowes secures possession order over 200 acre development site

    31st January 2017

    Ashley Bowes has secured an order for possession on behalf of the landowners to enable the expeditious completion of Peter's Village, a 1,000 home strategic residential site on the east....

    News

    Journal of Planning & Environment Law

    25th January 2017

    James Findlay QC, Tom Cosgrove and Ashley Bowes have written articles for the latest edition of the Journal of Planning & Environment Law. James has co-written an article on housing delivery....

    Case

    Ashley Bowes successfully resists housing appeal in crucial test of new Core Strategy

    18th January 2017

    Ashley Bowes has successfully represented Charnwood Borough Council to resist an appeal for 70 units outside the settlement limits of Loughborough. The Inspector upheld the Council's decision to refuse planning permission....

    Case

    Legal challenges to fracking planning decisions

    21st November 2016

    Last week, two sets of legal proceedings were issued challenging decisions by the Secretary of State relating to hydraulic fracturing proposals in Lancashire. Preston New Road Action Group ("PNRAG") issued an....

    Case

    Government grants permission for fracking in Lancashire

    6th October 2016

    In a landmark decision the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has today granted planning permission for shale gas fracking (hydraulic fracturing) at a site in Lancashire. The Secretary....

    News

    The Oil and Gas Authority Becomes an Independent Regulator

    4th October 2016

    As of 1 October 2016, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) became the independent regulator for offshore and onshore oil and gas operations in the United Kingdom. The Cornerstone Hydrocarbon....

    Case

    High Court rejects challenge to refusal of planning permission for 650 homes in Cheltenham

    5th September 2016

    Mr Justice Holgate has refused Bovis Homes and Miller Homes permission to proceed to challenge the decision of the Secretary of State to withhold planning permission for 650 new homes....

    Case

    Court of Appeal to re-consider statutory incompatibility doctrine in village green cases

    22nd August 2016

    Ashley Bowes has secured permission to appeal for Mr Tim Jones, a local resident, against the judgment of Mr Justice Gilbart in NHS Property Services Ltd v Surrey County Council [2016] EWHC 1715 (Admin.)

    ....

    Case

    Garden Grabbing Case To Be Heard By The Court Of Appeal

    17th August 2016

    Ashley Bowes has secured permission for Dartford Borough Council to appeal the decision of the High Court in January, which held that residential gardens outside the "built-up area" are previously....

    Case

    Cornerstone team wins permission to appeal to Supreme Court in leading housing case

    12th July 2016

    The Supreme Court has granted permission to Suffolk Coastal District Council and Cheshire East Council to appeal the landmark decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Suffolk Coastal D.C. v Hopkins Homes and Richborough Estates Partnership LLP v Cheshire East Borough Council.

    ....

    News

    Brexit: Planning and the Environment Outside the EU

    6th July 2016

    The UK vote to leave the European Union raises significant questions around the potential impact on our domestic legislation. EU law is deeply embedded in our planning and environmental protection regimes.....

    News

    Cornerstone Barristers advise on voluntary right to buy scheme

    4th July 2016

    Kelvin Rutledge QC and Ashley Bowes were instructed by the Future Housing Review to provide an analysis of the legal implications of the Government's Manifesto pledge to extend the statutory....

    News

    Inside Housing - Housing associations could be vulnerable to judicial review if they refuse to sell tenants the homes they are living in under the extended Right to Buy

    22nd June 2016

    Inside Housing has published an article which considers a legal opinion by Kelvin Rutledge QC and Ashley Bowes. The legal opinion commissioned by Future Housing Review, states that there is....

    News

    Affordable housing policy exclusions small sites, and vacant building credit

    16th May 2016

    On Wednesday 11th May the Court of Appeal allowed the Government's appeal on all four grounds against Mr Justice Holgate's judgment in West Berkshire District Council and Reading Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 2222 (Admin).

    ....

    Case

    Council lawfully refused to consider post-enforcement notice planning application

    13th May 2016

    The High Court has refused permission for a developer to bring judicial review proceedings against South Cambridgeshire District Council's decision to refuse to consider a planning application. The application sought planning permission for part of an office building subject to a pre-existing enforcement notice.

    ....

    Case

    Secretary of State dismisses appeal for 650 homes at Leckampton, Cheltenham

    9th May 2016

    The Secretary of State agreed with his Inspector that the harm (principally to the valued landscape and transport network) would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the "substantial" benefits of the scheme.

    ....

    News

    Daily Telegraph - Protected green belt could be developed after minister's ruling

    13th April 2016

    Ashley Bowes has been quoted in an article in the Daily Telegraph about a landmark ruling which saw the Communities Secretary give permission for the development of 1,500 new homes on....

    Case

    DCLG policy shift on Green Belt?

    4th April 2016

    On 31 March 2016 the Secretary of State granted outline planning permission for 1,500 units at Perrybrook, Brockworth, Gloucestershire.

    ....

    Case

    Transcript now available in significant brownfield land judgment

    30th March 2016

    The transcript of the judgment of Charles George QC (sitting as Deputy High Court Judge) has now become available in Dartford Borough Council v SSCLG [2016] EWHC 635 (Admin.). The Court....

    Case

    Court of Appeal clarifies meaning of “policies for the supply of housing” at paragraph 49 NPPF

    17th March 2016

    In joined appeals Hopkins v SSCLG and Cheshire East DC v SSCLG [2016] EWCA Civ [168] the Court of Appeal considered the scope of paragraph 49 NPPF, which is engaged where a Council cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites in accordance with paragraph 47 NPPF.

    ....

    News

    Cornerstone Barristers in fracking inquiry underway in Lancashire

    9th February 2016

    The appeal brought by Cuadrilla against the decisions of Lancashire County Council to refuse planning permission for fracking developments in Lancashire has started this morning in Blackpool. Cornerstone Barristers' Estelle Dehon....

    News

    LexisNexis Webinar - Regulatory aspects of fracking

    29th January 2016

    Estelle Dehon and Ashley Bowes have co-presented a webinar on fracking regulation and planning law for LexisNexis.   The webinar provides practical guidance on a range of issues including:
  • The licensing regime....

  • News

    Journal of Planning and Environment Law - As of Right?: Where are we now?

    21st January 2016

    Ashley Bowes has written an analysis of the decisions of the Supreme Court in Barkas v North Yorkshire CC and Newhaven Port & Properties v East Sussex CC and the High....

    Case

    High Court holds that some residential gardens are brownfield land

    21st January 2016

    Ashley Bowes, of Cornerstone Barristers who acted for Dartford BC in the case comments:

    ....

    News

    Local Government Lawyer - Planning Court to hear key case on residential gardens and brownfield land

    19th January 2016

    Local Government Lawyer has reported on the case of Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/4129/2015) which concerns whether private residential gardens can be considered brownfield....

    Case

    A return to “garden grabbing”? Planning Court to consider whether some private residential gardens are brownfield land.

    19th January 2016

    On Tuesday, the Planning Court will hear arguments in the case of Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/4129/2015). Dartford Borough Council are seeking to quash the decision of an Inspector, which found that only residential gardens "in built up areas" are greenfield land, whereas others, in the countryside, are previously developed land (commonly known as "brownfield").

    ....

    Case

    Court of Appeal considers what are “policies for the supply of housing

    14th January 2016

    The Court of Appeal will today and tomorrow hear arguments in the joined appeals of Hopkins Homes Ltd v SSCLG and Cheshire East BC v SSCLG.

    ....

    Case

    Secretary of State agrees to quash grant of planning permission for residential scheme in Dartford

    3rd December 2015

    Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/4454/2015)

    ....

    Case

    Government to have final say on Lancashire fracking sites

    27th November 2015

    The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government yesterday informed Lancashire County Council that the final decision on planning appeals concerning two fracking sites in Lancashire will be made....

    News

    Ashley Bowes speaks at RTPI East of England Annual Planning Law Update

    4th November 2015

    Ashley Bowes is speaking at the RTPI East of England Annual Planning Law Update taking place at Downing College, Cambridge, on Friday 6th November. Ashley will be presenting a case law....

    Case

    Cornestone Barristers acts for local resident in successful village green application

    29th September 2015

    Ashley Bowes has successfully represented a local resident, Mrs Flip Cargill, to register Leach Grove Woods, Leatherhead, Surrey as a new village green. Despite their Inspector William Webster having concluded....

    Case

    Cornerstone Barristers instructed on major fracking planning appeals in Lancashire

    28th September 2015

    Four members of Cornerstone Barristers have been instructed in the UK's first planning appeals in respect of proposals to develop wells and associated works to carry out high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at two sites in Lancashire.

    ....

    Case

    Guildford Borough Council grants one of the first Sex Entertainment Venue licenses in Surrey

    27th August 2015

    Guildford Borough Council Licensing Sub-Committee today resolved to grant Star Oyster Limited a Sex Entertainment Venue ("SEV") license for its new premises on Bridge Street in Guildford town centre

    ....

    News

    Dr Ashley Bowes joins Cornerstone Barristers

    20th August 2015

    We are very pleased to announce that Dr Ashley Bowes has joined Cornerstone Barristers from Guildford Chambers.

    ....

    Case

    Fracking planning applications set to rise with new licences offer

    20th August 2015

    The UK Oil and Gas Authority's announcement this week concerning the offering of new fracking licences is further evidence of the government's commitment to shale gas production. This, combined with plans to fast-track fracking applications, could mean that local councils will soon find themselves under pressure to respond quickly to an increasing number of planning applications.

    ....

    EVENT

    Homelessness Reduction Bill Seminar

    20th April 2017

    1

    Cornerstone Barristers invites you to a morning seminar on the Homelessness Reduction Bill. Kelvin Rutledge QC, Matt Hutchings QC and Matt Lewin from the Cornerstone Housing Team will consider the key....

    EVENT

    Cornerstone Annual Planning Day 2016

    7th November 2016

    Tickets are now available for the Cornerstone Barristers' Annual Planning Conference aimed at practitioners in the private sector, taking place on 7th November 2016. The day will be hosted by Cornerstone....

    EVENT

    West Midlands Planning Seminar (Public Sector)

    26th September 2016

    2

    Cornerstone Barristers and Birmingham City Council invite you to the West Midlands Planning Law Seminar taking place on Monday 26th September at 43 Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5LS. Aimed at local....

    EVENT

    Birmingham Private Planning Seminar

    19th September 2016

    2

    Autumn approaches. After the tumultuous events of this year it is time to take stock and to examine what the future may have in store for the planning system and....