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Philip Kolvin

James Findlay QC

Called
1984
Silk/QC
2008
Telephone
020 7242 4986
CV
Email

James Findlay QC, called 1984, is and has been recognised for many years in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading practitioner in the fields of Planning & Environment, Local Government, Administrative and Public and Licensing law.

James Findlay QC, called 1984, is and has been recognised for many years in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading practitioner in the fields of Planning & Environment, Local Government, Administrative and Public and Licensing law; Chambers & Partners 2016 noting "He is very relaxed on his feet and able to grasp the detail incredibly quickly and turn it into something that is easily absorbed by everyone."

His practice also includes Compulsory Purchase, Commercial & Regulatory and Property work.

He undertakes a significant number of appearances both north and south of the border in Courts at all levels, and at inquiries. He recently appeared before the House of Lords Select Committee for the NFU and the Supreme Court for Donald Trump. He is currently retained by Guildford BC, leading a team from Cornerstone Barristers, to assist them on all matters relating to their new Local Plan. Acting for the RSPB he has recently successfully challenged four large offshore windfarms. His client base is broad, including private developers, planning consultants, local authorities as well as individuals via direct access.

James was called as an Advocate in Scotland in November 2008. He is a member of Terra Firma chambers and is Chair of the Scottish Planning, Local Government and Environmental Bar Group, and is recognised as a leading practitioner in Scotland in the Guides for similar areas of law as in England.

Key cases include:

• Trump v Scottish Ministers [2015] UKSC 74
• Uprichard v Scottish Ministers [2013] UKSC 21
• Tesco Stores Ltd v Dundee City Council [2012] UKSC 13
• Welwyn Hatfield v SOSCLG [2011] UKSC 15, [2011] 2 A.C. 304
• Multilink Leisure Developments v North Lanarkshire Council [2010] UKSC 47
• R (Sacker) v West Yorkshire Coroner [2004] UKHL 11
• Al-Ameri v RBKC [2004] UKHL 4
• Birmingham v Oakley [2001] 1 A.C. 617

"James is very quick to understand complex legal situations and advise on the best way forward in sensitive situations." Chambers & Partners 2017

"He is a consummate team player and he commands authority in a calm, quiet manner. He gives the whole team confidence." Chambers & Partners 2017

"His preparation is superb." "Very persuasive advocacy, very pleasant." Chambers & Partners 2017

"He is technically excellent and leaves the client knowing they have the best man on their side." Legal 500 2016

"He is an excellent leader with an advocacy style liked by the court and the client." Legal 500 2016

"He is very relaxed on his feet and able to grasp the detail incredibly quickly and turn it into something that is easily absorbed by everyone." Chambers & Partners 2016

Overview

James is rated in both Legal 500 (2015) and Chambers & Partners (2016) for planning. Comments in the last 3 years include: "he's excellent in court, in inquiries and on opinion work", "he has tremendous court presence and he's very decent to deal with in terms of client handling" and "He is a skillful cross-examiner. He doesn't bang on the table; he just takes witnesses apart piece by piece in a very subtle way".

James is separately recognised by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for his expertise in environmental law. In the last three years comments include: "very approachable whilst being tactical, assertive and realistic as to outcomes", "a widely respected silk ...held in high regard for his waste expertise" and "he is a strong advocate with good sense, he is quite canny".

Recently, he has promoted applications relating to retail developments (British Land), quarries (Cemex), wind-turbines (Ecotricity) and housing. He has a particular expertise in all aspects of windfarms, including noise. He has acted (and continues to act) for Café Nero. He also has recent experience of quarry and incinerator appeals.

He also regularly acts for local planning authorities on a wide variety of matters, currently representing Guildford in a forthcoming appeal concerning housing and refurbishment of a secondary school in the Green Belt.

He is very familiar with the EIA/SEA regimes, and the Habitats Regulations, for example acting in Morge litigation for Hampshire CC. Likewise, the historic environment, including several cases in or adjacent to world heritage sites.

He has considerable experience in High Court (and appellate) planning and environment work, including PCOs.

Cases

No scope for an overall assessment of sustainability unless within paragraph 14 of the framework – Barker Mills confirmed
27.06.2017
(The latest instalment in 'sustainable development' caselaw) The Planning Court (Mrs Justice Lang DBE) handed down judgment today in Reigate and Banstead BC v SSCLG, and upheld a s. 288 challenge....

Natural England’s approach to in combination impacts of car generating plans cannot be supported
21.03.2017
In a judgment likely to have far reaching implications for plan-making and development control, Mr Justice Jay has held that Natural England's advice on the correct approach to in-combination effects....

Soaring success for James Findlay QC
22.08.2016

Lord Stewart, following an 8 day hearing, has quashed approvals in respect of four large offshore windfarms off the east coast of Scotland accepting the challenge of RSPB, who were concerned as to the impact on sea birds.

....

Trump’s tilt at windmills fails: Carnwath contemplates implied conditions in planning permissions
12.08.2015

Donald Trump's challenge to the approval of an offshore windfarm under s.36 of the Electricity Act 1989 by Scottish Ministers has been rejected by the Supreme Court (Judgment can be found here).

....

Cherkley Campaign – end of the road.
01.12.2014

On Thursday 27th November Aikens LJ upheld the decisions of Jay J (who, after a contested hearing, had refused permission for Judicial Review – [2014] EWHC 3291 (Admin)) and Sullivan LJ (who refused an appeal against Jay J on paper) and so terminated Cherkley Campaign's second attempt to frustrate development of a golf course in the grounds of Cherkley Estate in Mole Valley, Surrey. On 10th November, the Supreme Court refused permission to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision rejecting its first attempt, for Court of Appeal see [2014] EWCA Civ 567 although its decision has only recently come to public attention.

....

Secretary Of State Upholds Windfarm Refusal In Stratford On Avon
03.10.2014

The Secretary of State has, agreeing with his Inspector's report, today turned down an application for 4 wind turbines which were proposed to be sited close to the M40 and the Cotswold AONB

....

New Planning Court signals its intent
27.05.2014

The new Planning Court has shown itself true to its word in seeking to provide an efficient appeal court to deal with challenges to the grant of planning permission. In the latest round of a "store wars" battle concerning rival sites in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, the Court last week refused permission to Harrier Developments (a development partner of Tesco Stores) to challenge Fenland District Council's decision to grant consent to Sainsbury's for a major food store

....

Council Victory in Cherkley golf course appeal
07.05.2014

In a judgment handed down on 7th May the Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the decision of Haddon-Cave J. It rejected Cherkley Campaign's challenge to Mole Valley DC's grant of planning permission for redevelopment of Cherkley Court and, more contentiously, the creation of a new golf course in the Green Belt, and subject to numerous levels of protection.

....

Welwyn Hatfield Council v. SoSCLG & Beesley [2011] UKSC 15
06.04.2014

Welwyn Hatfield Council v. SoSCLG & Beesley [2011] UKSC 15
Wednesday, April 06, 2011

....

Challenge to Bristol Rovers move away from Memorial Ground rejected
21.03.2014

The Administrative Court, sitting in Bristol has rejected an application to quash planning permission for

....

R (Oao Trashorfield) V Bristol [2014] EWHC 757 Admin
05.03.2014
Richard Ground together with James Findlay QC appeared for Bristol resisting the judicial review. The Council's grant of planning permission which facilitated a £200m regeneration project was successful. It involved....

Councillor ends judicial review claim over standards committee finding
04.03.2014

A councillor has withdrawn his judicial review claim against East Staffordshire Borough Council over an adverse finding of its standards committee in 2012.

....

Delay in ECJ ruling on PCO regime limits effect of failure finding - Commission v UK C-530/11, 13th February 2014.
17.02.2014

Summary: UK found to be in breach of Directive provisions requiring environmental proceedings not to be prohibitively expensive but no ruling on reciprocal caps and no comment on the efficacy of the current rules of Court. Opinion is primarily of historical interest, but does provide some useful guidance. Court clarifies that cross undertakings in damages are within the protection of the Directive.

....

Scottish Widows Pc & others v Cherwell District Council & others [2013] EWHC 3968 (Admin)
18.12.2013

The High Court has dismissed a challenge by two town centre landowners, Scottish Widows PLC and Aegon UK Property Fund Ltd, against a decision by Chiltern District Council to permit out of centre retail development, including a regional scale M&S, on the edge of Banbury. Chiltern District Council were represented by James Findlay Q.C. and Hugh Flanagan of Cornerstone Barristers.

....

Exceptional circumstances only justify evidence as to other public authority reasons
05.11.2013

R. (on the application of Lanner Parish Council) v Cornwall Council [2013] EWCA Civ 1290 involved a challenge to a grant of planning permission for some affordable local needs housing and concerned whether or not the Planning Committee had properly understood its own draft policies

....

Inspector allows a further appeal by Caffe Nero
27.02.2013
Inspector allows a further appeal by Caffe Nero, represented by James Findlay Q.C., in Marlborough and usefully analyses the extent to which weight should be given to an out of....

NPPF and out of date planning policies
01.06.2012

James Findlay QC acted for Cafe Nero in a very full hearing in Skipton

....

Morge v Hampshire CC [2010] EWCA Civ 745
15.07.2010
Interim relief pending appeal in case concerning impact on bats and badgers.....

R(on the application of Garner) v Elmbridge Borough Council [2010] EWCA Civ 1006
01.01.2010
A leading case on the granting of Protective Costs Orders in judicial review challenges to planning permissions.....

R (On The Application Of Perrett) V (1) SSCLG And (2) West Dorset District Council [2009] EWCA Civ 1365
01.01.2009
The secretary of state had discretion as to the manner in which an enforcement notice appeal was reheard following a successful appeal under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990....

Welwyn Hatfield Council v McGlynn [2009] EWCA Civ 285
01.01.2009
Possession claims and Gateway B.....

R (Park Pharmacy Trust) v Plymouth City Council
15.02.2008
Challenge to decision to grant planning permission on part Council owned land alleging breach of policy, bias, defects in application process and inadequate reasons rejected.....

Court of Appeal Hat Trick
09.01.2008
The last few days of December saw members of Chambers in the Court of Appeal in three very different cases. The cases were: 1. Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council v Ware....

Perrin & Anor v Northampton Borough Council & Ors [2007] EWCA Civ 1353
01.01.2007
Tree preservation orders, interpretation of exception provisions.....

Swale BC v. FSS [2005] EWCA Civ 1568, [2006] JPL 886
01.01.2006
Appeal against refusal of challenge to Inspector's decision, certificate of lawfulness, immunity by user of residential unit.....

Horner v. Lancashire CC & Castle Cement Ltd [2006] JPL 664
01.01.2006
Challenge to planning permission enabling burning of substitute fuels in cement kilns, whether development Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 development and/or EIA needed, further domestic grounds of challenge as to....

Hart Aggregates Ltd v. Hartlepool BC [2005] EHWC (Admin) 840, [2005] JPL 1602
01.01.2005
Old minerals permission and whether still extant. Conditions precedent and interpretation of condition, need for an EIA....

Harlow v. South Cambs DC Gregan & Ors [2005] EWHC 173 (Admin)
01.01.2005
Planning - challenge to permission to vary planning permission - proper interpretation of policy - permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been granted.....

Dowmunt-Iwaszkiewicz v. FSS [2005] Env. LR. 375, [2005] JPL 702
01.01.2005
Planning – environment - contaminated land - green belt - policy guidance - challenge to Inspector's decision - adequate reasons....

Coates & Ors v South Bucks District Council CA [2005] JPL 668
01.01.2005
Planning - gypsy injunction – human rights – reasons and proportionality....

R on the application of) v Hartlepool Borough Council & Able UK Ltd (Interested Party) (2003) [2004] JPL 1088
01.01.2004
Planning - environment - ghost ships – interpretation of planning permission by reference to incorporated documents....

R (on the application of Batchelor Enterprises Limited) v. North Dorset District Council [2004] JPL 1222
01.01.2004
Planning - variation of s.106 agreements within 5 years – planning purposes....

R. v. Monmouthshire CC ex parte Ward Estates [2002] EWCA Civ 1915
01.01.2002
Planning - land drainage - rights of access.....

R. v. Knowsley MBC ex parte Williams (2001) Env. L.R. 28
01.01.2001
Planning – environment - statutory nuisance - procedure - appeal successfully resisted notwithstanding Magistrates consented to judgement being set aside.....

East Lindsey v. Thompson (2001) 82 P&C.R. 420
01.01.2001
Planning - meaning of "owner" under Town and Country Planning Act 1990.....

Birmingham CC v. Oakley [2001] 1 A.C. 617
01.01.2001
Environment - statutory nuisance - layout of property.....

R. v. S.O.S.E.T.R. ex p. Dorset C.C. [2000] J.P.L. 396
01.01.2000
Planning - highways - footpath modification orders - evidence of intention not to dedicate.....

R. v. Durham CC & Others, ex parte Huddlestone [2000] 1 W.L.R. 1484
01.01.2000
Planning - environment - impermissible horizontal direct effect – impact of EIA Directive on deemed minerals planning permission.....

Cunningham v Birmingham CC 30 H.L.R. 158
06.05.1997
Environment - statutory nuisance – objective or subjective interpretation....

R. v. Environment Agency, ex parte Dockgrange Ltd and Mayer Parry Ltd (1997) TLR
01.01.1997
Represented Environment Agency in challenge concerning importation of different types of wastes.....

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....

Local Government Lawyer - Book Review - Cornerstone on the Planning Court
18.05.2016
Local Government Lawyer has published a review of Cornerstone on the Planning Court; the first guide of its kind to analyse the procedures and work of the Planning Court which....

Cornerstone Annual Planning Day
17.11.2015
"From Green to Blue – planning under the Conservatives" The Cornerstone Annual Planning Day, which took place on 16th November at the Royal College of Surgeons, saw a number of  planning consultants, solicitors and....

Cornerstone on the Planning Court
01.09.2015

Cornerstone on the Planning Court, the definitive guide to the new Planning Court produced by Cornerstone Barristers, is now available to buy online and in book shops.

....

Planning Magazine: The Planning Law Survey 2015
31.05.2015
Cornerstone Barristers is proud to note that 15 members of our Planning Group have achieved rankings in the 2015 Planning Magazine survey of the planning legal profession. James Findlay QC, Mark....

Planning Court opens for business on Monday 7th April
04.04.2014

Courtesy of new CPR54.21 and PD54E the Planning Court gets going on 7th April under the control of Lindblom J. Its coverage is wide and includes effectively all Judicial Reviews and statutory challenges relating to planning and environmental decisions, highways, CPOs, T&W Act matters and village green matters.

....

Store wars in the Supreme Court
17.04.2012

In a decision of significance for all planning practitioners, the S

....

Planning and Local Government issues for Wales
07.09.2009

Planning and Local Government issues for Wales
Monday, September 07, 2009

Chambers was proud to host this essential guide to the latest Planning and Local Government legislative and policy issues affecting Local Authorities at Cardiff City Hall.

....

Overview

James is ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading Administrative & Public Law silk. He is also ranked for local government law, described as "first class" noted for giving "no-nonsense, concise advice".

As well as planning and environment, local government & licensing work James has been involved in a very wide variety of other areas of public law work covering pharmacies, coroners, pensions, local government re-organisation, Council Tax and elections. He is currently advising Ofgem on matters relating to the Electricity industry.

He has a particular expertise in Judicial Review, including PCOs, and considerable experience of Human Rights litigation.

Local Authority Governance and Services
James has been recognised by Chambers & Partners as a leading practitioner in local government work for many years, both as a junior and now as a silk. He is also recognised in Legal 500.

James has advised on and/or appeared in a very wide range of matters concerning local authorities, including public procurement, social services, housing, trade descriptions, health and safety at work, local authority powers and duties, local authority constitution and internal government (including elections), transfer of undertakings, highways, rights of way, commons and village greens and Councilor conduct. He is regularly instructed by Sharpe Pritchard as agent for a wide number of local authorities.

Cases

Trump’s tilt at windmills fails: Carnwath contemplates implied conditions in planning permissions
12.08.2015

Donald Trump's challenge to the approval of an offshore windfarm under s.36 of the Electricity Act 1989 by Scottish Ministers has been rejected by the Supreme Court (Judgment can be found here).

....

R (Oao Trashorfield) V Bristol [2014] EWHC 757 Admin
05.03.2014
Richard Ground together with James Findlay QC appeared for Bristol resisting the judicial review. The Council's grant of planning permission which facilitated a £200m regeneration project was successful. It involved....

Councillor ends judicial review claim over standards committee finding
04.03.2014

A councillor has withdrawn his judicial review claim against East Staffordshire Borough Council over an adverse finding of its standards committee in 2012.

....

Breach of Procedure not fatal to prosecution
13.11.2013
The Divisional Court has allowed the Council's appeal in the case of Aylesbury Vale District Council v Call a Cab Limited. It ruled that a single breach of a procedural....

Cornerstone Barristers takes part in launch of new online legal encyclopaedia
10.12.2012
Members of Cornerstone Barristers have played a leading role in contributing to a new online encyclopaedia, launched on 10th December 2012. The "Westlaw UK Insight" is an online legal encyclopaedia....

North Dorset District Council v Trim [2010] EWCA Civ 1446
31.12.2010
The Court of Appeal considered whether it was an abuse of process to proceed by way of a Part 7 claim instead of issuing judicial review proceedings.....

Trim v North Dorset DC [2010] EWCA Civ 1446
01.01.2010
Challenge to a BCN should be by way of Judicial Review, not ordinary action. Delay in launching proceedings prevents switch to Judicial Review.....

R (On The Application Of Perrett) V (1) SSCLG And (2) West Dorset District Council [2009] EWCA Civ 1365
01.01.2009
The secretary of state had discretion as to the manner in which an enforcement notice appeal was reheard following a successful appeal under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990....

Pre-Permission costs in Judicial Review – The Queen (on the application of Davey) v Aylesbury Vale
27.11.2007
The question before the Court of Appeal was whether, as a matter of law or practice, an order for costs made in favour of a successful respondent to judicial review....

Davey v Aylesbury Vale [2007] EWCA Civ 1166
01.01.2007
Whether an order for costs made in favour of a successful respondent to judicial review proceedings includes costs incurred prior to the grant of permission unless these are expressly excluded. See....

Q (R on the application of) v Wolverhampton City Council Independent Appeal Panel [2005] EWHC 277 (Admin)
01.01.2005
Public law - Local Government - education - appeal panels - fair hearing and exclusions.....

Regina (Sacker) v West Yorkshire Coroner [2004] UKHL 11, [2004] 1 W.L.R. 796
01.01.2004
Public law – local government - coroners - human rights - extent of investigation.....

Campbell v (1) South Northamptonshire Council (2) Secretary of State for the Department for Work & Pensions [2004] 3 All ER 387
01.01.2004
Public law - Local Government - housing benefit - human rights - religion and discrimination - ultra vires statutory instruments....

Campbell v (1) South Northamptonshire Council (2) Secretary of State for the Department for Work & Pensions [2004] EWCA Civ 409
01.01.2004
Local Government - housing benefit - human rights - religion and discrimination - ultra vires statutory instruments....

Bostock (R on the application of) v Entwhistle (Dr Ian Reid) & West Yorkshire Police Authority (Interested Party) [2004] EWHC 1166 (Admin)
01.01.2004
Public law - Local Government - police pensions - medical referee's decision - adequacy of decision letter....

Al-Ameri v Kensington and Chelsea Royal London Borough Council [2004] UKHL 4, [2004] 2 W.L.R. 354
01.01.2004
Public law - Local Government - Housing - immigration and asylum - asylum seekers - homeless persons & local connection....

R (On the application of KW) v (1) SENT & ROCHDALE MBC 2003 ELR 556
01.01.2003
Public law - Local Government – education law - requirements as to placement at special school - whether need to fund residential placement....

Elliot (R on the application of) v Electoral Commission [2003] EWHC 395 Admin
01.01.2003
Public law - Local Government – electoral law - Election boundaries - delay in seeking relief....

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....

Planning Magazine: The Planning Law Survey 2015
31.05.2015
Cornerstone Barristers is proud to note that 15 members of our Planning Group have achieved rankings in the 2015 Planning Magazine survey of the planning legal profession. James Findlay QC, Mark....

Overview

James is recognised in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading licensing silk. Comments in the last three years include: – "a leader in his field" and "prized ... for his wide-ranging and detailed knowledge of licensing law and his ability to tailor his approach to the needs of the client" and "an intelligent and courteous advocate, who is softly spoken but persuasive".

He has undertaken a significant number of cases for Westminster City Council, and had significant success in upholding its Stress Area Policies under the Licensing Act 2003. He has acted for a wide range of private clients, other local and police authorities, e.g. Nottingham, Essex and Cambridge Police.

He has expertise in gambling and betting as well as entertainment licensing, including sex licensing.

He has undertaken extensive work involving hackney carriages and private hire vehicles both for the trade and authorities. He was invited as an expert to the Law Commission working party considering the issue of reform of the statutory framework for such vehicles. He appeared in the recent Call a Cab case for the successful appellant.

Cases

Cherkley Campaign – end of the road.
01.12.2014

On Thursday 27th November Aikens LJ upheld the decisions of Jay J (who, after a contested hearing, had refused permission for Judicial Review – [2014] EWHC 3291 (Admin)) and Sullivan LJ (who refused an appeal against Jay J on paper) and so terminated Cherkley Campaign's second attempt to frustrate development of a golf course in the grounds of Cherkley Estate in Mole Valley, Surrey. On 10th November, the Supreme Court refused permission to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision rejecting its first attempt, for Court of Appeal see [2014] EWCA Civ 567 although its decision has only recently come to public attention.

....

Scottish Widows Pc & others v Cherwell District Council & others [2013] EWHC 3968 (Admin)
18.12.2013

The High Court has dismissed a challenge by two town centre landowners, Scottish Widows PLC and Aegon UK Property Fund Ltd, against a decision by Chiltern District Council to permit out of centre retail development, including a regional scale M&S, on the edge of Banbury. Chiltern District Council were represented by James Findlay Q.C. and Hugh Flanagan of Cornerstone Barristers.

....

Breach of Procedure not fatal to prosecution
13.11.2013
The Divisional Court has allowed the Council's appeal in the case of Aylesbury Vale District Council v Call a Cab Limited. It ruled that a single breach of a procedural....

(R on the application of) v Teignbrige District Council [2008] EWHC 1397 (Admin)
01.01.2008
Challenge to a decision to delimit numbers of taxis, defeated after a contested permission hearing.....

Key Cabs Limited v Plymouth City Council [2007] EWHC 2837 (Admin), [2008] RTR 11
01.01.2007
Hackney carriage licensing, meaning of requisition, whether an identifiable vehicle needed....

Sardar & others v. Watford BC [2006] EWHC 1590 (QB)
01.01.2006
Licensing – taxi cab licensing....

Brentwood Borough Council v Gladen (Andrew Ernest) [2005] RTR 12
01.01.2005
Licensing - taxi cabs - private hire licensing - requirement for an operator's licence.....

News

Taxis, minicabs and mobile apps: Law Commission publishes controversial proposals for reform of taxi and private hire regulation
27.05.2014
The Law Commission has finally published its recommendations for the reform of the law relating to taxis and private hire services, write Jack Parker and Rory Clarke. Against the background of....

Cornerstone Barristers appointed by Metropolitan Police to panel of Counsel
01.03.2013
Cornerstone Barristers are delighted to announce that the following members have been appointed by the Metropolitan Police to a panel of counsel to represent and advise them in licensing matters. These....

Overview

James has experience of building disputes, professional negligence claims against solicitors/surveyors, arbitrations and general contract work ranging from disputes about oil wells in Azerbaijan to fake Arsenal football shirts.

James has also conducted a number of high value arbitrations and appeared in several mediations.

He has undertaken a number of cases concerning pharmaceutical licensing and police pensions and has in the past appeared before a number of professional disciplinary tribunals as well as a number of vehicle licensing matters.

Cases

Scottish Widows Pc & others v Cherwell District Council & others [2013] EWHC 3968 (Admin)
18.12.2013

The High Court has dismissed a challenge by two town centre landowners, Scottish Widows PLC and Aegon UK Property Fund Ltd, against a decision by Chiltern District Council to permit out of centre retail development, including a regional scale M&S, on the edge of Banbury. Chiltern District Council were represented by James Findlay Q.C. and Hugh Flanagan of Cornerstone Barristers.

....

Overview

As part of his local government housing and planning work and in its own right, James advises on all aspects of property matters, including tenancies, rights of way, easements, commons and village greens.

He has particular experience in Compulsory Purchase work, including compensation work. Recently he has appeared for the NFU on the HS2 Bill raising a large and varied number of such issues arising out of the compulsory purchase of large areas of farmland and has acted for landowners seeking compensation for loss of development opportunity by reason of gas pipelines and electricity lines.

Cases

Birmingham CC v. Oakley [2001] 1 A.C. 617
01.01.2001
Environment - statutory nuisance - layout of property.....

Overview

James has a particular expertise in all aspects of windfarms. He recently acted for RSPB in an 8 day hearing in respect of four large offshore windfarms off the east coast of Scotland, which led to the consents being quashed.  Click here for further details.

Cases

Soaring success for James Findlay QC
22.08.2016

Lord Stewart, following an 8 day hearing, has quashed approvals in respect of four large offshore windfarms off the east coast of Scotland accepting the challenge of RSPB, who were concerned as to the impact on sea birds.

....

Trump’s tilt at windmills fails: Carnwath contemplates implied conditions in planning permissions
12.08.2015

Donald Trump's challenge to the approval of an offshore windfarm under s.36 of the Electricity Act 1989 by Scottish Ministers has been rejected by the Supreme Court (Judgment can be found here).

....

Secretary Of State Upholds Windfarm Refusal In Stratford On Avon
03.10.2014

The Secretary of State has, agreeing with his Inspector's report, today turned down an application for 4 wind turbines which were proposed to be sited close to the M40 and the Cotswold AONB

....

Cornerstone on the Planning Court

1st September 2015

Cornerstone on the Planning Court, the definitive guide to the new Planning Court produced by Cornerstone Barristers, is now available to buy online and in book shops.

Edited by Tom Cosgrove and written by members of the Cornerstone Planning Team, the guide is the first of its kind to analyse the procedures and work of the Planning Court which was introduced in April 2014.

Designed to be practical and accessible, it is the essential reference for all those who are involved in bringing or defending claims in the Court, and those who have an interest in the broad range of claims that now fall within the Court's remit. The guide will be of particular use to those instructing solicitors and barristers in planning related matters such as planning consultancies, development companies, pressure groups and individuals, as well as solicitors, professional planning bodies and local authorities.

Contributors to Cornerstone on the Planning Court include Michael Bedford QC, Josef Cannon, Estelle Dehon, Emma Dring, James Findlay QC, Robin Green, Mark Lowe QC, Jack Parker, Clare Parry, Asitha Ranatunga and Robert Williams.

For further information on Cornerstone on the Planning Court or to purchase a copy, click here.

Cornerstone on Councillors' Conduct

1st September 2015

Edited by Philip Kolvin QC, Head of Cornerstone Barristers, and written by members of Chambers, Cornerstone on Councillors' Conduct identifies and explains the standards that govern the conduct of those elected to Local Government in England and Wales.

Contributors to Cornerstone on Councillors' Conduct include: James Findlay QC, Philip Coppel QC, Robin Green, Harriet Townsend, Wayne Beglan, Damien Welfare, Estelle Dehon, Ryan Kohli, Robert Williams, Emma Dring, Zoe Whittington, Jack Parker and Matt Lewin.

The book has been designed as a readable, practical guide for all those involved in local government, including officers, councillors, monitoring officers and lawyers.

With the foreword kindly contributed by Cllr David Sparks, the Chairman of the Local Government Association, topics considered within the guide include:

  • The standards regime
  • Councillors' conduct and decision-making
  • Complaints procedure
  • Challenging council decisions
  • Offences

Reviews include:

Cornerstone Barristers has produced a "book which is not only extremely useful from a professional standpoint, but it is also eminently readable." It "is not just a handy reference book to Councillors' conduct: it is an indispensable guide and should be the first port of call when questions arise." James Button and Co-Bulletin

The publication"skilfully navigates its way through the dense and dangerous jungle of intervening statutory, guidance, caselaw and other foliage from the former Standards Board regime (following the Donnygate scandal) to the present slimmed-down but imperfect present." Nicholas Dobson, a Consultant with Freeths LLP writing for Local Government Lawyer

Click here to purchase a copy.

Philip Kolvin QC discusses the issues confronting local councillors and the need for a consistent approach to standards of conduct in an interview with Bloomsbury Professional.

Westlaw Insight [2012]

1st December 2012

  • Local Authority Companies
  • Judicial Control of Local Authorities

Learn more about Westlaw Insight

Store Wars

21st March 2012

Supreme Court rejects Tesco challenge and determines that the interpretation of planning policy is a matter of law and not to be left to the discretion of local planning authorities. Also, provides guidance on approach to "suitability" in the context of the sequential test.

View full article here.

Alconbury a year on

1st January 2012

Alconbury a year on: Article 6 challenges face stiff uphill struggle after Court of Appeal Begum and Adlard adopts a schematic approach? [2002] (Sept) JPL 1045

New Model Army

5th February 2010


New Model Army, MJ 3105, 22

An explanation of some key changes implemented by the new model code of conduct for members.

The procurement process and freedom of information

29th January 2009

The procurement process and freedom of information (Seminar in association with Trowers & Hamlins, 29 January 2009). James Findlay QC and Damien Welfare spoke on: Overview of existing regulatory framework; Impact of this on your bid documentation; Practical issues after bidding; Issues after contract; Protecting your information and their complete slides from the day can be found here.

Decision making and probity

8th November 2007

Decision making and probity, Local Government Training Program, 1/11/2007

Click here for full text.

When does a tree preservation order not protect?

1st January 2007


When does a tree preservation order not protect? [2007] (Feb) JPL 194

Councillor beware!

1st January 2005

Councillor beware! [2005] (Apr) JPL 419

• Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA)
• Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
• National Infrastructure Planning Association (NIPA)
• United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA)

Case

No scope for an overall assessment of sustainability unless within paragraph 14 of the framework – Barker Mills confirmed

27th June 2017

(The latest instalment in 'sustainable development' caselaw) The Planning Court (Mrs Justice Lang DBE) handed down judgment today in Reigate and Banstead BC v SSCLG, and upheld a s. 288 challenge....

Case

Natural England’s approach to in combination impacts of car generating plans cannot be supported

21st March 2017

In a judgment likely to have far reaching implications for plan-making and development control, Mr Justice Jay has held that Natural England's advice on the correct approach to in-combination effects....

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

Soaring success for James Findlay QC

22nd August 2016

Lord Stewart, following an 8 day hearing, has quashed approvals in respect of four large offshore windfarms off the east coast of Scotland accepting the challenge of RSPB, who were concerned as to the impact on sea birds.

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News

Local Government Lawyer - Book Review - Cornerstone on the Planning Court

18th May 2016

Local Government Lawyer has published a review of Cornerstone on the Planning Court; the first guide of its kind to analyse the procedures and work of the Planning Court which....

News

Cornerstone Annual Planning Day

17th November 2015

"From Green to Blue – planning under the Conservatives" The Cornerstone Annual Planning Day, which took place on 16th November at the Royal College of Surgeons, saw a number of  planning consultants, solicitors and....

News

Cornerstone on the Planning Court

1st September 2015

Cornerstone on the Planning Court, the definitive guide to the new Planning Court produced by Cornerstone Barristers, is now available to buy online and in book shops.

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Case

Trump’s tilt at windmills fails: Carnwath contemplates implied conditions in planning permissions

12th August 2015

Donald Trump's challenge to the approval of an offshore windfarm under s.36 of the Electricity Act 1989 by Scottish Ministers has been rejected by the Supreme Court (Judgment can be found here).

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News

Cornerstone on Councillors’ Conduct

26th June 2015

Cornerstone on Councillors' Conduct, the definitive guide to local government standards, produced by Cornerstone Barristers, goes on sale today.

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News

Planning Magazine: The Planning Law Survey 2015

31st May 2015

Cornerstone Barristers is proud to note that 15 members of our Planning Group have achieved rankings in the 2015 Planning Magazine survey of the planning legal profession. James Findlay QC, Mark....

Case

Cherkley Campaign – end of the road.

1st December 2014

On Thursday 27th November Aikens LJ upheld the decisions of Jay J (who, after a contested hearing, had refused permission for Judicial Review – [2014] EWHC 3291 (Admin)) and Sullivan LJ (who refused an appeal against Jay J on paper) and so terminated Cherkley Campaign's second attempt to frustrate development of a golf course in the grounds of Cherkley Estate in Mole Valley, Surrey. On 10th November, the Supreme Court refused permission to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision rejecting its first attempt, for Court of Appeal see [2014] EWCA Civ 567 although its decision has only recently come to public attention.

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Case

Secretary Of State Upholds Windfarm Refusal In Stratford On Avon

3rd October 2014

The Secretary of State has, agreeing with his Inspector's report, today turned down an application for 4 wind turbines which were proposed to be sited close to the M40 and the Cotswold AONB

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Case

New Planning Court signals its intent

27th May 2014

The new Planning Court has shown itself true to its word in seeking to provide an efficient appeal court to deal with challenges to the grant of planning permission. In the latest round of a "store wars" battle concerning rival sites in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, the Court last week refused permission to Harrier Developments (a development partner of Tesco Stores) to challenge Fenland District Council's decision to grant consent to Sainsbury's for a major food store

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News

Taxis, minicabs and mobile apps: Law Commission publishes controversial proposals for reform of taxi and private hire regulation

27th May 2014

The Law Commission has finally published its recommendations for the reform of the law relating to taxis and private hire services, write Jack Parker and Rory Clarke. Against the background of....

Case

Council Victory in Cherkley golf course appeal

7th May 2014

In a judgment handed down on 7th May the Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the decision of Haddon-Cave J. It rejected Cherkley Campaign's challenge to Mole Valley DC's grant of planning permission for redevelopment of Cherkley Court and, more contentiously, the creation of a new golf course in the Green Belt, and subject to numerous levels of protection.

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Case

Welwyn Hatfield Council v. SoSCLG & Beesley [2011] UKSC 15

6th April 2014

Welwyn Hatfield Council v. SoSCLG & Beesley [2011] UKSC 15
Wednesday, April 06, 2011

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News

Planning Court opens for business on Monday 7th April

4th April 2014

Courtesy of new CPR54.21 and PD54E the Planning Court gets going on 7th April under the control of Lindblom J. Its coverage is wide and includes effectively all Judicial Reviews and statutory challenges relating to planning and environmental decisions, highways, CPOs, T&W Act matters and village green matters.

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Case

Challenge to Bristol Rovers move away from Memorial Ground rejected

21st March 2014

The Administrative Court, sitting in Bristol has rejected an application to quash planning permission for

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Case

R (Oao Trashorfield) V Bristol [2014] EWHC 757 Admin

5th March 2014

Richard Ground together with James Findlay QC appeared for Bristol resisting the judicial review. The Council's grant of planning permission which facilitated a £200m regeneration project was successful. It involved....

Case

Councillor ends judicial review claim over standards committee finding

4th March 2014

A councillor has withdrawn his judicial review claim against East Staffordshire Borough Council over an adverse finding of its standards committee in 2012.

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Case

Delay in ECJ ruling on PCO regime limits effect of failure finding - Commission v UK C-530/11, 13th February 2014.

17th February 2014

Summary: UK found to be in breach of Directive provisions requiring environmental proceedings not to be prohibitively expensive but no ruling on reciprocal caps and no comment on the efficacy of the current rules of Court. Opinion is primarily of historical interest, but does provide some useful guidance. Court clarifies that cross undertakings in damages are within the protection of the Directive.

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Case

Scottish Widows Pc & others v Cherwell District Council & others [2013] EWHC 3968 (Admin)

18th December 2013

The High Court has dismissed a challenge by two town centre landowners, Scottish Widows PLC and Aegon UK Property Fund Ltd, against a decision by Chiltern District Council to permit out of centre retail development, including a regional scale M&S, on the edge of Banbury. Chiltern District Council were represented by James Findlay Q.C. and Hugh Flanagan of Cornerstone Barristers.

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Case

Breach of Procedure not fatal to prosecution

13th November 2013

The Divisional Court has allowed the Council's appeal in the case of Aylesbury Vale District Council v Call a Cab Limited. It ruled that a single breach of a procedural....

Case

Exceptional circumstances only justify evidence as to other public authority reasons

5th November 2013

R. (on the application of Lanner Parish Council) v Cornwall Council [2013] EWCA Civ 1290 involved a challenge to a grant of planning permission for some affordable local needs housing and concerned whether or not the Planning Committee had properly understood its own draft policies

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News

Cornerstone Barristers appointed by Metropolitan Police to panel of Counsel

1st March 2013

Cornerstone Barristers are delighted to announce that the following members have been appointed by the Metropolitan Police to a panel of counsel to represent and advise them in licensing matters. These....

News

Cornerstone Barristers appointed by Metropolitan Police to panel of Counsel

1st March 2013

Cornerstone Barristers are delighted to announce that the following members have been appointed by the Metropolitan Police to a panel of counsel to represent and advise them in licensing matters.

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Case

Inspector allows a further appeal by Caffe Nero

27th February 2013

Inspector allows a further appeal by Caffe Nero, represented by James Findlay Q.C., in Marlborough and usefully analyses the extent to which weight should be given to an out of....

Case

Cornerstone Barristers takes part in launch of new online legal encyclopaedia

10th December 2012

Members of Cornerstone Barristers have played a leading role in contributing to a new online encyclopaedia, launched on 10th December 2012. The "Westlaw UK Insight" is an online legal encyclopaedia....

Case

NPPF and out of date planning policies

1st June 2012

James Findlay QC acted for Cafe Nero in a very full hearing in Skipton

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News

Store wars in the Supreme Court

17th April 2012

In a decision of significance for all planning practitioners, the S

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Case

North Dorset District Council v Trim [2010] EWCA Civ 1446

31st December 2010

The Court of Appeal considered whether it was an abuse of process to proceed by way of a Part 7 claim instead of issuing judicial review proceedings.....

Case

Morge v Hampshire CC [2010] EWCA Civ 745

15th July 2010

Interim relief pending appeal in case concerning impact on bats and badgers.....

Case

Trim v North Dorset DC [2010] EWCA Civ 1446

1st January 2010

Challenge to a BCN should be by way of Judicial Review, not ordinary action. Delay in launching proceedings prevents switch to Judicial Review.....

Case

R(on the application of Garner) v Elmbridge Borough Council [2010] EWCA Civ 1006

1st January 2010

A leading case on the granting of Protective Costs Orders in judicial review challenges to planning permissions.....

News

Public Law Housing Issues: The fall-out from Kay and Doherty and Homelessness post Ali (Aweys) and Moran

19th October 2009

2-3 Gray's Inn Square was pleased to host this essential guide to the latest Housing issues faced by Public Autorities.

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News

Planning and Local Government issues for Wales

7th September 2009

Planning and Local Government issues for Wales
Monday, September 07, 2009

Chambers was proud to host this essential guide to the latest Planning and Local Government legislative and policy issues affecting Local Authorities at Cardiff City Hall.

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Case

R (On The Application Of Perrett) V (1) SSCLG And (2) West Dorset District Council [2009] EWCA Civ 1365

1st January 2009

The secretary of state had discretion as to the manner in which an enforcement notice appeal was reheard following a successful appeal under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990....

Case

Welwyn Hatfield Council v McGlynn [2009] EWCA Civ 285

1st January 2009

Possession claims and Gateway B.....

Case

Is a woman's refuge accommodation?

22nd April 2008

R Richards v Ipswich BC & SoS for Communities and Local Government [2008] EWCA Civ 378 A recent decision has sought to clarify this difficult issue and develop a realistic set....

Case

R (Park Pharmacy Trust) v Plymouth City Council

15th February 2008

Challenge to decision to grant planning permission on part Council owned land alleging breach of policy, bias, defects in application process and inadequate reasons rejected.....

Case

Court of Appeal Hat Trick

9th January 2008

The last few days of December saw members of Chambers in the Court of Appeal in three very different cases. The cases were: 1. Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council v Ware....

Case

(R on the application of) v Teignbrige District Council [2008] EWHC 1397 (Admin)

1st January 2008

Challenge to a decision to delimit numbers of taxis, defeated after a contested permission hearing.....

Case

R Richards v Ipswich BC & SoS for Communities and Local Government [2008] EWCA Civ 378; [2008] 1 WLR 2387; [2008] 4 All ER 304

1st January 2008

Wayne Beglan and James Findlay QC acted successfully for Ipswich BC in this joined hearing of two appeals regarding whether a women's refuge constituted "accommodation" for the purposes of the Housing Act 1996 Pt VII.

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Case

Pre-Permission costs in Judicial Review – The Queen (on the application of Davey) v Aylesbury Vale

27th November 2007

The question before the Court of Appeal was whether, as a matter of law or practice, an order for costs made in favour of a successful respondent to judicial review....

Case

Davey v Aylesbury Vale [2007] EWCA Civ 1166

1st January 2007

Whether an order for costs made in favour of a successful respondent to judicial review proceedings includes costs incurred prior to the grant of permission unless these are expressly excluded. See....

Case

Key Cabs Limited v Plymouth City Council [2007] EWHC 2837 (Admin), [2008] RTR 11

1st January 2007

Hackney carriage licensing, meaning of requisition, whether an identifiable vehicle needed....

Case

Perrin & Anor v Northampton Borough Council & Ors [2007] EWCA Civ 1353

1st January 2007

Tree preservation orders, interpretation of exception provisions.....

Case

Swale BC v. FSS [2005] EWCA Civ 1568, [2006] JPL 886

1st January 2006

Appeal against refusal of challenge to Inspector's decision, certificate of lawfulness, immunity by user of residential unit.....

Case

Sardar & others v. Watford BC [2006] EWHC 1590 (QB)

1st January 2006

Licensing – taxi cab licensing....

Case

Horner v. Lancashire CC & Castle Cement Ltd [2006] JPL 664

1st January 2006

Challenge to planning permission enabling burning of substitute fuels in cement kilns, whether development Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 development and/or EIA needed, further domestic grounds of challenge as to....

Case

Q (R on the application of) v Wolverhampton City Council Independent Appeal Panel [2005] EWHC 277 (Admin)

1st January 2005

Public law - Local Government - education - appeal panels - fair hearing and exclusions.....

Case

Markets South West (Holdings) Ltd v (1) First Secretary of State (2) Restormel Borough Council (2004) [2005] JPL 684

1st January 2005

Planning - enforcement proceedings - multiple permissions....

Case

Hart Aggregates Ltd v. Hartlepool BC [2005] EHWC (Admin) 840, [2005] JPL 1602

1st January 2005

Old minerals permission and whether still extant. Conditions precedent and interpretation of condition, need for an EIA....

Case

Harlow v. South Cambs DC Gregan & Ors [2005] EWHC 173 (Admin)

1st January 2005

Planning - challenge to permission to vary planning permission - proper interpretation of policy - permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been granted.....

Case

Dowmunt-Iwaszkiewicz v. FSS [2005] Env. LR. 375, [2005] JPL 702

1st January 2005

Planning – environment - contaminated land - green belt - policy guidance - challenge to Inspector's decision - adequate reasons....

Case

Coates & Ors v South Bucks District Council CA [2005] JPL 668

1st January 2005

Planning - gypsy injunction – human rights – reasons and proportionality....

Case

Brentwood Borough Council v Gladen (Andrew Ernest) [2005] RTR 12

1st January 2005

Licensing - taxi cabs - private hire licensing - requirement for an operator's licence.....

Case

Regina (Sacker) v West Yorkshire Coroner [2004] UKHL 11, [2004] 1 W.L.R. 796

1st January 2004

Public law – local government - coroners - human rights - extent of investigation.....

Case

R on the application of) v Hartlepool Borough Council & Able UK Ltd (Interested Party) (2003) [2004] JPL 1088

1st January 2004

Planning - environment - ghost ships – interpretation of planning permission by reference to incorporated documents....

Case

R (on the application of Batchelor Enterprises Limited) v. North Dorset District Council [2004] JPL 1222

1st January 2004

Planning - variation of s.106 agreements within 5 years – planning purposes....

Case

Campbell v (1) South Northamptonshire Council (2) Secretary of State for the Department for Work & Pensions [2004] 3 All ER 387

1st January 2004

Public law - Local Government - housing benefit - human rights - religion and discrimination - ultra vires statutory instruments....

Case

Campbell v (1) South Northamptonshire Council (2) Secretary of State for the Department for Work & Pensions [2004] EWCA Civ 409

1st January 2004

Local Government - housing benefit - human rights - religion and discrimination - ultra vires statutory instruments....

Case

Bostock (R on the application of) v Entwhistle (Dr Ian Reid) & West Yorkshire Police Authority (Interested Party) [2004] EWHC 1166 (Admin)

1st January 2004

Public law - Local Government - police pensions - medical referee's decision - adequacy of decision letter....

Case

Al-Ameri v Kensington and Chelsea Royal London Borough Council [2004] UKHL 4, [2004] 2 W.L.R. 354

1st January 2004

Public law - Local Government - Housing - immigration and asylum - asylum seekers - homeless persons & local connection....

Case

R (On the application of KW) v (1) SENT & ROCHDALE MBC 2003 ELR 556

1st January 2003

Public law - Local Government – education law - requirements as to placement at special school - whether need to fund residential placement....

Case

Elliot (R on the application of) v Electoral Commission [2003] EWHC 395 Admin

1st January 2003

Public law - Local Government – electoral law - Election boundaries - delay in seeking relief....

Case

R. v. Monmouthshire CC ex parte Ward Estates [2002] EWCA Civ 1915

1st January 2002

Planning - land drainage - rights of access.....

Case

R. v. Knowsley MBC ex parte Williams (2001) Env. L.R. 28

1st January 2001

Planning – environment - statutory nuisance - procedure - appeal successfully resisted notwithstanding Magistrates consented to judgement being set aside.....

Case

East Lindsey v. Thompson (2001) 82 P&C.R. 420

1st January 2001

Planning - meaning of "owner" under Town and Country Planning Act 1990.....

Case

Birmingham CC v. Oakley [2001] 1 A.C. 617

1st January 2001

Environment - statutory nuisance - layout of property.....

Case

R. v. S.O.S.E.T.R. ex p. Dorset C.C. [2000] J.P.L. 396

1st January 2000

Planning - highways - footpath modification orders - evidence of intention not to dedicate.....

Case

R. v. Durham CC & Others, ex parte Huddlestone [2000] 1 W.L.R. 1484

1st January 2000

Planning - environment - impermissible horizontal direct effect – impact of EIA Directive on deemed minerals planning permission.....

Case

Cunningham v Birmingham CC 30 H.L.R. 158

6th May 1997

Environment - statutory nuisance – objective or subjective interpretation....

Case

R. v. Environment Agency, ex parte Dockgrange Ltd and Mayer Parry Ltd (1997) TLR

1st January 1997

Represented Environment Agency in challenge concerning importation of different types of wastes.....