John regularly acts in planning inquiries both on his own and as a junior for Parish Councils, District Councils, Rule 6 parties and other private clients. He has experience of section 78 inquiries, enforcement inquiries and informal hearings. Some of his recent experience includes:
Section 78 Inquiries
- Representing a Rule 6 party in a two week inquiry involving housing land supply, landscape and highways issues in which the Rule 6 Party, alongside the District Council, successfully resisted the appeal.
- Representing a District Council, with Dr Ashley Bowes, in a 6 day inquiry involving heritage and landscape issues in which he and Dr Bowes successfully resisted the proposed housing scheme, despite the existence of a housing land supply deficit.
- Assisting Estelle Dehon in a two week planning inquiry involving housing land supply and heritage issues in which Estelle, acting for the local authority, successfully resisted a residential scheme of up to 200 units.
- Representing a Parish Council in a two week enforcement inquiry concerning a Gypsy/Traveller Caravan Site in which the Parish Council, alongside the District Council, successfully resisted the appeal.
- Representing a District Council in a two day enforcement inquiry involving off-airport parking in which the District Council successfully resisted an appeal on Grounds (a) and (d).
- Representing an Appellant in a two day enforcement inquiry involving Ground (a) and Ground (d) appeals.
- Representing a District Council at an informal hearing in which the District Council successfully resisted an application to discharge a planning obligation.
John has acted in a wide array of environmental law matters. His recent experience includes:
- Defending a local authority in a two day appeal concerning a noise abatement notice.
- Conducting a local authority's first prosecution under the Health Act 2006 in relation to the use of Shisha pipes within an enclosed premises.
- Acting for a defendant in an environmental prosecution concerning waste transfer notes.
- Application under s116 Highways Act 1980 to 'stop-up' a highway.
His High Court and Court of Appeal experience includes:
Ramsgate Town Council v Thanet District Council  EWHC 3042 (Ch)
An area of land had been released from its designated use as allotment land when the secretary of state gave consent for a local authority to dispose of it under the Allotments Act 1925 s.8. Even though the local authority had not disposed of the land immediately, it no longer held the land for "any purpose of the Allotments Acts 1908-1950" and the land did not transfer to or vest in a newly-formed parish council under the Local Government (Parishes and Parish Councils) (England) Regulations 2008 reg.9.
Keenan v Woking Borough Council  EWCA Civ 438 (assisting Estelle Dehon as a pupil)
An LPA's failure to respond within the required 28 days to an application under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 ("the GPDO 1995") for a determination as to whether its prior approval would be required, will not allow development which is not "permitted development" to become "permitted development" by default.
Burford v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 1493 (Admin) (assisting Estelle Dehon as a pupil)
Curtilage is not simply a land use, and using land as incidental to the enjoyment of a dwelling house is not determinative of that land being curtilage.
Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 808 (Admin) (assisting Estelle Dehon and Marc Willers QC as a pupil)
Challenge in respect of permission granted by the Secretary of State for hydraulic fracturing works to take place in Lancashire.
John regularly undertakes planning and environmental advisory work. Recent advisory work includes issues concerning:
- Noise abatement notices
- Unlawful delegation of powers
- Habitats regulations assessments
- Differences between C2 and C3 use and other instances of change of use
- Allotment land
- Application of s106 planning obligations
- Implementation of a forty year old planning permission
- Enforcement issues and variation of conditions
- Construction of ambiguous conditions and implied conditions
- Various GPDO matters
- Building Regulations
- Planning prosecutions
John also has an excellent understanding of the needs of clients in the environmental and planning sectors, having been seconded to a local authority's planning team during pupillage. He regularly provides pro bono advice and assistance to the Environmental Law Foundation and his pro bono work with Southwark Law Centre often involves planning matters.