Josef advises and represents all sides in town & country planning and environment matters and is recognised as a leading planning junior in the Legal 500, which notes that he 'is extremely knowledgeable and able to think on his feet'. He was recently identified as one of the top planning juniors in Planning Magazine's annual survey of the Bar (2016).
He is a contributor to Cornerstone on the Planning Court.
In the last 18 months he has:
• Acted for a number of Essex authorities in a series of high-profile inquiries into proposed residential schemes, including issues of housing land supply, transport impact, landscape, heritage, sustainability and ecology, as well as advising on strategy generally;
• Acted for a Central London authority in respect of a conversion of a large former hotel to residential units;
• Acted, on a direct access basis, for the Appellant in an enforcement inquiry concerning replacement dwelling in the countryside involving issues of abandonment;
• Successfully represented a London local authority in defending its decision to refuse planning permission for a new sports hall for a private school on Metropolitan Open Land;
• Defended a national brewer in a prosecution in respect of unlawful advertisement on its estate; and
• Appeared at an inquiry into the refusal to grant planning permission for a solar farm in East Anglia.
Josef is regularly instructed in enforcement cases, ranging from householder extensions and changes of use to gypsy and traveller sites. He has experience of appearing in the High Court on applications for injunctions and has experience in prosecuting breaches of enforcement notices in the magistrates' court, as well as hearings, inquiries, and advisory work across the field of enforcement.
Green belt and countryside
Much of Josef's planning experience involves the question of protection of the Green Belt and countryside. By their nature, most gypsy and traveller sites tend to be either in the Green Belt or the countryside and Josef has extensive experience in that field. He also has experience of cases involving the re-use of buildings in the Green Belt, incursions into the countryside and development within National Parks. He recently successfully defended a refusal of permission to build a new sports hall on Metropolitan Open Land in London.
Josef has experience of planning for housing, ranging from the small scale (a terrace of four houses in a conservation area in Norwich) to the large scale (in several recent inquiries for large numbers of housing units in the countryside in Essex, involving considerations of impact on landscape, heritage, questions of housing land supply and conformity with local plans). He is particularly experienced in matters concerning 5-year supply of housing land and Objectively Assessed Needs. He has advised and represented both developers and planning authorities in numerous cases involving the provision of housing, including affordable housin
The historic environment
Josef has been instructed in a number of cases involving both listed buildings and conservation areas. He successfully resisted the insensitive redevelopment of a large hall in Essex on the basis of its inappropriate reconfiguring of the farmstead layout, advised on the proposed renovation of a Victorian folly in Kent and has advised and represented both sides of the dispute in appeals involving conservation areas, ranging from a proposed driving range on the edge of a conservation-area village in Cheshire to a new large-scale office development in Windsor. He recently successfully resisted a proposal for 100+ dwellings in close proximity to Thaxted's St John's Parish Church and Conservation Area, and a similar-scale proposal adjacent to Clavering Castle in Essex.
Josef advises and represents all sides in environmental matters, both in respect of planning but also on the regulatory side. In particular he has:
• Particular experience of, and interest in, enforcement cases, including enforcement appeals, s.215 notices and under environmental legislation;
• Conducted a number of complex appeals against Abatement Notices, including against a large landfill operator;
• Represented a local amenity group at the Public Examination of the Surrey Waste Plan;
• Appeared at numerous appeals before Inspectors; and
• Appeared in and advised upon challenges under s.288, 289 and in judicial review.
Josef regularly appears in respect of environmental enforcement including prosecutions in the magistrates' court in respect of matters under the Environmental Protection Act and in particular in respect of waste.
Please see Josef's case: Wandsworth LBC v Rashid
Habitats and species protection
Josef has extensive experience of dealing with the European legislation on habitats and species protection in respect of his planning practice, including involving the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area. See his planning practice for more details.
Josef has regularly advised and represented clients in respect of litigation involving noise abatement notices and other matters relating to noise and the Environmental Protection Act. He has recently been advising a local authority on a noise abatement notice and enforcement powers in respect of a concrete crusher on a large industrial estate, and has experience of noise cases ranging from crowing cockerels through barking dogs to loud music and industrial noise.