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Philip Kolvin

Mark Lowe QC

Called
1972
Silk/QC
1996
Telephone
020 7242 4986
CV
Email

Mark is recognised in the guides to the profession as a leading silk in the fields of planning law, local government and administrative law, and environmental law.

Mark Lowe QC took silk in 1996. He was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and an Assistant Boundary Commissioner in 2000 and he was elected a Bencher of Gray's Inn in 2004.

Mark Lowe QC took silk in 1996. He was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and an Assistant Boundary Commissioner in 2000 and he was elected a Bencher of Gray's Inn in 2004. He served as Head of Chambers from 2006 to 2011.

Mark is recognised in the guides to the profession as a leading silk in the fields of planning law, local government and administrative law, and environmental law.

He is ranked as a leading silk by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 in the areas of Planning, Health Safety and Environment, and Administrative and Public law.

He is ranked as one of the Highest Rated Planning Silks by Planning Magazine.

Recent projects

  • Advising and appearing in inquiries on many residential development and urban renewal projects from large to small scale as well as new settlement and urban extension proposals.
  • Protecting the allocation and grant of permission for residential redevelopment of a large former convent school site in Chiltern District including an appearance in the Court of Appeal.
  • Appearing in a major inquiry into a waste to energy plant for domestic waste for the County of Hertfordshire involving issues relating to an assemblage of Grade one listed assets, Green Belt, landscape, traffic, ecology, noise and education.
  • Resisting CPOs to acquire a major tract of land outside Witney to build a new bypass (the Cogges Link Road).
  • Advising on proposals to redevelop the Queen Elizabeth College in the Metropolitan Green Belt for housing.
  • Advising Network Rail on its proposals for the redevelopment of London Bridge Station.
  • Advising the Royal Palaces on redevelopment proposals.
  • Advising and appearing for Warner Bros on the future of the Leavesden Studios.
  • Appearing for National Grid in a challenge in the Court of Appeal to the grant of permission on appeal to a new high voltage line in Yorkshire.
  • Appearing in a High Court challenge to the decision of the Secretary of State to grant planning permission to 3,600 new homes to the West of Stevenage based on the inadequacy of the s.106 agreement.
  • Advising on the review of development plans by London Authorities.
  • Appointed as a Designated Independent Person to conduct an inquiry into alleged misconduct against a local authority chief executive and to report upon the same.

"Incredibly friendly and good to work with, and has a huge amount of respect. You can really sense when judges lean into people, and Mark has that gravitas to make your client's case as strong as possible." Chambers & Partners 2017

"Absolutely excellent; the service is second to none." Chambers & Partners 2017

"He is very measured and has a fantastic sense of humour. He is great to work with." Chambers & Partners 2017

"He can digest huge volumes of information very quickly and is always very well prepared. He gives sensible advice and is very clear in managing expectations." Chambers & Partners 2017

"He's incredibly responsive and very involved. As he's incredibly interested in the case we speak a lot even if things are going well." "A very smooth operator." Chambers & Partners 2016

"Very experienced" Legal 500 2016

"A strong generalist planning silk." "He boasts a formidable reputation for his handling of planning disputes". It states that "His in-depth preparation of a counter-argument is great." Chambers & Partners 2015

"He excels in client conferences; he's just very good and I can tell clients respond well to the way he approaches the matter. He immediately makes people feel at ease".... "He delivers concise advice in an authoritative manner." Chambers & Partners 2015

"He is always calm and nothing seems to faze him; he is thoroughly prepared and highly approachable." Legal 500 2015

Overview

"a favourite of solicitors"

"exudes charm and competence. Displaying a natural flair for high-profile, high-value planning projects"

"the best silk of the set - he's just excellent."

"Always utterly charming, and inspires confidence in solicitors and clients."

"Strong track record in planning judicial reviews."

Mark has specialised in this area for over 30 years and in that time has gained experience of most development projects and problems that come to inquiry or before the Courts. He has a reputation as an approachable team player alert to the commercial needs of his client. He concentrates on an efficient and effective outcome. Mark is ranked as a leading silk for Planning in Chambers and Partners 2016 and Legal 500 2015.

Mark has a broadly based planning practice involving frequent appearances at inquiry, examinations in public and in the Higher Courts as well as the Upper Tribunal (Lands). His advisory practice reflects the same wide range of work including the preparation of major applications, EIAs and objections to development plans as well as to the validity and interpretation of planning permissions, s.106 obligations and conditions.

He is also experienced with alternative energy proposals having led in two recent challenges to major solar installations in the countryside, advised with respect to proposed wind installations and an anaerobic digester plant as well as considerable experience with "zero carbon' homes".

Mark has just completed a series of appearances before the House of Commons Select Committee considering the HS2 railway Hybrid Bill for a consortium of Buckinghamshire authorities. He handled matters such as landscape, ecological, heritage, property, community, waste, highway and traffic impacts of the scheme in both the construction and operational phases.

Environment
Mark Lowe is recognised as a leading silk in this field. Much of his experience of handling these issues has been gained in the context of the environmental assessment of applications for planning permission, High Court challenges to planning decisions and the environmental assessment of plans and in the context of planning inquiries.

Mark was recently instructed by Hertfordshire County Council to appear at an inquiry into proposals for a major waste to energy plant to treat all the domestic, together with a fraction of the commercial and industrial, waste arisings in the county. This involved issues relating to the world famous assemblage of Grade 1 listed heritage assets at Hatfield House, landscape issues, education and noise issues together with need, technology and traffic matters.

Mark appeared at a five week inquiry for the landowners opposing a series of major CPOs to acquire the land necessary to construct the Witney Bypass (Cogges Link Road). This involved issues of traffic engineering and forecasting, ecology, landscape, noise, and heritage impacts.

He has recently led two separate challenges to substantial solar installations. One in North Devon and the other in Dorset both, primarily, involving issues of sequential preference policy, agricultural quality and special landscape protection.

He has also advised on a large scale, agricultural, anaerobic digester plant proposed for construction in the open countryside

In recent years Mark appeared in the leading case of Save Historic Newmarket Ltd v Forest Heath District Council [2011] EWHC 606 (Admin) in relation to the SEA of a Development Plan.

Other significant experience includes appearing in the Hartlepool 'Ghost Ships' litigation surrounding the proposal to break up the redundant US fleet in the UK, as well as advising on the content of Environmental Assessments and the impact of the Habitats Directive on individual development proposals.

He frequently advises on matters involving the Habitats Directive and similar matters. He has recent experience of protecting SSSIs noted for their mycological interest, migratory birds, and protected species (badgers, bats, newts and other reptiles etc).

EIA
Mark is engaged in many schemes of EIA development and is experienced in all the issues that arise on environmental assessment and the adequacy of such assessments against both domestic and European law. He appeared in the recent High Court challenge to the strategic environmental assessment to the treatment of the proposed 1,200 house extension to Newmarket in the Forest Heath Core Strategy: Save Historic Newmarket Ltd v Forest Heath District Council [2011] EWHC 606 (Admin).

Energy and renewables
Mark has advised (local resident groups) on windfarm proposals and proposals for on-shore connections of off-shore plants to the National Grid. He has considerable experience of all the issues that arise on such applications.

Green Belt and countryside
Mark is well versed in all Green Belt issues. He has been involved recently in a number of major housing appeals in the Green Belt in the Thames Gateway (Barratts at Stanford le Hope and the Arndale School appeal) and he is acting for Linden Homes on another residential scheme in the Metropolitan Green Belt in Surrey. He appeared for National Grid in both the inquiry and the subsequent High Court challenge to the permission granted to erect a new high voltage line in the Leeds Green Belt to reinforce the Ferrybridge Ring. He was retained by Brands Hatch on their proposals to redevelop their circuit within the Green Belt to host the British Grand Prix. He has dealt with many urban extensions for residential development in the countryside, most recently at Salisbury, Wantage, Crowhurst, St Ives, Clacton-on-Sea etc. He has advised on a number of projects for the erection of 'PPS7 exceptional quality' new homes in the countryside.

Highways and transport infrastructure
Mark has a wide experience of a variety of these projects from road schemes (e.g. A12M for Waltham Forest BC, Witney Cogges Link Road, Barnstaple Western Bypass), rail schemes (e.g. London Bridge Station redevelopment and DLR extension to Woolwich Arsenal), to high voltage power lines (acted for Powergen in North Yorkshire Line inquiry and Ferrybridge Ring inquiry for National Grid currently before the Court of Appeal), power stations (advised Powergen on Local Plan policies to individual plants, advised on schemes of adaption to the Ferrybridge Power Station) and waste to energy plants ranging from the 1m tonnes pas capacity scheme on the Thames at Belvedere to smaller plants in Shropshire, Essex and mid-Wales.

Housing
Housing applications and appeals are a major part of Mark's practice. He deals with sites of all sizes for a wide range of clients from major housebuilders to local authorities and landowners. His experience ranges from many thousands of houses in new settlements to urban extension sites to individual sites within the built up areas, especially in taller buildings in London and the inner suburbs. He is experienced in all the issues from housing land supply calculations, affordable housing and viability; s.106 and CIL obligations; high quality modern design and sustainability; residential amenity in terms of overlooking, light and noise; trees and nature conservation including European protected species; highways both on and off site, flooding and drainage and land stability. He also has a wide advisory practice in this area.

Mark frequently handles affordable housing issues in the context of schemes on all scales, from a recent High Court challenge to the affordable housing provision in a scheme for 3,600 homes to a single tall block in Southend. He advises housebuilders, landowners and local planning authorities on the presentation of viability assessments both on appeal and in the context of applications. He has been invited to lecture on the treatment of the issue in the downturn. He also acts for affordable housing developers.

Minerals and waste
Mark has recently been engaged in a major restoration by open cast mining scheme on a major site comprising many historic coal workings in Merthyr Tydfil.

Mark is experienced in handling proposals for all forms of waste disposal from incineration or energy recovery to recycling and composting. He appeared in Cory's first 1m tpa proposal for a waste to energy plant at Belvedere on the Thames. He has appeared in a number of waste to energy and landfill proposals in Essex and Hampshire for operators. He appeared for the local planning authority in a chemical waste incinerator inquiry in Bournemouth. Recently he has been advising on proposals for a waste recycling centre in Essex, the relocation of a special school in Hertfordshire associated with the location of a new waste to energy plant and was retained to advise on a major waste to energy plant in Plymouth. He has also advised waste collection authorities on their duties and the landfill tax.

Retail development
Mark has experience of most retailing issues. His experience is mainly with modern food and non-food proposals. His most recent experience was in relation to a major non-food and leisure retail park in Sussex and in gaining permission on appeal for a large food supermarket as the anchor to a major 1,000 homes urban redevelopment scheme in Ashford in Kent. He advised Next Plc on their out of town development policy. He appeared in many Tesco inquiries and is currently retained by Asda on their panel of approved counsel.

Rights of way
Rights of way often feature in Mark's planning appeals as well as in their own right. He is experienced in all the issues arising with respect to footpaths and similar public rights of way and also advises on issues with respect to private rights of way, particularly those that have the potential to affect proposed development schemes.

The historic environment
Mark has gained a wide experience in handling heritage issues. For example he has dealt with proposals for a Grade 1 Priory and listed Park in Essex, the demolition of a Grade II house in Trafford, the Gilbert Scott designed ticket office at St Pancras Station as well as many housing appeals relating to development of and within the setting of listed buildings. He also appears in enforcement actions relating to listed buildings and appeared in a leading case on the scope for enforcement action to a listed building: Former Powergen Site Inquiry, Ashford [2008].

Compulsory purchase and compensation
Mark Lowe has had many instructions in this field appearing at public inquiries for CPOs and Certificates of Alternative Development as well as appearing in the Lands Tribunal and its successor - the Upper Tribunal (Lands) - in compensation and similar claims. He has been retained by all parties, landowner/objectors and acquiring authorities.

His most recent experience has been:

  • Appearing at inquiry leading the team for the landowners objecting to the CPOs necessary to construct the proposed Witney Bypass [Cogges Link Road].
  • Appearing at inquiry acting for the landowners in a s.17 Certificate claim relating to the compulsory acquisition of land in Barnstaple to construct the Western Bypass to the town. A claim which is now proceeding to the Tribunal.
  • Acting for the Compensating Authority on a claim for compensation for the modification of a planning permission for an airfield.
  • Advising the London Development Agency on the acquisition and redevelopment of major sites.
  • Advising the Mayor on the structure of the schemes to support the London Olympics, including the need for compulsory acquisition.
  • In the past Mark has been concerned in CPO and compensation matters in the Don Valley redevelopment in Sheffield, the regeneration of Sheffield City Centre, the regeneration of Canterbury City Centre and others.
  • Appearing for National Grid to obtain the necessary orders to acquire the necessary interests in land and wayleaves to construct a new high power line in North Yorkshire.

Cases

St Ives' Second Homes Ban Lawful
10.11.2016
The High Court has today found a policy in the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan which prohibits new dwellings being used as holiday homes to be lawful. The St Ives Neighbourhood....

Neighbourhood Plan Quashed – Boundaries of the 'Soft Touch' Approach
13.10.2016
Mrs Justice Patterson gave judgment today in R. (Stonegate Homes Limited and another) v. Horsham District Council and Henfield Parish Council [2016] EWHC 2512 (Admin) to quash the Henfield Neighbourhood....

St Ives Neighbourhood Plan second homes restrictions: Cornerstone Barristers instructed in JR Challenge
10.05.2016

Following the referendum on the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan, which received the support of 83% of residents, a representative of the development industry has challenged the decision by Cornwall Council to allow the Plan to proceed to a referendum.

....

Cornerstone Barristers appears for LTDA in challenge to East-West Cycle Superhighway
15.01.2016

On 13th and 14th January 2016 the High Court (Mrs Justice Patterson DBE) heard argument in R (on the application of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association Ltd) v Transport for London.

....

Permission granted for Judicial Review challenge to Cycle Super Highway
12.10.2015

The High Court has granted the Licensed Taxi Driver Association (LTDA) permission to bring a judicial review challenge in relation to the construction of the East-West Cycle Superhighway by Transport for London.

....

Going underground - High Court shines a light on basement development rights
08.10.2015

In the face of rising property prices and a limited supply of land, particularly in central London, the creation of a basement below your property has become one of the most attractive options for extending your home.

....

Balancing waste provision with Green Belt protection
22.07.2015

By a decision dated 16 July 2015 the Secretary of State, adopting in substance the reasons given by his inspector, has maintained his refusal of a planning permission for a substantial Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, with a capacity of 380,000 tonnes per annum and volume of 585,000 m3, at land at New Barnfield in Welwyn, following a legal challenge in the High Court.

....

Important Decision For Design Policies Of The NPPF And NPPG
29.01.2015
Important decision on whether an acceptable scheme can be turned away in order to encourage a 'better' scheme in the light of the design policies of the National Planning Policy....

Court Of Appeal Dismisses Core Strategy And Judicial Review Challenges Based On Reasonable Alternatives, Reasons, Error Of Fact, Interpretation Of Development Plan Policy, And The Meaning Of ‘Playing Field’
30.10.2014
In a unanimous ruling (though with split reasoning) the Court of Appeal [Moore-Bick, Beatson, and Briggs LJJ] handed down judgement on Tuesday dismissing a challenge to the grant of planning....

Secretary Of State Refuses Permission For New Barnfield 380 Tkpa RERF
10.07.2014
The Secretary of State, adopting in substance the reasons given by his inspector, has refused planning permission for a substantial Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, with a capacity of 380,000....

Pinewood Studios And Major Housing Development
25.06.2014
An Important Week for the Green Belt: Pinewood Studios and Major Housing Development The Secretary of State issued two major Green Belt appeal decisions on consecutive days last week. They provide important....

Secretary Of State Refuses Permission For 750 Houses In Green Belt
20.06.2014
The Secretary of State refused permission for one of the most substantial proposals around London of 750 houses. Richard Ground appeared for Basildon and Mark Lowe QC appeared for the....

Breach Of Section 66 Planning (Listed Buildings And Conservation Areas) Act 1990 Not A Trump Card Where There Is A Significant Housing Shortfall
13.06.2014
Land North of West End Lane, Henfield: APP/Z3825/A/13/2205204 Inspector RPE Mellor Date of decision: 2 June 2014 In a recent appeal decision for an urban extension of 160 homes to the north of....

Llanishen Reservoir, Cardiff: Western Power Distribution (WPD) Lose Round 3
28.05.2013
WPD's controversial proposals to redevelop this redundant, and now drained, reservoir in the northern suburbs of Cardiff primarily for residential development have been through several iterations. The first proposals were....

Retail Impact decision against Tesco in Basingstoke
09.04.2013
An out of centre Tesco superstore has been refused permission on appeal despite an officer recommendation to approve. The Inspector agreed with the Council, and Asda (whose store anchors the....

Court of Appeal declines to overturn rule that no right of appeal lies against refusal of leave to appeal Planning Inspector’s decision on a s. 174 enforcement notice appeal
08.02.2013

Mark Lowe QC, Estelle Dehon and Jack Parker have appeared in the Court of Appeal in Walsall MBC and Dartford BC v The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Vodafone Limited and Telefonica Limited [2013].

....

High Court underlines Breadth and Importance of s. 28G duty to further conservation and enhancement of environment in decisions affecting land
05.02.2013

Mark Lowe QC and Jack Parker, acting for Cardiff City Council in R(Western Power Distribution Investments Ltd) v Cardiff City Council [2013], appeared before Mr Justice Burton, in a JR challenge to the Council's decision to appropriate open space land for allotments.

....

Former Powergen Site Inquiry, Ashford [2008]
07.09.2008
Mark Lowe QC and Tom Cosgrove appeared on behalf of a developer in a major inquiry. The inquiry considered a 'trail blazing' mixed use proposal and covered a wide range....

Secretary of State grants permission for a landmark sustainable development in Ashford, Kent
07.07.2008
On the 3rd July 2008 the Secretary of State granted outline planning permission to a developer for one of the largest mixed use zero carbon emission developments in the south....

Court orders change of Direction for Mayor
25.03.2008
Mark Lowe QC with Rory Clarke appeared for the London Borough of Enfield against Geoffrey Stephenson for the Mayor in an important Court of Appeal decision on the principle of....

The Mayor of London v The London Borough of Enfield [2008] EWCA 202
01.01.2008
Planning and Compensation - Against the decision to serve a direction requiring local authority to make further provision for waste recycling facilities. View full judgment.....

Morland, R (on the application of) v Persimmon Homes (Wessex) Ltd [2006] EWHC 1243 (Admin)
01.01.2006
The extent to which an developer was able to vary proposals the subject of a Masterplan. See full text of case.....

Lough & Anor v First Secretary of State & Anor [2004] EWCA Civ 905
01.01.2004
Human Rights Convention and Planning inquiries. See full text of case....

Henry Boot Homes Ltd. v Bassetlaw District Council [2002] EWCA Civ 983
01.01.2002
Conditions precedent and implementation of planning permissions. See full text of case....

R V Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, Ex Parte Lawrie Plantation Services Ltd, House Of Lords (1999) 1 WLR 1415 : (1999) 3 All ER 929 : (2000) 79 P & CR 467 : (1999) EGCS 100 : Times, July 12, 1999
01.01.1999
Mark Lowe QC and Tom Cosgrove were instructed by the planning authority in this case in the House of Lords. This case considered whether a company's use of flats to....

News

St Ives' Ban on Second Homes
15.11.2016
The Planner and Local Government Lawyer have reported on The High Court ruling on 10th November 2016 which found that a policy in the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan which prohibits new....

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 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....

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

Mark Lowe has been instructed in substantial local government cases, particularly those relating to vires finance issues and CPOs, for many years by both the public and private sectors.

His aim is to assist his public sector clients in avoiding successful judicial review applications. He has a wide advisory practice as well as being engaged in judicial review proceedings. Highlights have included advising both the Mayor and the Prime Minister on the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games and he advised again on the bid for the World Cup 2018. He also acted for the Audit Commission in the challenge to the London Borough of Lambeth and Liverpool City Council when they refused to make a rate in protest against the poll tax and acted for the Mayor of Westminster in the challenge to the 'forward funding' scandal on the demise of the LGA. More recently he has recently adopted the role of a Designated Independent Person to conduct an investigation into misconduct by a senior officer.

His more recent work includes:

  • Appointed as a Designated Independent Person to investigate and report upon allegations of misconduct against a local authority chief executive.
  • Opposing the CPOs necessary for the construction of a bypass at Witney (Cogges Link Road).
  • Advising the Mayor of London with respect to the role of Deputy Mayors.
  • Advising on Town and Village Green applications on a residential development site.
  • Protecting the allocation of a major housing site in a Local Plan in a challenge to the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
  • Appearing in the High Court and Court of Appeal on a challenge to enforcement notice decisions with respect to mobile phone equipment.
  • Advising a consortium of Local Authorities on post LAML structures for the outsourcing of welfare and administrative services.
  • Advising an education authority on the temporary relocation of a special needs school.
  • Appearing a judicial review for Hertfordshire County Council and North Herts DC in a judicial review of the grant of planning permission by the SoS to 3,600 houses West of Stevenage on the basis of the inadequacy of the s.106 arrangements for education, affordable housing and sustainable development.

Cases

St Ives' Second Homes Ban Lawful
10.11.2016
The High Court has today found a policy in the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan which prohibits new dwellings being used as holiday homes to be lawful. The St Ives Neighbourhood....

St Ives Neighbourhood Plan second homes restrictions: Cornerstone Barristers instructed in JR Challenge
10.05.2016

Following the referendum on the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan, which received the support of 83% of residents, a representative of the development industry has challenged the decision by Cornwall Council to allow the Plan to proceed to a referendum.

....

The British Beer and Pub Association & Ors v Canterbury City Council [2005] EWHC 1318 (Admin)
01.01.2005
The first judicial review under the Licensing Act 2003. View judgment.....

Lough & Anor v First Secretary of State & Anor [2004] EWCA Civ 905
01.01.2004
Human Rights Convention and Planning inquiries. View judgment.....

Newham v Kibata [2003] EWCA Civ 1785
01.01.2003
Human Rights - Housing See full text of case....

R V Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, Ex Parte Lawrie Plantation Services Ltd, House Of Lords (1999) 1 WLR 1415 : (1999) 3 All ER 929 : (2000) 79 P & CR 467 : (1999) EGCS 100 : Times, July 12, 1999
01.01.1999
Mark Lowe QC and Tom Cosgrove were instructed by the planning authority in this case in the House of Lords. This case considered whether a company's use of flats to....

News

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....

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

Mark's practice started out in the field of general common law where a good grounding in property law was essential to deal with the wide range of boundary disputes, restrictive covenant claims, landlords and tenant actions and other neighbour disputes which were the core of his then practice.

Although he subsequently became a specialist in Planning and Local Government/Public law he retains an interest in the field of Property law, particularly where there is an overlap between the two.

For example, he has advised and appeared in applications to discharge restrictive covenants, in disputes between neighbours concerning the scope of permitted rights under both planning permissions, covenants in Transfers and rights or way, and in the proper interpretation and effect of covenants in s.106 obligations for major house-building sites.

He is presently advising housing developers on the relationship between a right of way and the highway elements of a planning permission granted for a substantial residential development.

Cases

Going underground - High Court shines a light on basement development rights
08.10.2015

In the face of rising property prices and a limited supply of land, particularly in central London, the creation of a basement below your property has become one of the most attractive options for extending your home.

....

Is The Forest of Dean Megabasement PD?
05.12.2014

Mark Lowe QC was instructed to fight off the enforcement notice issued by the Forest of Dean DC requiring the demolition of this remarkable sports centre – 2 lane 10 pin bowling, sports hall, squash court, games rooms, cinema and theatre and soft play centre. This is a test case on householder rights under the GDPO, especially those concerning the 'single storey' and height measurement tests. Decision awaited.

....

News

St Ives' Ban on Second Homes
15.11.2016
The Planner and Local Government Lawyer have reported on The High Court ruling on 10th November 2016 which found that a policy in the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan which prohibits new....

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

Cornerstone Barristers has significant experience advising on a whole host of energy issues, particularly in relation to renewable energy developments.

The ongoing political emphasis on renewable energy sources is fuelling a dramatic increase in energy scheme proposals such as wind farms, solar plants, nuclear energy and fracking. Such developments can often be contentious, giving rise to concerns over the impact on the local community, residential amenities and the environment.

Our barristers have expertise across all these interwoven areas including environmental law, compulsory purchase and compensation, minerals and waste, rights of way, highways, and village greens and commons. This enables us to provide a comprehensive service which covers every aspect of the development process, from the planning application stage through to public inquiries and appeals in the Higher Courts.

We regularly advise developers (both private and public), local authorities, interested third parties and individuals on issues such as:

  • Development applications and proposals
  • Landscape and visual impacts
  • Noise
  • Ecology
  • Heritage impacts
  • Transport and highway issues
  • Residential amenities
  • Health and safety

Our barristers have been instructed in relation to several of the most significant energy development proposals in England and Wales such as the the UK's largest ever conjoined wind farm inquiries in Mid Wales and recent challenges to proposals concerning fracking sites in Lancashire.

Cases

Balancing waste provision with Green Belt protection
22.07.2015

By a decision dated 16 July 2015 the Secretary of State, adopting in substance the reasons given by his inspector, has maintained his refusal of a planning permission for a substantial Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, with a capacity of 380,000 tonnes per annum and volume of 585,000 m3, at land at New Barnfield in Welwyn, following a legal challenge in the High Court.

....

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....

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.

Gambling for Local Authorities: Licensing, Planning and Regeneration

23rd August 2007

In partnership with the Institute of Licensing, Cornerstone Barristers has produced a new publication: Gambling for Local Authorities: Licensing, Planning and Regeneration (General Editor: Philip Kolvin).

The book is designed to abbreviate and simplify the new law of gambling. It is intended for easy reading by both officers and members involved in licensing and allied fields such as planning and regeneration. It is the only book which will draw the important links between planning and licensing and which involves experts from across all the relevant disciplines. Writers include Philip Kolvin QC, Mark Lowe QC, Rory Clarke, Michael Bedford, Josef Cannon and Clare Parry.

Other writers include Institute Vice Chair Professor Colin Manchester (Professor of Licensing Law, University of Warwick), Professor Peter Collins (a leading expert in gambling and regeneration), planning expert Andy Arrick of Roger Tym & Partners, Jeremy Phillips (who edits Patersons) and William Hill Chief Executive David Harding. We are hoping that it will become a standard reference work in its field.

We do hope that you will take advantage of this offer before it ends. Further information on the book is set out below, together with an order form.

Click here for further details.

Reviews include:

"An excellent account of the framework of the new Act", and "strongly recommended". Roy Light, a professor of law UWE and a barrister at St John's Chambers, Bristol, writing in Solicitor's Journal

"A testimony to the changed landscape and the lifting of local authority regulation to a higher plane. Wearing the badge of the Institute of Licensing, as it does, this volume is as much an advertisement for the new order as it is a valuable contribution to modern gambling knowledge." The Licensing Review [70], July 2007

"In this timely and extremely important new book, Philip Kolvin and his team cut through this enormous piece of legislation with a light narrative style, incisive comments and useful practical applications. The book is suitable for anyone with any involvement with the new legislation, whether they are from the licensing authority, planning authority, gambling industry or responsible authorities or interested parties. Technical matters are clearly explained, the practical aspects of application and challenge are clarified and the use of the various licences and permissions is detailed and comprehensible. For a book to succeed, it must be both useful and accessible, and "Gambling for local authorities: licensing, planning and regeneration" seems set to succeed on both levels. It is highly recommended." James Button, PH Law

"Kolvin's book provides answers for the many challenges facing local authorities under the new legislation. It is a good advert for the legal profession." Dr. Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, Nottingham Trent University

  • Recorder of the Crown Court
  • Assistant Boundary Commissioner
  • Bencher of Gray's Inn
  • Founding Committee member of Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
  • Former Committee member of Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA)

News

St Ives' Ban on Second Homes

15th November 2016

The Planner and Local Government Lawyer have reported on The High Court ruling on 10th November 2016 which found that a policy in the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan which prohibits new....

Case

St Ives' Second Homes Ban Lawful

10th November 2016

The High Court has today found a policy in the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan which prohibits new dwellings being used as holiday homes to be lawful. The St Ives Neighbourhood....

Case

Neighbourhood Plan Quashed – Boundaries of the 'Soft Touch' Approach

13th October 2016

Mrs Justice Patterson gave judgment today in R. (Stonegate Homes Limited and another) v. Horsham District Council and Henfield Parish Council [2016] EWHC 2512 (Admin) to quash the Henfield Neighbourhood....

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.....

Case

St Ives Neighbourhood Plan second homes restrictions: Cornerstone Barristers instructed in JR Challenge

10th May 2016

Following the referendum on the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan, which received the support of 83% of residents, a representative of the development industry has challenged the decision by Cornwall Council to allow the Plan to proceed to a referendum.

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Case

Cornerstone Barristers appears for LTDA in challenge to East-West Cycle Superhighway

15th January 2016

On 13th and 14th January 2016 the High Court (Mrs Justice Patterson DBE) heard argument in R (on the application of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association Ltd) v Transport for London.

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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....

Case

Permission granted for Judicial Review challenge to Cycle Super Highway

12th October 2015

The High Court has granted the Licensed Taxi Driver Association (LTDA) permission to bring a judicial review challenge in relation to the construction of the East-West Cycle Superhighway by Transport for London.

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Case

Going underground - High Court shines a light on basement development rights

8th October 2015

In the face of rising property prices and a limited supply of land, particularly in central London, the creation of a basement below your property has become one of the most attractive options for extending your home.

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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

Balancing waste provision with Green Belt protection

22nd July 2015

By a decision dated 16 July 2015 the Secretary of State, adopting in substance the reasons given by his inspector, has maintained his refusal of a planning permission for a substantial Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, with a capacity of 380,000 tonnes per annum and volume of 585,000 m3, at land at New Barnfield in Welwyn, following a legal challenge in the High Court.

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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

Important Decision For Design Policies Of The NPPF And NPPG

29th January 2015

Important decision on whether an acceptable scheme can be turned away in order to encourage a 'better' scheme in the light of the design policies of the National Planning Policy....

Case

Is The Forest of Dean Megabasement PD?

5th December 2014

Mark Lowe QC was instructed to fight off the enforcement notice issued by the Forest of Dean DC requiring the demolition of this remarkable sports centre – 2 lane 10 pin bowling, sports hall, squash court, games rooms, cinema and theatre and soft play centre. This is a test case on householder rights under the GDPO, especially those concerning the 'single storey' and height measurement tests. Decision awaited.

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Case

Court Of Appeal Dismisses Core Strategy And Judicial Review Challenges Based On Reasonable Alternatives, Reasons, Error Of Fact, Interpretation Of Development Plan Policy, And The Meaning Of ‘Playing Field’

30th October 2014

In a unanimous ruling (though with split reasoning) the Court of Appeal [Moore-Bick, Beatson, and Briggs LJJ] handed down judgement on Tuesday dismissing a challenge to the grant of planning....

Case

Secretary Of State Refuses Permission For New Barnfield 380 Tkpa RERF

10th July 2014

The Secretary of State, adopting in substance the reasons given by his inspector, has refused planning permission for a substantial Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, with a capacity of 380,000....

Case

Pinewood Studios And Major Housing Development

25th June 2014

An Important Week for the Green Belt: Pinewood Studios and Major Housing Development The Secretary of State issued two major Green Belt appeal decisions on consecutive days last week. They provide important....

Case

Secretary Of State Refuses Permission For 750 Houses In Green Belt

20th June 2014

The Secretary of State refused permission for one of the most substantial proposals around London of 750 houses. Richard Ground appeared for Basildon and Mark Lowe QC appeared for the....

Case

Breach Of Section 66 Planning (Listed Buildings And Conservation Areas) Act 1990 Not A Trump Card Where There Is A Significant Housing Shortfall

13th June 2014

Land North of West End Lane, Henfield: APP/Z3825/A/13/2205204 Inspector RPE Mellor Date of decision: 2 June 2014 In a recent appeal decision for an urban extension of 160 homes to the north of....

Case

Llanishen Reservoir, Cardiff: Western Power Distribution (WPD) Lose Round 3

28th May 2013

WPD's controversial proposals to redevelop this redundant, and now drained, reservoir in the northern suburbs of Cardiff primarily for residential development have been through several iterations. The first proposals were....

Case

Retail Impact decision against Tesco in Basingstoke

9th April 2013

An out of centre Tesco superstore has been refused permission on appeal despite an officer recommendation to approve. The Inspector agreed with the Council, and Asda (whose store anchors the....

Case

Court of Appeal declines to overturn rule that no right of appeal lies against refusal of leave to appeal Planning Inspector’s decision on a s. 174 enforcement notice appeal

8th February 2013

Mark Lowe QC, Estelle Dehon and Jack Parker have appeared in the Court of Appeal in Walsall MBC and Dartford BC v The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Vodafone Limited and Telefonica Limited [2013].

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Case

High Court underlines Breadth and Importance of s. 28G duty to further conservation and enhancement of environment in decisions affecting land

5th February 2013

Mark Lowe QC and Jack Parker, acting for Cardiff City Council in R(Western Power Distribution Investments Ltd) v Cardiff City Council [2013], appeared before Mr Justice Burton, in a JR challenge to the Council's decision to appropriate open space land for allotments.

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News

CPO for Unsustainable By Pass Quashed despite PM’s support

27th September 2012

Mark Lowe QC and Wayne Beglan, instructed by Burges Salmon, appeared for the Mawle Trustees as the sole statutory objectors to the Cogges Link Road CPO inquiry at Witney last November over a period of four weeks.

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Case

Linden Homes Ltd v Bromley Borough Council [2011] EWHC 3430 (Admin)

19th December 2011

View judgment.....

Case

Former Powergen Site Inquiry, Ashford [2008]

7th September 2008

Mark Lowe QC and Tom Cosgrove appeared on behalf of a developer in a major inquiry. The inquiry considered a 'trail blazing' mixed use proposal and covered a wide range....

Case

Secretary of State grants permission for a landmark sustainable development in Ashford, Kent

7th July 2008

On the 3rd July 2008 the Secretary of State granted outline planning permission to a developer for one of the largest mixed use zero carbon emission developments in the south....

Case

Court orders change of Direction for Mayor

25th March 2008

Mark Lowe QC with Rory Clarke appeared for the London Borough of Enfield against Geoffrey Stephenson for the Mayor in an important Court of Appeal decision on the principle of....

Case

The Mayor of London v The London Borough of Enfield [2008] EWCA 202

1st January 2008

Planning and Compensation - Against the decision to serve a direction requiring local authority to make further provision for waste recycling facilities. View full judgment.....

Case

Morland, R (on the application of) v Persimmon Homes (Wessex) Ltd [2006] EWHC 1243 (Admin)

1st January 2006

The extent to which an developer was able to vary proposals the subject of a Masterplan. See full text of case.....

Case

Davey v Aylesbury Vale District Council & Anor [2005] EWHC 359 (Admin)

1st January 2005

See full text of case....

Case

The British Beer and Pub Association & Ors v Canterbury City Council [2005] EWHC 1318 (Admin)

1st January 2005

The first judicial review under the Licensing Act 2003. View judgment.....

Case

Lough & Anor v First Secretary of State & Anor [2004] EWCA Civ 905

1st January 2004

Human Rights Convention and Planning inquiries. See full text of case....

Case

Lough & Anor v First Secretary of State & Anor [2004] EWCA Civ 905

1st January 2004

Human Rights Convention and Planning inquiries. View judgment.....

Case

Newham v Kibata [2003] EWCA Civ 1785

1st January 2003

Human Rights - Housing See full text of case....

Case

Henry Boot Homes Ltd. v Bassetlaw District Council [2002] EWCA Civ 983

1st January 2002

Conditions precedent and implementation of planning permissions. See full text of case....

Case

R V Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, Ex Parte Lawrie Plantation Services Ltd, House Of Lords (1999) 1 WLR 1415 : (1999) 3 All ER 929 : (2000) 79 P & CR 467 : (1999) EGCS 100 : Times, July 12, 1999

1st January 1999

Mark Lowe QC and Tom Cosgrove were instructed by the planning authority in this case in the House of Lords. This case considered whether a company's use of flats to....

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....