Martin began as a solicitor in local government responsible for planning and environmental law and advocacy before moving into private practice, becoming a partner and head of planning and environmental law with an international law firm. In 1995 he transferred to the Bar.
Martin is an elected member of the RTPI General Assembly.
Martin has gained considerable experience in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters involving all aspects of planning and environmental law, practice and procedure. He has direct experience of taking development projects through the planning process from conception to completion including providing strategic, legal and tactical advice, preparing and submitting planning applications and appeals and before the courts at all levels. His clients include local authorities, developers, landowners, third parties and investors. He also advises on compulsory purchase and compensation matters including compensation claims in the Lands Chamber and acts for applicants, objecting landowners and as an inspector in connection with applications to register village greens.
Martin is a leading author on planning and environmental law with hundreds of published articles and books to his name including the monthly Planning Notes column in the Estates Gazette and is the case commentator for the Journal of Planning and Environmental Law. Martin is also a frequent speaker on planning and environmental law at leading professional conferences and is an experienced seminar presenter.
- Planning and Environment
Martin has been involved in all forms of planning appeals including representing clients at public inquiries, hearings and in court covering a wide variety of projects both large and small across a range of sectors. He has also acted for clients when areas of difficulty have arisen and successfully avoided the need for an appeal by resolving the matter through negotiation. He has considerable experience of acting for local planning authorities and landowners in connection with development plan preparation including drafting representations and appearing at hearings and inquiries. Martin has also considerable experience of all aspects of lawful development certificate applications, enforcement notices and appeals, prosecutions and injunctions
Town and village greens
Martin has represented applicants for and objectors to numerous village green registration applications. He has also advised registration authorities in connection with applications for registration and acted as non-statutory inquiry inspector in relation to applications in Milton Keynes, Bath, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire. In spring 2014 he successfully represented the objecting developer landowner at a week-long inquiry into an application on a site in Leicestershire.
Utilities and Infrastructure
Martin acted for Epsom & Ewell BC in connection with the section 106 planning agreement for a 1,500 unit residential redevelopment of the Epsom Hospital Cluster which had a projected timescale of fifteen years. Martin has acted for a number of developers in connection with the provision of development infrastructure. He represented Fairview Homes in connection with the first ever appeal to OFWAT against a refusal by a water company to allow a large residential site to be connected to the existing sewage. He has also dealt with bridging orders over navigable waterways and surface water drainage into a canal. He has acted for clients in connection with electricity wayleaves. He advised an international tyre manufacturer in connection with a private gas supply.
Highways and Footpaths
Martin has acted in a wide variety of highways related matters including representing developers in relation to Stopping Up Orders including at inquiry and representing the highways authority in connection with Highways Act 1980 extinguishment applications. Martin acted for a landowner at the original and re-opened non-statutory inquiries into a disputed routing of a Footpath in Devon. Despite the inspector’s clear recommendation after the first inquiry the highway authority refused to accept the recommendation and this was successfully challenged on Wednesbury unreasonableness grounds in the High Court.
Compulsory purchase orders and compensation claims
Martin advised and represents both acquiring authorities and affected landowners in connection with all aspects of compulsory purchase including at inquiries and in relation to compensation before the Lands Chamber. Martin represented Thanet District Council in connection with its compulsory purchase of the iconic Dreamland site in Margate to construct the world’s first heritage amusement park which involved a four-week inquiry and subsequent statutory challenges following confirmation by the landowner in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Martin acted for and represented the Government of Montserrat in a compulsory purchase compensation claim in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and before the Privy Council. He also represented the local community in successfully opposing the Pendle Pathfinder CPO in Nelson and for which he was nominated for the 2004 Chambers Pro Bono award. Martin has also acted in matters involving electricity wayleaves and compensation.
Waste and minerals
Martin represented Derbyshire County Council at an inquiry and successfully resisted an appeal for an asbestos waste transfer station at Chesterfield.
Parliamentary proceedings and public affairs
Martin acted for a major City property owner in the House of Commons in connection with the Docklands Light Railway Extension to Bank private Bill. He also appeared for British Telecommunications plc before the House of Commons on the Crossrail Bill.
Liquor and entertainment licensing
Martin has acted for a number of pub companies in connection with licence applications and appeals and also in connection with related planning applications and appeals in relation to conditions on planning permissions. He has represented a Mayfair lap-dancing club in connection with entertainment licensing and planning issues.
Over the years Martin has acted in a number of non-domestic rating matters. He acted for Addis Limited in connection with its successful appeal in the House of Lords relating to the effect of an Enterprise Zone on the tone of the list, he represented Cherwell District Council in connection with a liability order against Banbury Rugby Club where the club were claiming charitable exemption He has written the Non-Domestic Rating chapter in Civil Appeals (Editor Mr Justice Burton).
Martin advises landowners, developers and local authorities in connection with contaminated land liability issues in relation to property and corporate transactions and property development. In 2002 he advised St Albans City and District Council in connection with the investigation and formal designation of the site at St Leonard’s Court, Sandridge, Hertfordshire as contaminated land for the purposes of part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and its subsequent designation as a special site, decisions upheld by the Secretary of State in July 2009 and confirmed by the High Court in 2010.
In May 2010 he represented the objecting landowner of a site identified as the location for a proposed SW reservoir at the first ever Water Resources Management Plan inquiry held under the Water Act 2003 into the South East Water Company’s Water Resources Management Plan.
Water industry consents
Martin has acted for developers in connection with disputes regarding the provision of water infrastructure and discharge consents. He acted for Fairview Homes in connection with the first ever appeal to OFWAT against the refusal by a water company to permit a development site to be connected to the existing public sewer systems.
Pollution offences under environmental legislation – Martin has defended a number of leading companies in connection with water pollution offences arising from accidental spillages of fuel oils and other chemicals.
Private and statutory nuisance
Martin has acted in a wide range of nuisance claims. He acted for and represented local householders in connection with petrol contamination from a petrol filling station, and for a developer in a week-long trial regarding construction site noise. Martin has also acted for local authorities and represented defendants in connection with statutory nuisances involving noise, noise from vehicles and odour including abatement notices and prosecutions. Martin acted for the defendant in a major private nuisance and negligence claim arising out of agricultural crop spraying.
Greenhouse gas emissions trading
In 2008 he represented the appellant steelworks Alphasteel at the first hearing in Wales into an appeal against a Civil Penalty Notice under the EU ETS Part 2 as set out in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2005 and in 2010 he represented the appellant food manufacturer in the first such hearing in England into appeals against a Revocation Notice and Notice of Withholding Allowances.
- Inspector rejects proposals for two new Garden Communities in North Essex20 May 2020
- What exactly did the Supreme Court say in Lambeth LBC v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government?09 Jul 2019
- Proposals for three garden communities in north Essex declared unsound by inspector25 Jun 2018
- Failure to consider the effect of a development on the setting of a listed building results in Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent Quashing01 Jan 2018
- Gary Sharp v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government CO/3585/201401 Jan 2018
- R (On The Application Of Lucchetti) V South Norfolk District Council01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – Fail to Plan or Plan to Fail?01 Jan 2018
- R (Lochailort Investments Ltd) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Mendip District Council  EWHC 3358 (Admin)01 Jan 2018
- R (oao Sharp) v Chelmsford City Council and the Environment Agency  EWHC 4180 (Admin)01 Jan 2018
- Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company and others v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Thanet District Council  EWCA (Civ) 117801 Jan 2018
- R (oao Estates and Agency Limited) v London Borough of Dagenham and Redbridge and Tesco Stores Limited EWHC 374401 Jan 2018
- Myrtle Francis and others v Secretary of State for Transport  CO/10/201301 Jan 2018
- Some more thoughts from the Secretary of State on the relationship between five year housing land supply and development plans01 Jan 2018
- This development is a pig sty (literally)01 Jan 2018
- R (oao Peter Gibson) v Harrow LBC and Parish of St George Headstone  EWHC 3449 (Admin)01 Jan 2018
- R (on the application of Kelly) v Dorset County Council  EWHC 18701 Jan 2018
- R (on the application of Loader) v Poole BC and Ravine Lifestyle  EWHC 1288 Admin01 Jan 2018
- New Forest District Council v Shutler  EWHC 3122 Admin01 Jan 2018
- North Devon District Council v First Secretary of State and Stokes  EWHC 578 (Admin)01 Jan 2018
- Wheeler v First Secretary of State and Wealden District Council  EWHC 1194 Admin01 Jan 2018
- When is a non-material amendment material?01 Jan 2018
- Local objectors succeed in seeing off a large solar farm proposal in the Green Belt01 Jan 2018
- Martin Edwards has been re-elected to serve a second term as a member of the General Assembly of the Royal Town Planning Institute30 Sep 2020
- Martin Edwards elected to the RTPI General Assembly09 Oct 2018
- NPPF2: A new planning rulebook, or more of the same?25 Jul 2018
- Brexit: Planning and the Environment Outside the EU01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – No end in sight01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – Code red for green belt01 Jan 2018
- Local Government Lawyer – A growing reluctance to quash?01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – Quicker to bring but harder to win?01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – Neighbours or Nimbys?01 Jan 2018
- Affordable housing policy exclusions small sites, and vacant building credit01 Jan 2018
- The Planner – Practical ways to overcome obstacles to planning permission01 Jan 2018
- Local Government Lawyer – Challenging HSE enforcement notices01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette: An encouraging start01 Jan 2018
- Martin Edwards joins Cornerstone01 Jan 2018
- Neighbourhood Plans – here to stay: Martin Edwards comments01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – Standing at the cliff edge?01 Jan 2018
- Midlands Business Insider – Land Grab01 Jan 2018
- Cornerstone Leisure Newsletter May 201701 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – A presumption too far01 Jan 2018
- Estates Gazette – Paying for the past01 Jan 2018
- Cornerstone Annual Planning Day01 Jan 2018
- Music venues and their neighbours: Government’s plans to strike the right balance01 Jan 2018
- Commercial and Regulatory
Health and safety
Martin has acted for a number of employers in connection with health and safety issues and prosecutions. He represented Homebase Ltd in Bristol Crown Court (led by Richard Ferguson QC) in a two week fatal accident trial.
Corporate support and due diligence investigations
Martin has acted and advised in connection with numerous corporate transaction involving issues of potential environmental liability. He was the lead partner of a team in Paris advising Crown Cork & Seal Inc of Philadelphia on global environmental issues in connection with its $5.4bn takeover of Carnaud Metalbox.