Christiaan Zwart

Year of call:
1997
Email:
christiaan.zwart@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“There’s an academic excellence to Christiaan Zwart – he’ll come forward with a solution and it’ll have a well-founded academic base. He’s also a masterful negotiator, a sound adviser and a good draftsman, and is very affable and easy to work with.”
Chambers & Partners

Christiaan Zwart has an extensive practice in Planning, Environmental, Public and Local Government Law. He regularly represents developers, local authorities, and government agencies, including HMRC, the EA, and HA. He has a great deal of experience at planning inquiries and hearings; at DCO, CPO and TWA hearings; at High Court challenges, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He also has experience in other jurisdictions including Hong Kong and, in planning and commercial law, in Jersey.

As an infrastructure barrister Christiaan has extensive expertise in all aspects of DCOs including promoting, regulating, objecting, and advising the Examining Authority and decision taker. Christiaan’s experience includes related land rights, coastal path, access, and rights of way matters, and land taxes and levies.

As a planning barrister Christiaan has considerable experience in residential housing development. He is regularly instructed on large urban extensions and regeneration schemes. As a viability and CIL barrister Christiaan has particular expertise in fiscal planning matters.

His other areas of practice include Tax where is has appeared in numerous First Tier Tribunals, the Upper Tier Tax Tribunal and the High Court, both for and against HMRC, and in Rating hearings. As a residential VAT specialist Christiaan has particular expertise in development financial disputes.

Christiaan is regularly recommended by Chambers & Partners and also by The Legal 500 for Planning Law. He is also regularly ranked by Planning Magazine in its Top Juniors.

Planning, Environment & Property


Christiaan Zwart has a wide-ranging & versatile practice, specialising in complex & technically involved cases, in the fields of planning & regeneration, compulsory purchase, & environment & related regulation.

Christiaan regularly appears in public inquiries & the High Court in relation to development in this jurisdiction & other jurisdictions such as Jersey & Hong Kong.

Christiaan’s planning practice is wide. It includes residential, mixed use, & retail development, heritage, airports, renewables & energy-related development, regeneration schemes & Green Belt, related environmental matters, viability & planning obligations, enforcement & local plans. Christiaan has particular expertise in development consent orders, & TWAs, & is uniquely experienced in having acted for all parties in the DCO process: applicant; regulator; local authority; objector; examining panel; & decision taker; & so is particularly well-placed to advise. Christiaan is also uniquely experienced in all CIL matters as a result of his planning & HMRC experience.

Christiaan’s environment practice is also typified by complex cases & covers all areas of EU Law derived environmental regulation (such as Habitats Regulation & assessments) & environmental permitting, as well as domestic environmental law including flooding & access to land. He regularly advises & acts for the Environment Agency, the Department of Transport, developers, & for businesses encountering environmental issues & litigation.

Recent examples of significant planning cases include:

2018:     Advising the local planning authority on the Stansted Airport Expansion planning application.

Securing advertising consent for the Alfa Laval Tower on behalf of BP’s pension fund to ensure delivery of a flagship car showroom for Hyundai Motors UK on the Great West Road & concluding area regeneration.

2017: Securing planning permission for the Co-op developing 330 houses on a green field site next to Desborough & despite a Neighbourhood Plan.

Acting on behalf of the Minister of Health at the Jersey Future Hospital inquiry, St Helier.

2016: Securing the Hallesville Quarter CPO for Bouygues UK at Canning Town to ensure delivery of its £600m new town centre & 1,100 homes.

Safeguarding planning permission for a Cruise Liner Terminal at Enderby Wharf, Greenwich, from judicial review about Air Quality impacts from shipping emissions.

Examples of significant infrastructure cases include:

2017:     Silvertown Tunnel DCO.

2016:     Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm DCO.

2015:     Thames Tideway Tunnel DCO.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Generating Station DCO.

Manchester Piccadilly & Oxford Road Capacity TWA Order.

2014:     South Hook Combined Heat & Power Station DCO.

2013:     Hinkley Point C (Nuclear Generating Station) DCO.

2012:     Hinkley Point C Temporary Jetty TWA.

Examples of significant environmental cases include:

2018: Objecting on behalf of Berthon Boatyard, the largest privately owned boatyard & marina in the UK, to the establishment of the English Coastal Path through Lymington adjacent to its land.

Securing for BP’s pension fund Advertising Consent for a digital display forming the side of a former office block so as to ensure its delivery as a refurbished flagship car showroom for Hyundai Motors UK on the Great West Road.

2017: Successfully defending the Environment Agency from judicial review concerning water discharge investigations.

Other examples of environmental cases include:

Advising on fracking & the licensing of well sites.

Advising on “foreshore” & riparian rights of major landowners.

Advising on flood risk at Hinkley Point C DCO.

Advising a water utility on legislative water quality provisions to avoid litigation.

Advising on the Nitrates Directive & polluting run-off.

EU Law


Christiaan’s EU Law practice is extensive and underpins his Environmental Law, Planning Law, and Tax Law Practice Areas.

In his Environmental and Planning Law practice, Christiaan has a lot of experience in EU Law. Christiaan regularly advises developers and affected businesses, concerned parties, local authorities, and regulators, on all aspects of EU Environmental Law and related Directives, in particular on Air Quality, Habitats, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Integrated Pollution, Prevention & Control and Environmental Permitting, together with related Access to Information regimes.

Examples of particular such cases include:

Stansted Airport Expansion planning application (2018) (advising the local authority on a publicly important project, of wide technical & environmental range, including Air Quality & Habitats Directives concerns).

English Coastal Path – Highcliffe to Calshot – Lymington (2018) (Water Framework Directive & Estuary Water Body defining the edge of an estuary where a coastal path is proposed by Natural England).

Tall Trees planning enforcement (2017 – ) (enforcement of unplanned communities in an SPA Heathland protection zone).

R (oao PS) v Royal London Borough of Greenwich [2016] EWHC 1967 (Air Quality Directive, Air Quality impacts & Air Quality Management Areas, in respect of shipping emissions from Enderby Wharf Cruise Liner Terminal as part of Enderby Wharf Regeneration Scheme).

Advising business & regulators on the Integrated Pollution, Prevention & Control Directive & Environmental Permitting.

Advising concerned parties & businesses on the Nitrates Directive.

 

In his Tax Law Practice, Christiaan has a lot of experience in EU Law, having acted for HMRC. Christiaan regularly advises tax payers, on the Principal VAT Directive, the Customs Code, & the Customs Tariff.

Examples of particular such cases include:

Associated British Ports v HMRC (2016) UKFTT (Customs Duty of £400,000 & Import VAT of £1.2m).

Burton v HMRC [2016] UKUT 20 (TCC) (scope of VAT Directive exemption provision for zero rating in the construction sphere).

London College of Computing Ltd v HMRC [2013] UKUT 404 (TC) (meaning of “eligible body” in the VAT Directive education provisions).

Virgin Media v HMRC (2009 – ) (scope of VAT Directive exemption where electronic payments made).

Inquiries & Investigations


Christiaan has considerable experience in the inquiry forum as the principal hearing form for the determination of planning, environmental, and infrastructure matters. Christiaan acts for developers, regulators, Ministers, and municipal authorities. He has a lot of experience of the high degree of technical expertise and analysis required in, and the range of different styles of, inquiries, from the formal ‘planning inquiry’ to the more informal multi-party development consent order ‘issue specific hearing’, as well as considerable experience in advising on strategy and evolving issues, drafting, in team building, and in leading, and being part of, multi-disciplinary inquiry teams.

Christiaan’s experience in advising the inquiry recommending Panel & decision-takers, in addition to developers and regulators, gives him unique insight when appropriately advising particular clients on the different risks to different participants in the consenting process.

Examples of recent large scale inquiries include:

Jersey Future Hospital Inquiry (2017)

Numerous Development Consent Order Hearings including:

Silvertown Tunnel Hearings (2017)

Myndd y Gwnt Wind Turbine Hearings (2015)

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Hearing (2015)

South Hook Hearings (2014)

Hinkley Point C Hearings (2013)

Tax


Christiaan’s Tax Law Practice Area encompasses VAT, including Import & Export VAT & Dispatches, Customs Duty, the Customs Code & Tariffs, Environmental Taxes (emissions trading, landfill & aggregates levy), & Stamp Duty Land Taxes. Having acted on behalf of HMRC for many years in both advisory & advocate roles in the First Tier & Upper Chamber Tax Tribunals & in judicial review proceedings he has considerable Tax Law experience. He regularly advises & acts for tax payers in tax appeals.

Christiaan has particular and significant expertise in property-development related VAT & regularly advises developers & high-net worth individuals on residential VAT where significant sums of tax are at stake.

Christiaan’s combined planning & tax expertise uniquely informs his considerable experience of Community Infrastructure Levy. He regularly advises developers of all scales, & local authorities, on all aspects of CIL including liability, appeals & its collection & enforcement.

 

Significant VAT cases include:

Rainbow Pools London Ltd v HMRC (18th August 2008)

Podolsky v HMRC [2009] UKFTT 387 (TC)

Keith Lamming v HMRC [2009] UKFTT 44 (TC)

LHA-Asra Group Ltd v HMRC [2010] UKFTT 177

Michael Watson v HMRC [2010] UKFTT 526 (TC)

HMRC v Roy Shields [2015] STC 643

HMRC v Barkas [2015] STC 1341

Burton v HMRC [2016] UKUT 20 (TCC)

 

Virgin Media Ltd & Virgin Payments Ltd v HMRC (TC/2009/13710)

 

Significant Environmental Taxes cases include:

Northumbrian Water Ltd v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 337 (TC)

 

Significant Customs Duty & Import VAT cases include:

Associated British Ports v HMRC (2016) UKFTT

 

Significant Tax Judicial Review cases include:

R (oao Strax (UK) Ltd) v HMRC (CO/1609/2009)

 

Significant CIL cases include:

Portsmouth Prison (2017 – )

Aviation & Aerospace


Christiaan has a lot of experience in the Aviation Sector in the UK and in other jurisdictions on a range of airports. He advises developers, local planning authorities, and third parties and regulators concerned with their development. Significant cases include:

Shui Wing Steel Limited v Director of Environment, Hong Kong (2006) (acting for Shui Wing)

Stansted Airport Expansion planning application (2018) advising the local authority on a publicly important project of wide technical & environmental range

Central Government


Christiaan has significant experience in the cross-cutting Central Government Sector including in relation to Administrative & Public Law, Infrastructure, Planning & Environment, Highways & Access, & Taxation.

Christiaan’s Infrastructure Sector experience includes acting on behalf of the Secretaries of State for Community and Local Government, for Transport, and for the Cabinet Office, and in Jersey for the Minister of Health and Department of Infrastructure. See Infrastructure Sector.

Christiaan’s Planning & Environment experience can be found in that Practice Area.

Christiaan’s Tax experience can be found in that Practice Area. Christiaan has significant experience in all property-related VAT matters. He regularly advises developers and HMRC on VAT in the property development sphere. His cases include:

Keith Lamming v HMRC [2009] UKFTT 44 (TC)

Michael Watson v HMRC [2010] UKFTT 526 (TC)

HMRC v Roy Shields [2015] STC 643

HMRC v Barkas [2015] STC 1341

Burton v HMRC [2016] UKUT 20 (TCC)

Christiaan also has considerable experience in Customs Duties and Excise, Tariffs and Commodity Codes, and Import and Export VAT, having advised and acted for HMRC in a variety of cases concerning duties and tariffs, and imports and exports to, within and from the European Union and bonded warehouses.

Education


Christiaan has considerable experience in Education-related VAT law. He has regularly advised HMRC on all types of supplies by education providers in the VAT sphere and appears regularly in the First Tier Tribunal as well as in related judicial review proceedings.

His cases include:

Westminster College of Computing Limited v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 579 (TC)

London College of Computing Ltd v HMRC [2013] UKUT 404 (TC)

The Principals & Fellows of Lady Margaret Hall v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 1092 (TC)

OISE Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 749 (TC)

Energy


Christiaan has significant experience in the Energy Sector, having acted on numerous nationally important infrastructure projects and also many renewable energy projects, including solar parks & fracking installations. His cases include:

Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Order 2011 (Energy-from-Waste Facility)

The Hinkley Point C (Nuclear Generating Station) Order 2013 (acting for the Environment Agency)

The South Hook Combined Heat and Power Plant Order 2014 (acting for Exxon Mobil)

The Swansea Bay Tidal (Generating Station) Order 2015 (acting for the Examining Authority)

Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm Development Consent Order 2015 (acting for Natural Resources Wales)

Infrastructure


Christiaan has unique & significant experience in the Infrastructure Sector, having acted on numerous nationally important infrastructure projects in the UK and in other jurisdictions, & for all parties in the consenting process. His infrastructure experience includes national Energy, Transport, Healthcare, and TWA projects.

His cases include:

Camden Town Tube Station Order (2002) (acting for Electric Ballroom against LUL’s Tube plans)

Hinkley Point Temporary Jetty TWA Order & CPO (2011) (acting for the Environment Agency)

Hinkley Point C (Harbour Empowerment Order (2012) (acting for the Environment Agency)

Manchester Ship Canal Ltd v Environment Agency [2013] EWCA Civ 452 (about infrastructure flooding)

The Hinkley Point C (Nuclear Generating Station) Order 2013 (acting for the Environment Agency)

Electricity Act Consent for 60MW energy-from-waste power station (Lostock) (2013) (acting for Secretary of State)

Thames Tideway Tunnel Order 2014 (acting for the Secretary of State)

South Hook Combined Heat and Power Plant Order 2014 (for developers Qatar State & Exxon Mobil)

The Swansea Bay Tidal (Generating Station) Order 2015 (acting for the Examining Authority Panel)

Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm Development Consent Order 2015 (acting for Natural Resources Wales)

Jersey Gas Works (2015) (acting for Brookfield Infrastructure Partners)

HS2 – Euston Station (2016) (acting for AccorHotels UK in respect of its Ibis Euston Hotel)

Jersey Future Hospital (2017) (acting for Minister of Health & Department of Infrastructure)

The Silvertown Tunnel Order (2018) (acting for Portal Authority, London Borough Newham)

English Coastal Path (2018) (acting for Berthon Boatyard, the UK’s largest private boatyard & marina)

Jersey Future Hospital (2018) (acting for the Minister of Health & Department of Infrastructure to secure consent for a £500m General Hospital in St Helier)

Local Government


Christiaan has significant experience in the Local Government Sector, particularly in the property development-related sphere, all aspects of planning, environment & heritage, highways & access, & local taxation spheres. He regularly advises developers and local authorities on significant regeneration & infrastructure projects, housing development, complex & strategic cases & policy, compulsory purchase, Community Infrastructure Levy, local plans & related matters. Christiaan’s particular significant cases include:

Rathbone Market Compulsory Purchase Order (2015) for a £200m mixed use development for MUSE

Kidbrooke Estate Regeneration (2016)for a £1bn significant housing-led regeneration in Greenwich

Meridian Water Development (2016) for a £6bn mixed retail & housing development in Enfield

Hallesville Quarter Compulsory Purchase Order (2017) for a £500m new town centre & housing quarter in Newham in partnership with Bouygues UK as part of the £3.7bn Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme

R (oao PS) v Royal London Borough of Greenwich [2016] EWHC 1967 (Air Quality impacts & Air Quality Management Areas at Enderby Wharf Cruise Liner Terminal in part of Enderby Wharf Regeneration Scheme)

Tall Trees & Other Sites enforcement (2017 – ) in relation to unplanned Green Belt communities

Portsmouth Prison (2017 – ) in relation to significant Community Infrastructure Levy liability

Stansted Airport Expansion Planning Application (2017 – )

Retail


Christiaan has experience of retail property development. He regularly advises developers and local planning authorities on retail matters. His cases include:

Rathbone Market Compulsory Purchase Order (2015) for a £200m mixed use development for MUSE

Meridian Water Development (2016) for a £6bn mixed retail & housing development in Enfield

Hallesville Quarter Compulsory Purchase Order (2017) for a £500m new town centre & housing quarter in Newham in partnership with Bouygues UK as part of the £3.7bn Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme

Shipping & Commodities


Christiaan has considerable experience in Customs Duties and Excise, Tariffs and Commodity Codes, and Import and Export VAT, having advised and acted for HMRC in a variety of cases concerning duties and tariffs, and imports and exports to, within and from the European Union and bonded warehouses.

Recommendations


Christiaan is personally recommended by many clients, Chambers & Partners 2015 and also by Legal 500 2015.

He is regularly ranked by Planning Magazine in its Top Juniors.

He impresses with his technical grasp of the construction and design aspect of projects, and his ability to translate this understanding into pragmatic, commercial advice.” – Chambers UK (2018)

He maintains a commercial overview while ensuring the legalities are covered.” – Chambers UK (2018)

He has excellent, wide-ranging knowledge.” – Legal 500, Environment (2018)

He is very approachable and gives good, strategic advice.” – Legal 500, Planning (2018)

He gives really clear advice.  You get a clear answer.” – Chambers UK (2017)

He quickly identified a number of novel points in the matter we instructed him on and he explained these clearly to the client.” – Chambers UK (2017)

He is very approachable and gives good, strategic advice.” – Legal 500 (2017)

Very available and responsive with a good strategic approach.” – Legal 500 (2016)

The phrase that springs to mind is ‘very collaborative’.  We could bounce ideas off each other and get to a practical solution rather than him being very dictatorial.” – Chambers UK (2016)

There’s an academic excellence to Christiaan Zwart – he’ll come forward with a solution and it’ll have a well-founded academic base. He’s also a masterful negotiator, a sound adviser and a good draftsman, and is very affable and easy to work with” – Chambers & Partners (2015)

He demonstrates an exceptionally high level of attention to detail” – Chambers & Partners (2015)

He helps to manage risk and avoid satellite disputes arising; his detailed drafting work is also first rate.” – Legal 500 (2015)

He provides very clear and thoughtful advice.” – Legal 500 (2015)

 

Unsolicited client comments include:

Planning:
“Wise counsel”; “enormously supportive” ; “part of the Viability dream team”; “outstanding junior”; “always does a fine job”; “excellent work”; “a pleasure to work with”; “explains complex law with great clarity”; “excellent”; “exceptionally thorough and professional”; “direct and straightforward, resourceful and very effective on his feet” ; “commercially astute”; “explains with great clarity”; “excellent guide through choppy CPO waters”; “secured the client’s objective remarkably well”.

Commercial:
“finds the pragmatic solution”; “ very sensible and commercial approach with client facing expertise”; “very approachable”.

Environment:
“exceptional facility for language”; “advances a strong case on very complex issues”; “impressive”.

Tax:
“Mr.Zwart’s reasoning is impeccable”, “Mr.Zwart’s submissions were very clear and we adopt them”.“Very well presented and prepared by Mr Zwart”, “Orderly and thorough”.

Related Cases


Planning & Environmental

Myndd y gwynt Wind Farm Order (2015)

Christiaan is acting on behalf of Welsh regulator NRW in this energy infrastructure DCO seeking consent for 27 125 m wind turbines of a notional 89MWe capacity outside of a TAN 8 designated area.

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay (Generating Station) Order (2014)

Christiaan was instructed by the Secretary of State to advise in relation to this energy infrastructure DCO for an innovative wave power off-shore generating station with a notional 240 MWe together with leisure boating facilities.

Recovered jurisdiction Planning Appeal Application for 550 dwellings and a Local Centre at Land at Little Maltby Farm, Low Lane, Ingleby Barwick (June 2014)

Christiaan is instructed by the local planning authority to defend this appeal at a 4 day planning inquiry where a green wedge is proposed to be built upon. The case engages the Localism paradox.

The High Speed Rail (London to West midlands) Bill

Christiaan is instructed by Accor S.A. (in respect of its subsidiaries Accor UK Economy Hotels Limited and Accor UK Business & Leisure Hotels Limited) to defend by Petition the compulsory acquisition of it’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ Euston Ibis Hotel from being destroyed and excluded from anticipated new HS2 railway station infrastructure, and to protect its Birmingham Novotel Hotel operations from de facto extinguishment during construction of the HS2 infrastructure near the airport.

South Hook Combined Heat & Power Station DCO (2013)

Christiaan is promoting on behalf of QPI Global Ventures Limited (a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum International Global Ventures Limited) a DCO for a new power station at Milford Haven in a national park and adjacent to QPI’s LNG terminal.

London College of Computing Ltd v HMRC [2013] UKUT 0404 (TCC).

Christiaan acted for HMRC in defending the FTT’s decision that a company was not an eligible body for the purposes of Item 1, Group 6, Schedule 9 VATA 1994.

Thames Tideway Tunnel DCO (2013)

Acting in relation to what is described as the “most complex planning application yet made”.

Part 1, Electricity Act 1989 application for 60MW electricity from waste power station, Lostock (2013)

Acting for Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on Part 1, Electricity Act 1989 consent for new electricity power station.

London Borough of Newham (Rathbone Market) Compulsory Purchase Order (2012)

Promoting for Muse Developments an Olympic Legacy regeneration development of 652 dwellings, 4,500 sq m retail, & 2,600 sq m offices on 1 ha over 13 storeys.

Hinkley Point C (Nuclear Generating Station) Order application (2012)

Acting for Environment Agency at IPC/NID’s DCO application hearing of first nuclear energy power station in a generation with 86 Articles and 16 Schedules.

Hinkley Point C (Harbour Empowerment Order) (2012), Hinkley Point (Temporary Jetty)(Land Acquisition [TWA]) Order (2011)

Acting for Environment Agency on 3 applications for Nuclear Power Station enabling foreshore development.

Northumbrian Water Limited v HMRC

Instructed by HMRC in reservoir aggregates levy tax chamber appeal concerning extraction near Abberton Reservoir.

Rookery South Resource Recovery Facility Development Consent Order Application (2011)

Acting for housebuilder Gallaghers on first DCO application for energy from waste infrastructure serving 82,500 homes.

Manchester Ship Canal Company v Environment Agency CO /1385/2011.& CA2012/1752

Instructed by Environment Agency on judicial review of its designating developable land at flood risk in its Flood Map.

London Borough of Croydon (Park Place) Compulsory Purchase Order (2004)

Acting for railway undertaker, Croydon Tramlink (light rail transit, Croydon Tramlink Act 1994) to prevent cpo of electricity apparatus, cables & rails, & maintain proper discharge of statutory obligations.

Urban Regeneration Agency (Edge Lane West, Liverpool) Compulsory Purchase Order 2005 Public Inquiry (2006)

Instructed by landowners objecting to road infrastructure (part of now discredited Pathfinder cpos).

Shui Wing v Director of Hong Kong & Airport Authority (2004 – 2006)

Instructed with Nigel Pleming QC on HK airport JR (no EIA risk assessment of aviation kerosene storage next to hot steel mill).

London Borough of Croydon (Park Place) Compulsary Purchase Order 2004 Public Inquiry (2005)

Instructed by Croydon Tramlink on retail & regeneration inquiry into Order affecting its tramway.

Camden Town Station Redevelopment TWA and Planning Public Inquiry (2004)

Instructed by landowner objecting at new tube infrastructure inquiry to tube station and tunnels in its land, promoted by London Underground Limited (operator the London Underground electrified railway & train network & some 250 stations)

Environmental & Planning

Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station Development Consent Order Application (2011)

Instructed by Environment Agency to advise on new infrastructure power station application.

Hinkley Point C Jetty Harbour Empowerment Orders Inquiry (2011)

Instructed by Environment Agency on applications for Power Station enabling development.

 

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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