Welcome to the Planning, Environment & Property Newsletter – October 2015.
It has been a successful month for chambers, with the set’s planning, environment and property team winning 2 prestigious awards at the 2015 Chambers Bar Awards, which were held Old Billingsgate on Tuesday 27th October 2015. Not only did the set win ‘Environmental & Planning Set of the Year’ for the second year in a row but James Burton also collected the ‘Junior of the Year’ award. We are collectively delighted in respect of both awards. Whilst on the subject of awards, John Pugh-Smith was recently named ‘Planning & Environmental Barrister of the Year’ in the 2015 Lawyer Monthly Awards.
Further to the above, it is also worth noting that our colleague, Richard Harwood QC has been appointed to a new group of experts intended to help streamline the local plan-making process. Richard features in this month’s newsletter with an article on planning permission ‘in principle’.
It has also been a busy month in the world of planning, with the announcement both of the permanent retention of ‘office to resi’ permitted development rights as well as the extension of related rights to allow office blocks to be demolished and replaced by dwellings. Furthermore, the Housing and Planning Bill appears to signal a further shift in the localism balance, with developments in respect of zoning and ‘automatic’ permissions. It has also come to light that the government is to allow major infrastructure projects “with an element of housing” to apply for planning permission via the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime. Procedurally, the introduction of a permission stage for statutory challenges promises to change the dynamic of such challenges for both claimant, defendant and interested parties alike, with strategic advice likely to be required at a much earlier stage. Such changes ensure that there is much to be debated and discussed over the coming months as further detail is announced and digested.
We hope that this month’s newsletter will provide some fuel for those debates and discussions. First, Stephen Tromans QC considers the “Role of Judges in Natural Resources Developments” in a paper that was given by Stephen at the recent IBA Annual Conference in Vienna. Second, Victoria Hutton examines the developing body of case law on Neighbourhood Plans and considers the questions which have been asked of the Courts and the answers received thus far. Richard Harwood QC then considers planning permissions ‘in principle’ before Jonathan Darby concludes with a brief consideration of the East Sussex case from the CJEU.
As ever, thanks for your interest. We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter.