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Christiaan Zwart

“Excellent ……….” The Legal 500 2022

An "insightful and steely streetfighter" with over 20 years' experience, Christiaan is ranked as a Leading Junior in Tier 1 and was shortlisted for Planning Junior of the Year by The Legal 500 2022.

Christiaan is an Infrastructure (including DCO), Planning and Heritage, Compulsory Purchase, Environment, Energy, and Tax lawyer practicing in multiple jurisdictions, namely England, Wales, Jersey and Hong Kong.  Christiaan also advises on these areas within the Transport, Construction, Commercial, Inquiries, Judicial Review,  and Investigations, Regulatory and Disciplinary,  Administrative and Public, and Information and Media spheres.

Christiaan has represented an impressive range of clients, such as Exxon Mobil, BP, Swift Energy, Bouygues, Stanstead Airport, The Environment Agency, Historic England, Natural Resources Wales, HMRC, developers including  housebuilders such as Bellway, a number of well-known Retail giants, local authorities such as The City of Westminster and Uttlesford District Council, and government agencies.

As an Infrastructure Barrister Christiaan has significant expertise in DCOs, their promotion and regulation, advising the Examining Authority and Secretaries of State, objecting to them, at Hearings and the Courts.

As a Planning, Environment and Energy Barrister Christiaan has considerable experience in all development and regulatory matters..

As a Tax Barrister, Christiaan’s expertise encompasses development and environment-related Taxes including CIL, VAT, Landfill Tax, and Aggregate and Climate Change Levies.

Christiaan's practice includes the following areas of expertise:

  • Planning and Property
  • Environment
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Construction
  • Administrative and Public
  • Inquiries and investigations
  • Commercial
  • Regulatory and Disciplinary
  • Information and Media

Areas of expertise

Planning and Property

“Simply brilliant. Our go to guy for any planning problems our clients have” (Partner, Watson Farley & Williams LLP)

“Christiaan consistently delivers KC quality at Junior rates” (Head of Planning, Howard Kennedy LLP)

Customarily acting on complex multi-layered planning, infrastructure, planning tax and related property issues, Christiaan advises clients from Funds, multi-national and national developers, local Councils, individuals and foreign Governments such as States of Jersey, on landmark development projects. For example, Christiaan has acted on developments (and related CPO and planning obligations) including:

  • More than a dozen major infrastructure and DCO projects, including Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station DCO, South Hook Combined Heat and Power Project DCO, the proposed highways project under and around Stonehenge DCO, and the Aquind electricity interconnector project DCO between the UK and France;
  • Regeneration and Infrastructure CPO and Transport and Works Act schemes, including Camden Town Tube Station redevelopment, Manchester Piccadilly rail line realignment, and Hinckley Point C Nuclear Power Station temporary harbour Transport and Works Act Order and CPO ;
  • Planning high court challenges, enforcement, planning appeals and planning applications, including the Brick Veil Mosque Call-In Inquiry relating to a place of worship development in open countryside near a listed church, Queen Charlton Quarry unlawful energy from waste and landfill development enforcement action,  Thornton Park Limited High Court CIL Judicial Review, advising the Minister for Infrastructure of Jersey on its planning application for a new general hospital, and advising Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewksbury on housing land supply policy;
  • Highways including the recent expansion of several junctions on the M27 Motorway, and Natural England’s proposed ‘England Coast Path’ (acting for UK’s largest private marina dealing with foreshore rights, highways and footpath rights)
  • Aviation and aerospace including the Stanstead Airport runway extension planning application and High Court DCO challenge, airport permitted development rights, and the Hong Kong Airport fuel tank farm development;
  • Art and cultural property, including advising Historic England on the Highways England Stonehenge DCO, advising the late Lee Alexander McQueen’s Sarabande Trust, and advising on Tonedale Mills (the largest Mill in South West England) on various heritage issues.

- Art and Cultural Property

Christiaan advises on all types of art, culture and heritage assets including listed buildings, conservatiion areas, as well as national and international cultural assets, in multiple forums and contexts. For example,

  • Stonehenge – advising Historic England to successfully regulate and safeguard the historic cultural environment of Stonehenge World Heritage Site. Christiaan represented Historic England throughout the DCO application process (promoted by Highways England) to develop the land under and on that Site, and defended their interests in subsequent High Court challenge,
  • The Sarabande Foundation - Christiaan advises the Sarabande Foundation on multiple issues. The Foundation was set up by the late visionary designer, Lee Alexander McQueen, to promote emerging creative and visionary talent.
  • International award winning Architecture - Christiaan represented the promoters of the Brick Veil Mosque development -  the winner of an international competition judged by the Royal Insitute of British Architects for a landmark place of worship in Preston next to a listed church - at Call-In Public Inquiry.

- Aviation and Aerospace

Christiaan has a lot of experience in the Aviation and Aerospace Sector in multiple jurisdictions and on a range of different sized airports, and related issues including airport permitted development rights. He advises airport operators, developers, objectors, local planning authorities, land owners, and regulators in this sector.  Projects include:

  • Stansted Airport Expansion planning application (2018-2019): advising the local planning authority on its consideration of a planning application by Manchester Airports Group to expand Stanstead Airport, including on all related technical, noise, EIA, Habitats Regulations, and environmental issues, as well as on JR litigation risk.
  • Stansted Airport planning obligation (2019): advising the local planning authority on the drafting and negotiation of a planning obligation relating to the proposed expansion of the airport.
  • Hong Kong Airport Aviation Kerosene Storage Farm – advising and acting for the adjacent landowner (Shui Wing Steel) in its JR claim successfully quashing the development permit for the kerosene storage farm.
  • North Wield Airport – acting for the local planning authority and land owner in relation to the regulation of excessive noise from Metropolitan Police helicopters taking off from and landing at North Wield Airport. 
  • Cotswold Airport (Kemble) – advising the airport operator on permitted development rights relating to use diversification
  • Stanstead Airport – advising Uttlesford District Council on aviation permitted development rights.

- Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Christiaan has significant experience in the compulsory purchase and compensation relating to town and country planning, regeneration, and infrastructure projects, such as:

  • Town and Country Planning and regeneration CPOs: Hallesville Quarter CPO, Newham (acting for Newham Council to promote and create a new mixed use town centre, being constructed by Bouygues);  Rathbone Market CPO, Newham (acting for Newham Council in relation to its promotion and creation of a multi-storey mixed use regeneration scheme, to be constructed by Muse); Gloucester Town Centre CPO (acting for Gloucester City Council in relation to its promotion of a retail scheme, with Arrowcroft as the developer); Farnborough Healthcare Hub CPO (promoting on behalf of Rushmoor Borough Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group for the acquisition of property for redevelopment of an integrated healthcare hub);  advising The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime on the CPO of land for a national vehicle recovery service facility; and the Edge Lane CPO in Liverpool (successfully acting for the principal landowner against The Urban Regeneration Agency’s proposed CPO of land for expansion of highways and residential development)
  • Infrastructure CPOs:  M27, Junction 8, Alterations and CPO (acting for the principal landowner objector); Aquind DCO and CPO (2021-22) (acting for successful principal landowner objector);  HS2 – Euston Station (2016) (acting for AccorHotels UK in respect of its Ibis Euston Hotel); Hinkley Point Temporary Jetty TWA Order and CPO (2011) (acting for the Environment Agency landowner); A14 DCO (acting for the principal landowner on its CPO compensation claim); and Camden Town Tube Station Order (2002) (acting for principal landowner Electric Ballroom against LUL’s Tube plans)

- Development Consent Orders and Infrastructure

Christiaan is “…always my Infrastructure/DCO Counsel of choice” (Head of Planning and Environment, Blake Morgan LLP)

Christiaan has acted on more than a dozen DCOs, giving him unparalleled experience in nationally significant infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008. Christiaan consistently adds value and brings a unique perspective to all DCO infrastructure and to Transport and Works Act matters, including any integral CPO elements. Christiaan brings a strategic edge to any advisory team because he not only risk audits and inputs into DCO application documents throughout the DCO up to and including court challenges, but he has also  represented all participants in the infrastructure consenting process, such as promoters, regulators, objectors, examining authorities, and the Secretary of State. His experience includes Energy, Transport, Healthcare, and Utilities projects, such as:

  • Energy: Aquind Electricity Interconnector DCO (acting for successful principal landowner objector), Hornsea Three Offshore Windfarm Order (acting for Spirit Energy – owner of gas rigs), Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm Development Consent Order (acting for Natural Resources Wales), Swansea Bay Tidal Order (acting for the Examining Authority Panel), South Hook Combined Heat and Power Plant Order (promoting for Exxon Mobil and State of Qatar), Hinkley Point C (Nuclear Generating Station) Order (acting for the Environment Agency), Energy from Waste projects at Rookery South (acting for objector) and Lockstock (acting for Secretary of State).
  • Transport: A303 Stonehenge Order DCO (acting for Historic England),  Silvertown Tunnel Order DCO (acting for the London Borough Newham), M27Junction 8 expansion (acting for the principal landowner), A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Order DCO (acting for the principal landowner), Manchester Rail Realignment Project (Transport and Works Act Order) (acting for Euro Car Parks), and Hinkley Point C Harbour Empowerment Order (acting for the Environment Agency);
  • Healthcare: acting for the Minister for Infrastructure Jersey on new hospitals (the “Future Hospital” and “Our Hospital” developments), and acting for Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver a Healthcare Hub.
  • Utilities: Thames Tideway Tunnel Order DCO (acting for the Secretary of State), Manchester Ship Canal Ltd v Environment Agency [2013] EWCA Civ 452 (defending a JR against the Environment Agency’s regulation of flood risk from ship canal infrastructure), and acting for the Environment Agency in its regulatory action against Southern Water resulting in a record £90 million fine.

- High Court Planning Challenges

Christiaan acts on nationally and locally complex High Court planning challenges that trigger the clarification of wider issues of policy affecting future development. For example, in the recent High Court challenge of the grant of the Stonehenge DCO, the High Court ruled on the correct interpretation of The National Networks National Policy Statement to protect Stonehenge. 

Cases of Note:

  • Penrith Rendering Facility, Cumbria – acting for the Environment Agency in relation to the regulation of the world’s largest thermal oxidiser and a Judicial Review challenge of the Environment Agency’s decision to grant a consolidated environmental permit for that facility.
  • Securing planning permission for a Cruise Liner Terminal at Enderby Wharf, Greenwich, from a judicial review about air quality emissions.
  • Acting for Historic England in the High Court on a claim by a third party objector to the grant of a Development Consent Order for a road across the Stonehenge World Heritage Site;
  • Advising Uttlesford District Council in relation to a claim by a third party objector that the  grant of planning permission to expand Stanstead Airport should have been treated as a DCO application. The High Court dismissed the Judicial Review. 
  • Acting for the Environment Agency on a Judicial Review claim against the Environment Agency’s categorisation of flood risk defences on the Manchester Ship Canal which had the effect of preventing residential development.
  • Southern Water – successfully defending the Environment Agency from Judicial Review concerning water discharge investigations
  • Retail Judicial Review – acting for South Kesteven District Council against a Judicial Review of its grant of outline planning permission for a retail park.

- Highways, Footpaths and Rights of Way

Christiaan has significant experience with highways, footpaths and rights of way issues arising in a variety of legal spheres of considerable complexity. Examples include:

Cases of Note:

  • M27, Junction 8, Alterations and CPO – Christiaan acting for the principal landowner objector against National Highways’ proposed expansion of the M27 Motorway at Southampton. Issues related to highways design engineering, junction capacity, flood risk and surface water drainage, local development plan policy, and importantly, the interpretation and application of most recent national and local flood risk policy and its impact on development.
  • A303 Stonehenge DCO (2019-2021) – Christiaan acted for Historic England to safeguard Stonehenge World Heritage Site in relation to the provision of new highways infrastructure across and around the site, including the construction, stopping up and diversion of bridleways and footpaths, creating new rights of way and providing a new partly tunnelled dual carriage way because of the resulting removal of the historic groundscape.
  • English Coastal Path – Christiaan acts for Berthon Boatyard, the UK’s largest private boatyard and marina at Lymington, in relation to prevent routing of the coastal path across that private land by Natural England.
  • The Silvertown Tunnel Order DCO – Christiaan acted for the London Borough Newham in relation to satisfactorily resolving local highway network issues resulting from the proposed dual carriageway tunnel under the River Thames.
  • West Loathing Third Crossing DCO – Christiaan acted for the principal landowner objector in relation to the construction of the proposed bridge adjacent to the client’s land. Issues included highways design, safe access, and alternatives.
  • Commons access – Christiaan advises developers on rights of access across commons.
  • Oversailing highways – Christiaan advises developers on obtaining consent for oversailing highways and on the risk of enforcement.

- Planning Policy Making

Christiaan represents developers, local authorities and national policy makers and advises them on the formulation of national and local planning policy. Examples include:

  • Representing developers in local plan-making examinations to safeguard their future proposals
  • Advising on the drafting of neighbourhood plans
  • Advising on the drafting of national policy in Jersey relating to medicinal cannabis development

- Planning Applications

“Call Christiaan, he’ll crack it” (Ropemaker Properties Limited, BP Pension Fund’s developer).

Christiaan has significant experience in advising on planning applications for developers, objectors, regulators, decision makers and local government in this and other jurisdictions. Christiaan also reviews and risk audits planning application documents for developers and local planning authority officers in England and Jersey. Examples include:

  • Auditing flood risk assessments against changes in flood risk policy for JR litigation risk, including planning applications in the food retail sector;
  • Auditing Environmental Impact Assessment documentation covering all technical topics, including noise, climate change, habitats, biodiversity net gain, nitrates, and the marine environment.
  • Advising on local authority scope of jurisdiction and type of application required
  • Advising on all aspects on CIL liability, mitigation and enforcement
  • Advising on VAT issues and liabilities triggered by prospective and retrospective planning applications
  • Advising on planning policy compliance, for example housing and land supply
  • Advising on the availability of permitted development rights and the need for planning permission (and its scope)
  • Advising on need for and terms of planning applications in Jersey
  • Drafting and negotiating planning obligation agreements on behalf of developers and local authorities

- Planning Appeals, Hearings and Inquiries

“Christiaan enables and de-risks to secure consent” (Senior Planning Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP)

Christiaan has considerable experience in securing consents during complex and challenging appeals, hearings and inquiries. His refined approach is to find a smoother way through by identifying the optimal risk path. Examples include:

  • Energy from Waste Development at an unlawful landfill site at the Queen Charlton Quarry. Christiaan represented Bath and North East Somerset Council to defend a planning appeal, including auditing the planning application documents, resulting in the Appellant withdrawing its appeal before the Inquiry started.
  • Unlawful landfill development by Stuart’s Nurseries Garden Centre, Bexley -  acting for Bexley local planning authority and advising on the drafting of the enforcement notices, application of various environment, environmental permitting, and waste policies, and successfully representing the Council during the Planning Appeal. 
  • Brick Veil Mosque -  (acting for promoter in call-in inquiry) – this proposal was for the development of a place of worship on a brownfield site at Preston situated in open countryside near a listed church. Christiaan is representing the promoter during a Call-In Inquiry.
  • Residential development for 30 dwellings in the greenbelt at South Essex Golf and Country Club. Christiaan acted for Aedis Homes Limited on its planning appeal to secure planning permission. Issues included development of  brownfield land in the greenbelt, testing for the first time during a planning appeal, a change in the NPPF relating to this point.
  • Central England Co-Operative Limited residential development for 304 units – Christiaan acted for the Co-Op to successfully secure outline planning permission on an edge-of-settlement site at Desborough at planning appeal stage. Issues included settlement boundaries, developing on partly open countryside, public open space, and valued landscapes.
  • Jersey General Hospital (the “Our Hospital” project) – Christiaan acts for the States of Jersey on the establishment of a new general hospital for the island. He has represented the Minster for Infrastructure at two previous Inquiries into this project, and continues to advise the States.

- Planning Enforcement

Christiaan regularly acts in complex Planning and CIL Enforcement cases by developers and local government. Cases of Note include:

  • Unlawful landfill development by Stuart’s Nurseries Garden Centre, Bexley -  acting for Bexley local planning authority and advising on the drafting of the enforcement notices, application of various environment and waste policies, and successfully representing the Council during an appeal against enforcement notice.  The enforcement issues were complicated by the parallel regulation of the site by an environmental permit.
  • The Yard, Hockley, Essex – Christiaan represents Rochford borough council in its enforcement action against development of an industrial site in the greenbelt to include residential development.
  • CIL enforcement – acting for a developer in relation to a development at Clapham Common against CIL surcharges of approximately £500,000; and acting for a developer in relation to a 55 dwelling residential development and a CIL demand of £1.6 million. Issues included the point of commencement of development, loss of social housing relief and imposition of CIL surcharges.
  • Tonedale Mills – advising on multiple planning and listed building enforcement notices and strategy to enable compliance, relating to a grade II* listed buildings. Tonedale Mills is the largest mill complex in South West England.
  • Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush, London – advising a developer on strategy to secure compliance with enforcement action relating to an unlawful change of use from car showroom to tyre fitting.
  • Tall Trees Caravan Park, Hurn, Christchurch -  advising Christchurch and East Dorset Councils on multiple enforcement notices relating to the unlawful change of use of a holiday caravan park to a permanent dwellings on the scale of a large village.

Energy and Natural Resources

“Exceptional” (Partner, Simmons & Simmons)

  • Christiaan has unparalleled experience in energy projects and a well-established Energy practice.
  • Christiaan specialises in electricity, water, biomass, nuclear, wind, energy from waste, renewables, oil, gas, and fracking.
  • Christiaan’s client list speaks for itself. Christiaan’s clients include Exxon Mobil, State of Qatar, Jersey Electric, Spirit Energy, and The Environment Agency.
  • Christiaan acted on the Hornsey Three Wind Farm DCO for Spirit Energy, advised a local authority landowner in the north of England on fracking, acted  for Exxon Mobil on its Combined Heat and Power station at South Hook, advised The Environment Agency on a new nuclear project Hinckley Point C, the developer on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon DCO, and acted for the Secretary of State on the Thames Tideway DCO.

- Biomass and Energy from Waste

Christiaan has an established practice in Biomass and Energy from Waste projects. Christiaan regularly acts on these types of projects, examples of which include:

  • Christiaan represents The Environment Agency on its environmental permitting of a proposed biomass development in Cumbria.  Two component parts of this contentious development are described as the world’s largest recuperative multi-fuel thermal oxidizers, one run on meat and bonemeal solid biomass. The biomass emissions are conveyed at such high temperatures that result in no material capable of engendering high intensity offensive odours. The energy produced was fed back into the plant. Christiaan’s advice included issues relating to whether the environmental permit had been lawfully granted, integrated pollution control, the relation between environmental permitting and planning development control, and European legislation on the incineration of hazardous waste.
  • Christiaan acted for the developer in the promotion and consenting of an Energy from Waste facility under permitted development rights. The facility used hazardous medical waste from a range of hospitals in South West England.
  • Advising The Environment Agency on the environmental permitting controls for the waste inputs to an Energy from Waste facility in England, primarily fuelled by incinerator bottom ash. Christiaan advised on the legal and technical controls of the ash fuel, and related permitting control issues to avoid litigation.
  • Acting for the landowner residential developer in the Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Development Consent Order 2011 for an Energy from Waste facility. Issues included the financial depreciation of land values due to stack emissions affecting land down-wind, and the lawfulness of the baseline for the proposal.
  • The underlying lawfulness of Energy from Waste development in the green belt under the Town and Country Planning regime. Christiaan advised Bath and North East Somerset as the permitting local planning authority, on the lawfulness of a pre-existing but unlawful Energy from Waste facility situated above a landfill at Queen Charlton Quarry in 2022.
  • Christiaan acts on a range of environmental permitting appeals relating to biomass and Energy from Waste facilities, including in-depth scrutiny and testing of environmental permit controls to avoid nuisance, including odour, plume effects, other detailed environmental impacts.

- Electricity

“Christiaan has exceptional pedigree in Electricity related projects” (Head of Environment, Blake Morgan LLP)

Christiaan is well known for his established comprehensive practice in electricity projects. Christiaan is able to manage project risks, secure relevant consents, and navigate through the matrix of legal issues, in order to achieve client objectives. Christiaan’s can identify inter-relationships between different statutory regimes and chart a cross-cutting pathway to successful electricity generation projects. Examples include:

  • Christiaan acts for Exxon Mobil and The State of Qatar. Christiaan promoted a Combined Heat and Power Plant in The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, affecting a marine special area of conservation. The plant has an installed capacity of up to 500MWe  (South Hook Combined Heat and Power Plant DCO 2014). Christiaan’s advice included issues relating to national park protection, landscape, marine special areas of conservation, protected species, the Rochdale Envelope, and grid connection. This was the first outline Development Consent Order application.
  • Christiaan acts for The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets in the Octopus litigation.  OFGEM assesed the financial aspects of Octopus assimilating a failing energy company, and advised the Secretary of State on these, including risk. Other energy companies are challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to allow the transaction.  Christiaan is advising OFGEM on related disclosure issues and the Utilities Act.
  • Christiaan acts for Spirit Energy, a former subsidiary of Centrica Plc. Spirit Energy is the owner of gas rigs in the North Sea affected by the world’s largest offshore windfarm (Hornsea Three – 300 turbines generating between100MW and 2.4GW of electricity). Christiaan advised on the impacts on rig safety, helicopter flight paths, marine access and on-going gas exploitation and exploration.
  • Christiaan acts for Natural Resources Wales regulating a 27-turbine onshore windfarm DCO project generating 89MW of electricity at Mynydd y Gwynt. Christiaan advised on micro-siting, peat extraction, long-range overland grid connection crossing protected areas, Special Area of Conservation issues, and those relating to the protection of Red Kites.
  • Christiaan acts for The Environment Agency on the Hinckley Point C New Nuclear Generating Station project (generating 3,260 MW). Christiaan also worked with the Office of Nuclear Regulation and the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England.  Christiaan’s advice covered the storage of nuclear waste (using his experience of deep-ground hazardous waste storage, encapsulation, and monitoring), flood risk, and parallel environmental permitting (to ensure the component parts of the project were correctly allocated to the correct planning and environmental jurisdictions).
  • Christiaan acts for Jersey Electric on the permitting of a series of six strategically placed ground-mounted solar array projects close to grid connections across Jersey, to increase energy diversity by up to 10MW. That would power the equivalent of 1,500 homes. Christiaan’s advice covers matters such concurrent agricultural land use, soil quality, decommissioning, and the restoration of land.  
  • Christiaan advises the Secretary of State on the lawfulness of a Section 36 Electricity Act 1989 Consent for a 60MW Energy from Waste power station at Lostock, in Cheshire. Christiaan’s advised on the successful defence to judicial review challenge.
  • Christiaan advises the Examining Authority in relation to which statutory jurisdiction the different elements of The Swansea Bay Tidal (Generating Station) project fell – whether they fell into the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 regime or the Planning Act 2008 (DCO) regime.  
  • Representing the principal objector to the Aquind Electricity Interconnector ( DCO). Christiaan advises on a range of technical issues including: electricity cabling; Electricity Act consents; cross channel electricity transmission legal issues including Brexit related legislation; and guidance.

- Nuclear Energy

Christiaan has experience in advising on different forms of nuclear energy in different contexts. Examples include: 

  • Christiaan acts for The Environment Agency as regulator in a detailed Development Consent Order application for the first new nuclear power station in the UK in over a generation (The Hinkley Point C  New Nuclear Generating Station DCO Order 2013). Christiaan advised on a host of technical and regulatory issues, including the disposal of hazardous waste, legacy and decommissioning, construction compounds, Harbour Act, marine jurisdiction and biodiversity, land drainage, foreshore and seabed rights, environmental permitting and its interface with the DCO regime, highly technical and detailed requirements in the Development Consent Order, and flood risk. Christiaan worked closely with regulator colleagues in Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs family (the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England) and the Office of Nuclear Regulation. Christiaan worked with technical experts at the Environment Agency at all stages of the Development Consent Order application process (including hearings and mediating solutions) and informed project planning and resource management at the Agency.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, Christiaan acts for adjacent landowners affected by proposed proton beam therapy facilities in Central London. Issues included concerns about radiation leaks, related health impacts, and planning amenity effects. Christiaan advised on deep excavation issues as the proposed proton beam centre was to be located below ground and large enough to contain The Royal Albert Hall.
  • Christiaan acts for the claimant in litigation concerning the Winnersh Salt Mine near Liverpool. This litigation was about below ground deep storage of encapsulated hazardous waste (theoretically able to include radioactive waste). Issues included the interface between planning and environmental permitting regimes, and the ongoing monitoring of hazardous waste and particles anticipated to be released by the waste.
  • As any new nuclear project is likely to trigger the need for a Development Consent Order under The Planning Act 2008, as well as related infrastructure and planning advice, please see the sections on Christiaan’s Development Consent Order, Infrastructure, Environment, and Planning experience.

- Oil and Gas

Christiaan has in-depth experience in managing and mitigating legal risks in relation to oil and gas projects. His expertise includes understanding and advising in relation to exploitation and exploration of natural gas sub-sea deposits, LNG storage release and conversion, fracking to exploit below ground gas reserves, and related licence rights and terms. He also advises generally in relation to development at risk from major gas disasters.  Examples of his experience include:

  • Advising Exxon Mobil as developer of a Combined Heat and Power station for the conversion to electricity of liquid natural gas imported from the State of Qatar. This development was located at South Hook, Milford Haven, within a national park and adjacent to an existing liquified natural gas storage facility. Christiaan represented this client throughout the entire Development Consent Order application process.
  • Advising a local authority land owner in relation to development for fracking in the North of England. Issues included concerns over vibration effects, and whether the landowner could itself grant planning permission for the scheme as parallel local planning authority.
  • Acting for The Wolseley Group (an international group of companies specializing in plumbing, heating and cooling, and infrastructure trade).  Christiaan advises on development and related issues in the vicinity of gas storage facilities in Jersey. This includes advice on gas hazard risk assessments.
  • Advising Shui Wing Limited (incorporated in Hong Kong) on development and related environmental impact assessment and permitting of nearby land for kerosene oil storage at Hong Kong Airport. Shui Wing rolled steel mill was concerned about the ambient temperature of its mill being above the ignition point of the proposed stored kerosene, and absence of the airport’s evaluation of explosion risk.
  • Acting for Sprit Energy (a subsidiary of Centrica Plc) in relation to development affecting its existing gas exploitation rigs and exploration rights for sub-sea natural gas - The Hornsea Three Offshore Wind Farm Development Consent Order (2020).

- Renewables

Christiaan has an established and comprehensive practice in renewables. Examples of his work include:

  • Promoting a series of six ground-based solar array installations on the Island of Jersey for Jersey Electric. The first project Christiaan advised on involved 7,500 solar panels installed in two agricultural fields and was the Island’s first ever ground-based solar array. Christiaan continues to advise on the remaining island-wide projects. Issues advised on include concurrent agricultural land use whilst the solar array operates, soil quality, and detailed restoration and decommissioning plans.  Christiaan also promotes other solar farms in England as well as representing objectors.
  • Advising Spirit Energy (principal objector and a subsidiary of Centrica at the time) on the safe co-existence of helicopter flight paths and marine access in the North Sea. This was to ensure the ongoing operation of its gas rigs and gas exploration activities concurrently with the then proposed Hornsea Three Offshore Windfarm (the World’s largest wind farm). Advice covered whether renewables projects could, under legislation and guidance, take precedence over existing fossil fuel sources of energy.
  • Acting for the regulator (Natural Resources Wales) for a 27-turbine on-shore windfarm generating 80MW-90 MW electricity (The Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm Development Consent Order 2015) in a mid-Wales registered landscape. Issues advised on include historic and wider landscape issues, peat extraction, the effects on protected species and Special Areas of Conservation, and Welsh National Guidance on site selection for on-shore windfarms and micro-siting.
  • Advising on England’s first hydroelectric power plant using turbines powered by impounded tidal waters to generate 320MW electricity (The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon DCO). Christiaan advised the Examining Authority on multiple issues including on the relevant statutory jurisdictions for project elements (e.g Town and Country Planning Act 1990 versus Planning Act 2008), the outline nature of the application, administrative boundaries and jurisdictions, and draft Development Consent Order provisions.
  • Christiaan acts on the regulation of bioenergy renewable installations. He advises on their environmental permitting as well as other issues. Please see the Biomass and Energy from Waste section of Christiaan’s online CV.

- Water

Christiaan is experienced in advising on projects involving water as an energy natural resource.

He has advised the Examining Authority on a Development Consent Order application for England’s first hydroelectric power plant (The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Development Consent Order).

This development used turbines powered by incoming and impounded tidal waters to generate 320MW electricity (The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon DCO).

Christiaan advised on multiple issues including the relevant statutory jurisdictions for project elements (e.g the respective scopes of Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning Act 2008), the marine environment, foreshore and seabed rights, hydrological impacts on the seabed, the bare outline nature of the application, administrative boundaries and jurisdictions, and draft Development Consent Order provisions.


“Christiaan gives very commercial advice” (Head of Property, Wolseley Group)

Christiaan is a commercial environmental lawyer, having a comprehensive practice in environmental law, policy and regulation, both on a domestic and international scale. He acts for clients such as the Environment Agency, OfGem, Exxon Mobil, Alcatel Aluminium, Jersey Gas, Jersey Electricity plc, the Wolseley Group, Spirit Energy, Shui Wing Steel, and local authorities including London Borough of Greenwich, Uttlesford District Council, and Bath and North East Somerset Council on a wide range of environmental matters and their regulation.

Christiaan is well versed in the importance to businesses, developers, and government of properly identifying environmental issues and their scope, environmental liabilities, assessing short, medium, long-term and residual risk, and forward planning for and mitigating of such risks, to enable them to achieve their objectives.

Christiaan’s scope of expertise includes environmental transactions, residual liabilities, consenting and environmental permitting, and environmental litigation (including avoiding litigation). He is an expert in issues involving contamination, nitrates, waste, water, air, biodiversity and habitats, climate change, environmental assessments, environmental enforcement, nuclear and radiation matters, nuisances, and environmental taxes including aggregates levy and landfill taxes.

Christiaan’s breadth of understanding and experience and joined-up thinking means that he provides a one-stop shop service to clients.



  • “Christiaan consistently delivers KC quality at Junior rates"
  • “Really insightful”
  • “A streetfighter … goes through brick walls for clients”
  • “Thinks outside of the box to secure the client’s objective”
  • “Always packs a punch and our clients love him”