Peter Harrison QC

Year of Call: 1987

Year of Silk: 2006

Appointments: Crown Court Recorder- 2006; Queen's Counsel Church Commissioner - 2007; Joint Head of Chambers


Recommendations: Chambers and Partners (2011), in both Planning and Environmental Law

Practice groups
Public, Planning & Environmental Law
Regulatory Law


Planning and Environment Bar Association, Criminal Bar Association, Administrative Law Bar Association, South Eastern Circuit.

You can now also follow Peter Harrison's practice on twitter. 


Peter Harrison QC practises in the fields of public, planning and environmental law. Chosen by clients in cases which are both complex and high profile. He acts for developers and planning authorities and both prosecutes and defends in regulatory crime. He employs a "hands on" approach to the preparation of cases and enjoys working with the team of expert witnesses and other professionals necessary to present a case at a planning inquiry or other public law litigation.


Peter Harrison QC has acted for many local authorities in resisting appeals for major projects including housing (Greenfield, brownfield and within Conservation Area and involving Listed Buildings), windfarms  (proposals for turbines of up to 150m in height close to areas of Landscape Value), commercial and industrial projects. He has appeared in relation to the interpretation of PPS 2 and on LDF procedure.

Work for developers has included work for major house builders, resisting enforcement notices on industrial sites and advising and appearing in relation to major regeneration projects.

  • Representing Westminster City Council in the Waterloo Station “Three Sisters” Tall Building Public Inquiry and in the Doon Street Inquiry.
  • Represented developers at appeals into development of twin sites involving issues of redundant industrial land, infrastructure capacity and housing numbers.
  • Advised Westminster on the procedure for dealing with the Chelsea Barracks planning application
  • Appeared at inquiry securing planning permission for housing on land designated as green belt reserved site where issues included infrastructure capacity, projection of housing numbers and wildlife.
  • Representing Lambeth in the "Vauxhall Tower" Inquiry.

Environment and Regulatory

Formerly on the Attorney General’s A Panel for prosecution of environmental offences, Peter Harrison QC has defended and prosecuted cases involving environmental issues from the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court to the Court of Appeal. He so deals with civil enforcement issues.

  • Acting for a local authority prosecuted the manager and operating company of a care home in front of a jury for allowing a vulnerable adult to choke to death with inadequate supervision. Convictions lead to a record fine being imposed for the care home industry.
  • Acted for the Environent Agency at the St Leonard's Court inquiry which is the major contaminated land inquiry to date.
  • Prosecuted a major supermarket chain for a rodent infestation leading to a pregnant mother eating rat spoiled bread.
  • Prosecutions under ss33 & 34 of Environmental Protection Act 1990, where issues have included a definition of waste and statutory defences.

Administrative Law and Statutory Challenge Work:

Peter Harrison QC appears regularly in the High Court and Court of Appeal in relation to judicial review and statutory challenges.

  • High Court work has focused on the environment and human rights including the House of Lords case of Marcic v Thames Water Utilities Limited. 
  • Appeared in Court of Appeal defending local planning authority interpretation of PPS2 as it related to Metropolitan Open Land. 
  • Successful judicial review challenge to grant of planning permission for land filled gas combustion plant.
  • Successfully defended statutory nuisance proceedings in contested trial in relation to noise from construction of 40-storey student residential block.
  • Advised London Local Authority on procedure and exercise of powers in relation to Highways and enforcement policy.

For a number of years Peter has been invited to teach advocacy including cross-examination on the South Eastern Circuit Keble College Oxford International Advocacy course as well as being invited to teach overseas.

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