Planning Law

“Six Pump Court is well regarded for planning work in both advisory and litigation contexts, with an affinity for matters that overlap with related disciplines such as regulatory and environmental law.”
Chambers UK Bar Guide (2021)

“The set’s potent public sector expertise is augmented by its considerable experience of acting on behalf of private clients on a host of matters, including enforcement actions, appeals and judicial reviews.”
Chambers UK Bar Guide (2018)

“Six Pump Court has ‘always been a go-to set for planning matters, with an excellent range of barristers who are ready to help and go beyond the call of duty’. The set was reappointed to the London Boroughs Legal Alliance (LBLA) panel for planning, and members also act for private clients such as landowners, developers and infrastructure providers.”
Legal 500 (2017)

 “The set remains a top choice for local authorities requiring representation in appeals and inquiries, particularly in regard to planning enforcement, local plans and community infrastructure levy matters. This expertise is demonstrated by the set’s appointment to the London Boroughs’ Legal Alliance.”
Chambers & Partners (2016)

“…increasingly recognised as a player in the highly competitive London planning market. The set’s core specialism in regulatory work feeds into its planning offering, and chambers is able to provide well-regarded planning juniors for inquiries and High Court challenges, particularly where matters require expertise in both planning and environment law. The set wins plaudits for the modern, commercial approach of its barristers and its clerks. “I think 6 Pump Court is an exceptionally good chambers to work with,” explained one client, adding: “They manage to balance professionalism with approachability; they take the stuffiness out of what has been over the years a very forbidding environment for some”.”
Chambers & Partners (2015)


Planning law barristers at Six Pump Court have a long-standing reputation for providing the highest quality advocacy and advisory services in a friendly and approachable manner.  We place great emphasis on securing realistic and suitable outcomes for all of our clients.

The breadth of Chambers’ areas of specialism, including our highly successful (and ranked) Regulatory and Environmental teams, provides our clients with a depth of talent and experience within Chambers that distinguishes Six Pump Court from other sets planning sets in London.

Our planning law barristers appear regularly in the full range of courts and tribunals engaged in planning law, including inquiries and hearings into planning applications and appeals, enforcement appeals and the examination of local plans, CIL charging schedules and neighbourhood plans. We also appear at inquiries and hearings into proposed compulsory purchase orders, development consents, village greens and other statutory orders concerning highways and Public Rights of Way

Six Pump Court is also recognised for its experience and expertise in related areas of public law and civil litigation, appearing regularly in the Senior Courts at first instance and on appeal. Our planning law barristers have considerable experience of cases involving judicial review and statutory challenges in the Planning Court; appeals by way of case stated in the Divisional Court; and claims for planning injunctions in the Interim Applications Court in Queen’s Bench Division.

Our planning law barristers are instructed by a diverse range of public, private and third sector clients. We act for a large number of local authorities across the country, government departments and other statutory bodies engaged in planning matters, undertaking a diverse mix of plan-making, decision-taking and enforcement work.  Our members also act for a wide variety of developers, businesses and individuals, assisting them to navigate the complexities and uncertainties of the regime of planning control and enforcement in pursuit of realistic and effective outcomes.

Roy Martin QC, Megan Thomas, William Upton, Mark Beard and Richard Banwell are all recommended as specialist planning barristers in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2018.

Anne Williams sits as a village green inspector and has been appointed Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning at University College London.  Megan Thomas is a consultant planning inspector.

Please use the links below to view the full range of our expertise in the areas of Planning Law:

Development management




Development management

Our planning barristers advise and appear in cases involving development proposals of every size and kind; from nationally significant infrastructure projects to householder development and everything in between.  Members of the team have extensive experience of cases involving proposals for residential, commercial and mixed-use development (including tall buildings and urban extensions); retail, leisure and other town centre development; educational, community and other institutional development; transport infrastructure; energy infrastructure; agricultural development; marine planning; waste and minerals planning; and traveller sites.

The Planning barristers at Six Pump Court offer our clients experience and expertise at all levels of seniority in cases engaging all interests of acknowledged planning importance.  Members of our team have experience in cases involving the historic environment; design and townscape character; landscape character; the Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and open spaces; nature conservation; flood risk and coastal erosion; the marine environment; energy and natural resources; residential amenity; noise and disturbance; vitality and viability of town centres; transport, traffic and highways; strategic land supply; development viability; hazardous substances; aviation; national security and defence; waste management; gypsies, travellers and travelling show people; human rights and equalities.

Our planning barristers have particular strength in judicial review and statutory appeals in the High Court concerning challenges to development management decisions taken by local planning authorities and the Secretary of State, or his planning inspectors.  We are instructed by claimants/appellants, local planning authorities and interested persons.  A number of members have experience defending such legal challenges on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Recent notable work in relation to development management include:

  • Baltic Wharf, Maidstone – planning and listed building appeal inquiry into proposals for a retail foodstore-led mixed-use redevelopment of a Grade II listed industrial building on the banks of the River Medway in central Maidstone.
  • Vauxhall Cross London [2013] planning inquiry (tall buildings)
  • Arun District Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Green Lodge Homes LLP [2013] EWHC 190 (Admin); [2013] JPL 1011 – complex section 288 challenge to a decision of the Secretary of State to allow a major residential application between Ferring and East Preston.
  • R (Padden) v Maidstone Borough Council & Others [2014] EWHC 51 (Admin) – judicial review of a part retrospective planning permission involving EIA development.  Whether there were exceptional circumstances for grant, whether applicant obtained unfair advantage, whether condition for groundwater scheme to be approved appropriate.
  • R (Mouring) v West Berkshire Council [2014] EWHC 203 (Admin) – judicial review of LPA decision to grant new storage facility building in AONB outside defined settlement.  Whether decision not to require an EIA correctly made as not infrastructure or urban development project or industrial estate project.

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A significant component of the work undertaken by our Planning Team involves the provision of advice and representation in respect of the preparation, examination and adoption of local plans, neighbourhood plans and other planning policy documents.

Our planning barristers have considerable experience in this area.  William Upton has advised and represented a number of plan-making authorities, including the Greater Norwich Development Partnership on the preparation, examination and adoption of its Joint Core Strategy, including representing the Partnership in the successful legal challenge to part of the Strategy and the subsequent examination of the revisions thereto, which have now been adopted.  William has also advised and appeared on behalf of a number of plan-making authorities, including Norfolk County Council in respect of the examination of its Minerals Site Allocation local plan document.

Mark Beard has also advised and appeared on behalf of Norfolk County Council in respect of the preparation, examination and adoption of its Waste and Minerals Core Strategy and the examination of its Waste Site Allocations local plan document.  Mark is currently instructed by Cheshire East Council to advise the Council on the examination of its Local Plan Strategy and appear at the six-week long hearing sessions held in September and October 2014.

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Our planning barristers have extensive experience and expertise in the enforcement of planning control.  We are regularly instructed to advise and appear on behalf of local planning authorities, landowners, developers and third parties in complex, contentious and controversial cases involving breaches of planning and the proper enforcement of planning control in the public interest.  Our Planning Team offers experience and expertise in planning enforcement at all levels of seniority.  Junior members of the Team are regularly instructed in enforcement notice appeal inquiries and have very considerable experience of cases involving unauthorised conversion of single dwellings to flats and the notorious and widespread occurrences of unauthorised development in London to provide ‘beds in sheds’. We have many longstanding relationships with local planning authorities and provide advice and representation in urgent, complex and controversial planning enforcement cases.

Our planning barristers have considerable experience of cases involving the use of injunctions to enforce proper planning and listed building control and related committal proceedings when the terms of an injunction are breached.  Mark Beard is widely recognised as an expert on the use of planning injunctions and is regularly instructed by local planning authorities in urgent applications for planning injunctions in the High Court, particularly but not exclusively in respect of unauthorised traveller site development.

Richard Banwell is acknowledged as an expert in planning enforcement cases involving unauthorised waste development and recently represented the Environment Agency in a complex committal application for breach of the terms of an injunction.

Our planning barristers have very considerable experience prosecuting and defending in planning and listed building enforcement cases in the criminal courts and the use of confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

David Travers QC, Edward Grant and Emmaline Lambert are the co-authors of a new book ‘Planning Enforcement‘ published by Wildy, Simmons and Hill in February 2014.

Recent notable planning and enforcement work includes:

  • Sanger and Sanger v London Borough of Newham [2014] EWHC 1922 (Admin) – enforcement notice prosecution under section 179 TCPA 1990; date for determining availability of defence under section 179(7).
  • Epping Forest DC v Culligan [2013] EWHC 4054 (QB) – committal application for breach of section 187B injunction; contemnors committed to prison.
  • R v Johnson (John Phillip) [2012] EWCA Crim 580 – criteria in sentencing for offences involving the demolition of a non-listed building in a conservation area

For details of our Environmental Enforcement work, please click here.

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Our planning barristers at Six Pump Court are regularly instructed in cases involving a combination of highways and planning regulation, including proposals for large-scale development and their impact on the strategic and local road network, the stopping up and diversion of public highways, pavement cafes, pavement crossovers to residential and commercial premises, highway safety and maintenance and other related areas.

Members of the team advise on issues arising from legal Agreements made under section 38 and section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 and their enforcement as well as the Private Street Works Code.

Our planning barristers are well experienced in cases involving Public Rights of Way including disputes over their existence, scope, obstruction and proposals to modify Definitive Maps under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  We advise and appear on behalf of our clients at all stages of the statutory process to modify Definitive Maps, including advising on evidence, order making procedures, statutory presumptions and the complex legislative provisions and jurisprudence relevant in this context.

We advise and appear on behalf of highways and registration authorities, landowners, applicants and users of the Public Rights of Way network at public inquiries and in the courts with original and appellate jurisdiction. This also includes applications to register and disputes involving Town or Village Greens.

We advise and appear in criminal, civil and public law proceedings relating to the maintenance of footpaths and cases involving the general duty of the Highway Authority to protect and promote the rights of Highway users.

There is a unique degree of experience within the Planning team at 6 Pump Court advising and litigating in relation to the introduction, modification and enforcement of controlled parking zones.

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