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John Hobson

John Hobson QC


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John’s principal areas of practice are in the fields of planning, environmental, compulsory purchase and highway law, together with a broad range of local government and public law cases.

He appears in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as public inquiries throughout the country, representing a wide variety of clients including developers, local and other public authorities. He is also a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee reviewing Northern Irish planning law. Prior to coming to the Bar John worked as a Solicitor in private practice.

John’s recent cases include:

  • Acting successfully for a Local Authority in a challenge to quash part of Lewes Joint Core Strategy;
  • Represented Lincolnshire County Council in the Court of Appeal regarding a judicial review of quashed planning permission for the Grantham Relief Road;
  • Representing the Mayor of London at the Shard of Glass and Heron Tower inquiries, and at an inquiry into proposals for the ram Brewery site in Wandsworth;
  • Promoting compulsory purchase orders for Birmingham City Council to secure the regeneration of New Street Station and Paradise Circus, Birmingham;
  • Acting on behalf of Claimants seeking compensation claims in the Upper Tribunal arising from the Olympic Games CPO, including pursuing applications for Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development;
  • Representing English Heritage on appeals in respect of proposals for a new visitor centre at Stonehenge;
  • Appearing on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the House of Lords (Supreme Court) in a case concerning the scope of possession orders and injunctions against travellers occupying Forestry Commission land;
  • Appearing for Hampshire and Dorset County Councils in the Court of appeal in cases concerning village greens;
  • Acting on behalf of Nottingham City Council and Worcestershire County Council at inquiries concerning proposals for waste to energy incinerators;
  • Inquiries and litigation, including appearing in the House of Lords, in respect of proposals for the future of County Hall, London;
  • Parliamentary experience includes the Channel Tunnel Bill (both Houses), the Cross Rail Bill and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill;
  • John has also appeared at the T5, Stansted, London City and other airport inquiries.

John is ranked as a recommended leader by Chambers and Partners, 2017 in Planning law: "extensive experience of appearing on behalf of local government and the Mayor of London's office in relation to significant planning cases." He has previously been described in the directory as a "charming advocate" (2008), a "commanding presence in court… adept at winning over planning inspectors" (2009) and possessing "an extremely effective and client-friendly approach… [he has] a commanding presence [and] a manner that immediately secures peoples trust" (2010). In the Legal 500, 2017 he is a rcommended leader for Planning law where he is noted as "highly experienced in judicial reviews", and for Environment, "recommended for environmental impact assessment cases."

Judicial Appointments

Other Appointments
Hon Standing Counsel CPRE

Compulsory Purchase Association
Parliamentary Bar
Western Circuit
Irish Bar