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Lisa Busch

Lisa Busch QC


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Planning and Environment

Lisa has been listed as a leading junior, and recently a recommended new silk, in planning and environmental law in Chambers UK and Legal 500 for many years. She is experienced in dealing with a wide range of planning and environmental matters in statutory and non-statutory judicial review claims and in public inquiries. She has acted for the Department for Communities and Local Government, DEFRA, the Environment Agency, the Department for Transport and local authorities, as well as individuals and residents’ organisations, in cases under the Planning Acts and those involving EIA development, as well as challenges brought under other EU legislation, including the SEA Directive, Air Quality Directive, and Habitats and Birds Directives. 

Lisa’s planning and environment practice has encompassed work on a significant number of major infrastructure projects, both by way of advice and advocacy. Over the course of 2013-2016 she was part of the team of Counsel acting for the DfT and HS2 in the HS2 House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry. In addition: 

  • Lisa acted for the Tauheedul Education Trust promoting the Olive School, Hackney’s appeal against the refusal of planning and listed building consent by Hackney Borough Council for a new Free School at the site of the former Police Station at Lower Clapton Road, Hackney on transport, design, built heritage and conservation grounds in a six day Inquiry over 11 – 19 July 2017. The proposal was highly controversial, being supported by parents of children at the school but opposed by the Acton for Clapton residents’ group. The appeal raisied issues relating to the Government’s Free Schools and education policy, as well as traditional planning and listed building matters. The Secretary of State’s decision on the appeal is awaited.

  • Lisa has many years of experience in dealing with airports. She appeared in R (Medway City Council) v Secretary of State for Transport [2003] JPL 583 and R (Essex County Council) v Secretary of State for Transport [2005] JPL 1635 (acting, respectively, for local residents and Essex County Council in successful challenges to the “Future of Air Transport” green and white papers). In 2006 she appeared at the Coventry Airport Inquiry (appeal against non-determination of planning application for a new passenger terminal at Coventry Airport); and in 2008 she represented a consortium of local authorities in the Stansted Airport Inquiry. More recently, in 2014, Lisa appeared for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in RSPB v SSCLG [2014] Env LR 30 (challenge to a decision to grant planning permission for the extension of the runway at London Lydd Airport under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010). 

  • Lisa has extensive experience in dealing with road and rail schemes. In addition to HS2, in 2011-2012 she acted for the Highways Agency in the Inquiry concerning the A46 Newark to Widmerpool Improvement Scheme Supplementary Orders; and she subsequently acted for and advised the Agency in satellite Inquiries and with respect to compulsory purchase orders made in connection with the scheme. Lisa also advised the DfT on planning and environmental issues arising in connection with the National Networks National Policy Planning Statement, including those concerning air quality issues under the Air Quality Directive. 

  • She has experience in terms of both advice and advocacy in cases involving windfarms and has acted on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a range of challenges to such development, including Bayliss v SSCLG [2014] EWCA Civ 347, South Northants Council v SSCLG [2013] EWHC 11 and Hulme v SSCLG [2011] EWCA Civ 638, [2011] NPC 55. 

  • Lisa has dealt in advice, inquiry and court proceedings with cases concerning waste disposal, energy from waste facilities, renewable energy facilities and the planning and environmental issues arising in connection with such forms of development. 

  • Lisa has acted for local planning authorities, residents, developers and the Secretary of State in numerous planning judicial review claims and appeals under sections 288 and 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in both the High Court and Court of Appeal. She has also acted for developers, LPAs and residents’ groups in public inquiries concerning a wide range of development (including development in the green belt, and involving issues under the EIA Directive and other EU environmental legislation); as well as in enforcement appeals (including appeals by gypsies/travellers). 

  • Lisa acted for the Neighbourhood Forum (with Paul Stinchcombe QC) in the leading decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the interpretation and application of the neighbourhood planning provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (R (Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum) v Wycombe DC [2014] EWCA Civ 228, [2014] 1 WLR 1362). 

  • In 2017 Lisa acted successfully for Farnham Town Council in a judicial review claim bought by a consortium of housing developers challenging the decision of the Borough Council approving the draft Farnham Neighbourhood Development Plan (R (Bewley Homes) v Waverley Borough Council and Farnham Town Council [2017] EWHC 1776 (Admin)). Lisa also obtained an unusual order for the Claimants to pay the costs of the Town Council, as well as those of the Borough Council

  • She acts regularly for the Environment Agency, dealing in particular with issues concerning flooding and flood defence work, including R (U & Partners) (East Anglia) v Broads Authority and the Environment Agency [2012] Env LR 5, Sharp v Chelmsford City Council [2014] EWHC 4180 (Admin) and Jefferson v The Natural Resources Body for Wales (2016). She also acts for navigation, water, port and harbour authorities, and bodies such as the British Waterways Board and Marine Maritime Organisation.

  • Lisa is experienced in dealing with cases involving town and village greens and rights of way, including rights of way over water. Where TVGs are concerned, she recently acted for the Secretary of State in R (Goodman) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and the Regions [2016] 2 All ER 701, [2016] 1 P&CR 8, an important case concerning the notion of “appropriation” under section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972. As regards riparian rights and rights of way over water, having appeared in the leading case of Rowland v Environment Agency [2005] 1 Ch 1 (for the Agency, led by Peter Village QC), Lisa has advised on questions concerning the existence of public rights of navigation over rivers in England and Wales, in the context of disputes between anglers and canoeists. 

  • Lisa’s environmental law practice encompasses expertise in environmental taxes; and she acted for the Commissioners in Hanson Quarry Products v Revenue and Customs Commrs [2016] UKFTT 11 (TC) and Northumbrian Water Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commrs [2015] UKUT 93 (TCC).

For further details, please see Lisa’s “Cases” and “Inquiries” pages.