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Lisa Busch

Lisa Busch QC


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Local Government

Lisa has been recommended as a leading junior, and latterly a recommended new silk, in local government law in both Chambers UK and Legal 500 for many years. As a junior, she acted in both an advisory and advocacy capacity for local authorities in a wide variety of contexts, including planning (and related matters such as waste management), rights of way and town and village greens, and on public and administrative law matters. She continues to accept instructions in all areas of local authority law in silk. Notable cases to date include:

  • Jefferson v The Natural Resources Body for Wales: claim for damages against the NRW in respect of damage to the claimant’s property caused by flooding based in principles concerning the liability in negligence of public authorities (case settled pre-trial).

  • R (Goodman) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2016] 2 All ER 701: Lisa acted for the Secretary of State in a challenge to a decision of an Inspector refusing to register land as a town or village green under section 15(2) of the Commons Act 2006 on the basis of an erroneous reliance on a doctrine of implied appropriation. The case is authority for the proposition that section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a conscious deliberative process, and that an appropriation of land for the purposes of that provision could not be implied.

  • High Speed 2 (2013-16): Lisa was one of the team of Counsel acting for the Department for Transport and HS2 in the HS2 House of Commons Select Committee proceedings, dealing with a wide range of issues raised in local authority petitions, including those concerning planning and environmental matters, rating considerations, health and equality impacts, impacts on educational, health and other public facilities, consultation and compensation. 

  • R (Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum) v Wycombe DC [2014] EWCA Civ 228, [2014] 1 WLR 1362: 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 (Bracking) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] EWCA 1345, [2014] Eq LR 60: concerned the closure of the Independent Living Fund and a leading authority on the scope and nature of the Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010; the case involved consideration and analysis of local authorities’ powers and duties with respect to the disabled. 

  • R (Save Woolley Valley Actions Group Ltd) v Bath & North East Somerset Council [2013] Env LR: Lisa acted for the Defendant planning authority in a challenge to its decision that transportable poultry units did not constitute “development” for the purposes of section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and did not require environmental impact assessment. 

  • R (Barnsley MBC) v SSCLG [2013] PTSR 23: concerning the question of whether a local authority had power under sections 121 of the Local Government Act 1972 and 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 to make a compulsory purchase order with respect to land in its area registered as a town or village green. 

  • R (Rahman) v Birmingham City Council [2011] Eq LR 705: Lisa acted for the local authority (led by Richard Clayton QC) in a challenge brought on PSED grounds to its decision to end funding for voluntary agencies providing legal advice to ethnic minorities and the disabled as a result of budgetary cuts.

  • Birch v Barnsley MBC [2011] Env LR 15: Lisa acted for the defendant local authority in this challenge to its decision to grant planning permission for a composting unit in the absence of an EIA screening opinion.

  • Dacorum BC v (1) Purcell (2) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & (3) the British Waterways Board [2009] EWHC 742 (QB): Lisa acted for the BWB in an inquiry dismissing the gypsy applicants’ appeal against refusal of their application for change of use of land in the vicinity of a reservoir to residential use; and again represented the BSB in the applicants’ appeal to the High Court against that decision. 

  • Wolverhampton City Council v Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal [2007] ELR 418: Lisa acted for the LEA in an appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the jurisdiction of the SENDIST. 

  • Day v Brighton & Hove City Council [2007] Env LR D6: Lisa acted for the Defendant local authority in a challenge to a decision of the LPA to adopt a Waste Local Plan following a lengthy consultation period.

  • Lawrence v Cambridgeshire County Council [2006] ELR 343: Lisa acted for the Claimant in this challenge under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to a school’s refusal to admit a disabled child into the school premises in a pushchair by way of an exception to its policy forbidding pushchair access. 

  • R (Essex CC) v Secretary of State for Transport [2006] 1 EGLR 91: Lisa acted for the claimant local authority in this challenge to the Government white paper on the future of air transport in the UK. 

  • R (Medway Council) v Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions [2003] JPL 583: Lisa acted for two of the claimants in this challenge to the green paper on the future of air transport in the UK.

For further details of cases, please see Lisa’s “Cases” page. 

Lisa also has extensive experience of acting for local authorities in planning Inquiries. For details, click on the “Inquiries” page.