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Richard was called to the Bar in 2007 and specialises in planning, environmental and public law. He has a broad court, inquiry and advisory practice and a wide client base, including major developers and landowners, central Government, local authorities, NGOs, and individuals.

The directories describe him as "very proactive and has an eye on the overall case”; a “really technically excellent barrister who is very helpful and responsive towards his instructing solicitors”; and "a star in the making".

Planning and Environment

Richard has a “great reputation for his regular court and inquiry appearances tackling statutory challenges, judicial reviews and criminal or environmentally implicated planning cases” (Chambers & Partners). He has an extensive advisory practice, and covers all types of development. For five years he has been ranked in the top 5 juniors under 35 years old in Planning Magazine.

Infrastructure

Richard’s infrastructure work has spanned airports, roads, railways, ports, water supply networks and power stations. The directories have described Richard as “an infrastructure specialist who attracts significant praise from market sources”and “well versed in infrastructure matters relating to a wide variety of sectors”.

From 2012 to 2016, Richard was instructed by the Department of Transport as part of the team of Counsel (led by Tim Mould QC) to promote Phase 1 of High Speed 2 through a hybrid Bill. This work included:

  • Defending the decision to promote HS2 in the Supreme Court;
  • Advising on the environmental assessment of the scheme;
  • Advising on overall strategy, environmental policies and land acquisition;
  • Supporting negotiations with petitioners;
  • Appearing on numerous occasions for the Promoter in the Select Committees in the House of Commons and House of Lords

He has been involved in the NSIP regime under the Planning Act 2008 regime since its inception:

  • Promoting Fieldes Lock power station DCO for Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc (subsequently withdrawn);
  • Advising on the implications of the Rookery South DCO for waste procurement processes;
  • Acting for the claimant in the first legal challenge to a DCO (Heysham to M6 link road);
  • Appearing for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and for St James Group Limited at the Thames Tideway Tunnel DCO examinations;
  • Appearing for Natural England at the Burbo Bank Extension offshore windfarm DCO examination;
  • Editing the Planning Encylopdedia’s commentary on the Planning Act 2008.

Other infrastructure work includes advising on Transport and Works Act Orders, and appearing in the High Court in legal challenges to infrastructure consents, such as Buckinghamshire County Council’s Energy from Waste facility (led by David Elvin QC), and London City Airport (led by Simon Pickles).

Regeneration and CPO

Richard has advised on some of the largest London regeneration schemes in recent years.

He acted for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on the Earls Court regeneration scheme (led by Russell Harris QC) which is expected to deliver around 7,500 new homes. 

Since 2013, Richard has been acting for the London Borough of Croydon on the £1bn+ Whitgift Centre redevelopment (led by David Elvin QC), including promoting a CPO (through joint instructions from Westfield and Hammerson) for the acquisition of the existing shopping centre.

He also regularly advises on CPO implementation and on land compensation matters.

Residential

Richard has a growing developer practice (inquiry, High Court and advisory), including recently:

  • Obtaining permission following an Inquiry for 90 homes in ancient woodland clearing in Kent;
  • Defending the grant of planning permission for a large residential-led scheme in Marylebone;
  • Advising Thakeham Homes on their 600 house scheme within an AONB at Pease Pottage (with David Elvin QC);
  • Acting for a large number of clients on office to residential conversion schemes.

Richard advised DCLG on the early implementation of the NPPF by Inspectors and has acted for the Secretary of State on several challenges to the interpretation of national policy.

Richard acts for local planning authorities and local residents seeking to influence development in their area and regularly appears at housing inquiries for LPAs and rule 6 parties. His residential practice also includes acting for homeowners developing their own properties (including through permitted development rights).

Commercial and community

Richard has acted for the developers of various retail and commercial developments, including promoting a "local centre" in Nottinghamshire and acting on retail-led CPOs in Derbyshire, Sunderland and Croydon.

He acted for the Nishkam School Trust in defending their planning permission for a new faith-based Free School in Hounslow. He has acted for hotel operators, restauranteurs and publicans. He has appeared in a number of cases relating to the redevelopment of public houses, and in particular the designation of such premises as Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011.

Environmental

Richard’s practice is underpinned by a strong understanding of environmental law. As well as advising on EIA and habitats implications of major schemes, he has appeared in the High Court and appellate courts on numerous environmental challenges. Notable work includes:

  • Quashing the grant of planning permission for 500 homes in Oxfordshire on EIA grounds;
  • Quashing the grant of planning permission for residential development in the setting of a Grade 1 listed castle;
  • Resisting at a public inquiry on heritage grounds the construction of a large solar farm;
  • Challenging the implementation of Defra’s Badger Cull on behalf of the Humane Society International.

His environmental advisory work has included acting for waste operators, owners of contaminated land, and victims of nuisance, covering both public and private law remedies.

Planning and environmental enforcement

Richard has appeared at over 40 enforcement inquiries and hearings and in some of the leading enforcement cases in the High Court in recent years.

His enforcement caseload has varied from minor householder developments, to digital advertising boards, to large industrial buildings. He has acted for local authorities, landowners and neighbours. He has obtained and resisted injunctions and defended and prosecuted planning and environmental cases in the criminal courts, including recovery of the proceeds of crime.

Richard has particular experience of noise related enforcement matters, and recently appeared for the successful appellants in a high profile appeal against a noise abatement notice relating to piano practice in a house in central London.

Richard regularly acts for the Environment Agency in waste and pollution enforcement matters, including appearing at inquiries concerning the definition of waste and implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

Section 106 and CIL

Richard advises on the drafting and enforcement of s 106 agreements and on CIL liabilities. He has particular experience of affordable housing obligations. He acted for the landowners in Medway v SSCLG, the first reported case on s 106BA TCPA 1990, and successfully defended the removal of their obligation to pay a commuted sum of over £1m. He is currently acting for a local planning authority in a claim for c. £2m in unpaid affordable housing contributions in the Chancery Division.

Public

Richard’s High Court and tribunal litigation practice expands beyond planning and environmental law into other areas of public law.

Social security

Richard appears in the tribunals and the High Court and appellate courts in social security matters, for the DWP and for claimants and others:

  • He acted for the Child Poverty Action Group (led by Richard Drabble QC) in House of Lords in Zalewska, concerning the issue of social security entitlements for EU accession state workers;
  • He appeared in the Court of Appeal and CJEU on the interpretations of the Citizenship Directive in Lassal (led by Richard Drabble QC);
  • He appeared in the Supreme Court on the recovery of social security overpayments in CPAG (led by Richard Drabble QC).

Healthcare and regulatory

Richard acted for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in its claim for a declaration in respect of the proper interpretation of the Abortion Act 1967 (led by Nathalie Lieven QC). In professional regulatory matters, he has acted in judicial review proceedings for the General Dental Council and against the General Pharmaceutical Council, including obtaining urgent relief to prevent the closure of a pharmacy.

Rating

Richard has acted for both ratepayers and the Valuation Officer in ratings cases, often in respect of complex hereditaments. He appeared for ratepayer in the Upper Tribunal in Esso Petroleum v Walker (VO) (led by Neil King QC) and has advised the HMRC on appeals relating to Harrods (led by Daniel Kolinsky QC), Tata Steel (led by Daniel Kolinsky QC) and Anglian Water (led by Tim Morshead QC). He has appeared for ratepayers in the magistrates’ courts and Valuation Tribunal.

Immigration

Richard regularly acts for both claimants and the Secretary of State in immigration matters in the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and High Court.

Other public law

Other public law work has included:

  • Acting for the applicant in RP v United Kingdom [2013] 1 F.L.R. 744, concerning the role of the Official Solicitor in care proceedings (led by Nathalie Lieven QC);
  • Successfully challenging (by way of judicial review) funding decisions by the Legal Services Commission;
  • Appearing before a Private Bill Committee in the House of Commons for the Kennel Club in petitioning against the City of London Corporation (Open Spaces) Bill and obtaining an amendment to the Bill relating to freedom of information;
  • Acting for TfL and other public authorities in striking out private law proceedings relating to regulatory functions;
  • Advising on negligence actions against public authorities relating to planning and environmental decisions;
  • Obtaining an extended civil restraint order on behalf of a local authority against a vexatious litigant and striking out proceedings against other public authorities by another vexatious litigant;
  • Advising government departments and local authorities on a wide range of issues including public procurement, FOI, council tax, constitutional matters and members’ conduct.

Property

Richard’s property work relates closely to his planning and environmental practice and includes:

  • Proceedings in respect of nuisance and trespass arising out of the development of land;
  • Disputes in respect of s106 agreements;
  • Rights of light and restrictive covenants;
  • Public sector land transactions;
  • Disputes arising out of development or overage agreements where planning issues arise.

Richard recently acted for the claimant local planning authority in four day Chancery Division trial arising out of the failure of a developer to pay affordable housing commuted sums (led by Neil King QC): York City Council v Trinity One (Leeds) Ltd [2017] EWHC 318 (Ch).

Richard also has experience of general property litigation in the county courts.

View Richard's profile on our International site