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Zack Simons

Zack Simons

YEAR OF CALL 2009zsimons@landmarkchambers.co.uk

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Zack specialises in planning, environmental and compulsory purchase work. He is a “top-rated junior” in Planning Magazine, and has been ranked in both environmental and planning law by Chambers & Partners for several years. Zack is a member of the Attorney-General’s “C” panel of counsel, and a mentor to students on the Sutton Trust’s “Pathways to Law” programme. 

Directories 

Chambers & Partners:

  • 2018: “Excellent and personable”,  “a popular name at the Planning Bar”, “his attention to detail and pragmatism is second to none”.

  • 2017: ”A popular name at the Planning Bar”, “a practice beyond his call”,  “often in the higher courts and big inquiries”, “a very capable barrister.” “Always provides clear written advice, is very well informed and knowledgeable on planning and CPO issues”. "A good-quality, personable advocate with a strong ability to provide practical and commercial advice.”

  • 2016: "Incredibly impressive", “Very capable", ‚Äč"Very affable and offers excellent service" "Excellent at picking up the ball and running with it, responding quickly to his clients' needs and identifying exactly what is required"

  • 2015: "Exceptionally talented and remarkably composed and authoritative", “Admired for the experience he brings to public inquiries”,“Manages his client effectively and presents a thoroughly good case.”

  • 2014: "A young barrister who will go far," he is popular with clients as "he explains things very clearly and is highly responsive", “an able advocate, who can deal with technical matters in a clear and concise way."

  • 2013: “the up-and-coming Zack Simons is winning praise from market sources, who recognise that although very junior, he is already "excellent for that level."”

Who’s Who Legal:

  • 2016: "Making waves in the environmental field, advising on a range of criminal and civil domestic and European environmental law matters."

  • 2015: “His resolute focus and astute legal mind ensure he is in high demand.

Planning & compulsory purchase 

Zack acts for developers, land owners, local authorities, regulators, central government and a variety of interested parties and statutory consultees at planning appeals, in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. 

Zack has appeared in some of the leading housing cases of recent years, including Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes Ltd in the Supreme Court, Gallagher Homes Ltd v Solihull MBC in the Court of Appeal and Kings Lynn and West Norfolk BC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in the High Court.

Zack appeared in the Supreme Court in R. (Champion) v North Norfolk DC, a leading case on environmental assessment in planning decisions, and acts for the successful claimant in R. (Wright) v Forest of Dean DC, an important case on the scope of material considerations in planning decisions which is soon to be heard before the Court of Appeal.

He has also appeared in the key cases on the duties to give reasons for planning decisions. Zack acted for the successful appellant in Oakley v South Cambridgeshire DC in the Court of Appeal, and acted for Dover DC in its recent Supreme Court appeal against CPRE.

Housing:

  • Persimmon Homes v Newcastle City Council: Zack acted for Persimmon in its challenge to Newcastle CC’s adoption of a masterplan for Callerton, which provides for 3000 homes to the northwest of Newcastle (led by Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC).
  • Gallagher Homes Limited v Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council [2015] J.P.L. 713:   Zack appeared for the successful developers in both the High Court and Court of Appealin a leading case on the assessment of housing need under the NPPF (led by Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC).

  • Suffolk Coastal District Council v Hopkins Homes Ltd UKSC 2016/0076: Zack acted for the successful developer in the recent Supreme Court case which dealt with the NPPF’s housing policies, and particularly the proper approach to paragraph 49  (led by Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC).

  • Kings Lynn BC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC (Admin): Zack represented the successful Secretary of State in an important case on the proper approach to calculating housing need.

  • R (CPRE) v Dover DC UKSC 2016/0188: Zack acted for the planning authority in,an important case on Councils’ duties to give reasons, which concerned a 600-unit scheme in the Kent Downs AONB (led by Neil Cameron QC).

  • Tower Hamlets v Mayor of London [2016]:   Zack acted for Tower Hamlets in a challenge to the Mayor’s decision to call in the 634-unit Alpha Square scheme on the Isle of Dogs in London. 

  • R (Meyrick) v Bournemouth BC [2015] EWHC 4045 (Admin): Zack acted for the successful developer in a case that examined the proper approach to viability and heritage assets under para.133 of the NPPF.

  • Ashburton Trading Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2014] EWCA Civ 378: Zack acted for Arsenal FC in a challenge to the application of Islington’s tall buildings policy (led by by David Elvin QC).

  • R (Wet Finishing Works Ltd) v Taunton Deane BC [2017] EWHC 1837 (Admin): Zack acted for the developer in a case about whether a section 73 application could increase the number of units in a housing scheme.

  • Former London Chest Hospital: advised Crest Nicholson on a major proposal for a 341 unit scheme on the edge of Victoria Park, London.

  • Bridge Street Car Park, Staines: Zack advised Bellway Homes on complex planning and highways issues in relation to this scheme comprising205 residential units, including 358 sq, commercial floorpsace.
  • New Lubbesthorpe: Zack advised the Blaby District Council on a major development proposal west of Leicester comprising 4,250 dwellings.

  • Dunsfold Park: Zack advised the developer on the Dunsfold Park scheme in Waverley, comprising 1,800 dwellings.

  • Creekside Village: Zack advised the developer in relation to the Creekside Village West scheme in Deptford, a mixed use development includeing 371 dwellings and 9,548sqm of commercial floorspace.

Recent and upcoming housing appeals include:

  • Forest Farm, Chippenham: 200 units

  • Bratton Road, Westbury: 47 units

  • South View, Lyneham: 60 units

  • Henham, Uttlesford: 36 units
  • Nipsells Chase, Mayland, Essex: 150 units

  • Heybridge Basin, Essex: 31 units

  • Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex: 17 units (Secretary of State recovered appeal)

  • Sedlescombe, East Sussex: 18 units (Secretary of State recovered appeal).

  • Church Farm, Wavendon: 350 units. 

Mixed development:

  • R (Oakley) v South Cambridgeshire CC [2017] EWCA Civ 71: Zack acted for the successful appellant in a challenge to the proposed stadium for the Cambridge City football club in an important case on the duty to give reasons in planning decisions.

  • Winters v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWHC 357 (Admin):   Zack acted for the successful Secretary of State in a case on the proper approach to the prior approval regime under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

  • Smith v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWHC 2562 (Admin): Zack acted for the successful Secretary of State in a case on the proper approach to visual impacts and openness in the Green Belt.
  • Croke v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government[2017] P.T.S.R. 116:   Zack acted for the successful Secretary of State in a case that examined the correct approach to filing deadlines for claims under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

  • R (Champion) v North Norfolk DC [2015] 1 W.L.R. 3710: Zack acted for the successful Respondents in the Supreme Court, a leading case on the proper approach to environmental assessment in planning cases (led by Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC).
  • Dignity Funerals Ltd v Breckland DC [2017] EWHC 1492 (Admin):   Zack successfully defended the grant of permission for a crematorium site in Norfolk. The case raised important issues on the proper approach to development plan policy, and the consideration of alternative sites (led by Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC).
  • University of Bath: Zack acted for the University in an inquiry into the Bath & North East Somerset Council’s refusal of permission for a car park on the northern edge of its campus on the basis of alleged impacts on the setting of the Bathampton Camp, a Scheduled Ancient Monument (led by Russell Harris QC).

  • Ashingdon Hall: Zack acted for the appellant in an appeal which addressed whether a shortage of dementia care beds in Essex could constitute very special circumstances for extending a care home into the Green Belt.

  • Snoasis: Zack advised the developers of the Snoasis scheme in Suffolk, which when constructed will be Europe’s largest indoor ski centre.

  • R. (Boot) v Elmbridge BC[2017] EWHC 12 (Admin):   Zack acted for the for the Elmbridge Borough Council in a challenge to its proposed redevelopment of this Green Belt site to provide a major local sports and leisure facility (led by Neil Cameron QC).

  • Al-Humera Mosque: Zack acted for the successful appellants at an inquiry in Newham which examined whether religious practices can constitute material planning considerations.

  • Lambley Crematorium: Zack acted for the successful Rule 6 party in an inquiry into a proposed crematorium at Catfoot Lane, Lambley in Nottinghamshire.

  • Save Britain's Heritage Victorian Society v Sheffield City Council [2013] EWHC 2456 (Admin): Zack advised the University of Sheffield in relation to the demolition of the Edwardian extension to the former Jessop Hospital.

  • R (Wildie) v Wakefield MDC [2013] EWHC 2769 (Admin): Zack acted for the Claimant in a case that examined the NPPF’s approach to granting permission in the Green Belt.

Compulsory purchase:

Zack is regularly instructed in relation to Compulsory Purchase Orders. Some recent cases include:

  • West Hendon: Zack acts for the successful developer, Barratt Homes, and the London Borough of Barnet, in relation to a series of CPOs to rescure the regeneration of the West Hendon housing estate (led by Neil King QC).

  • Brent Cross: Zack advised an objecting landowner on the CPO inquiry into the regeneration of the Brent Cross.

  • Shepherd’s Bush Market: Zack acted for the successful developer and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham at the CPO inquiry into the regeneration of the Shepherd’s Bush Market (led by David Elvin QC).

  • Southall Gasworks: Zack acted for an objected at the inquiry into the regeneration of the Southall Gasworks.

  • Aylesbury housing estate: Zack advised leaseholders on the CPO inquiry into the regeneration of the Aylesbury housing estate in Southwark.

  • Wolverhampton: Zack advised an objector to the Wolverhampton City Centre Extension Order.  

Retail:

  • Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd v Uttlesford DC [2012] P.A.D. 33: Zack appeared for the successful Rule 6 party in a supermarket appeal in Saffron Walden.

  • Hammerson Plc v City and County of Swansea Council [2015] P.A.D. 68: Zack advised the developer in the Parc Tawe retail park appeal in Swansea (led by Christopher Katkowski QC).

  • Cross Hands: advised developers on proposed retail development to the south east of Carmarthen (led by by David Elvin QC).

Enforcement:

Zack regularly appears at enforcement inquires, s.289 appeals in the High Court, and enforcement prosecutions in the magistrates and Crown courts. He has extensive experience of both prosecuting and defending in proceedings under POCA.

Energy:

Zack has particular experience of energy projects, including nuclear energy, energy from waste, and renewable energy in its various forms. He regularly appears at wind farm inquiries across the UK.

  • R. (Wright) v Forest of Dean DC [2016] EWHC 1349:   Zack acted for the successful Claimant in an important case on the materiality of community contributions in planning applications for renewable energy development (led by Neil Cameron QC).

  • Fracking: Zack advised in relation to Cuadrilla's applications for exploratory fracking in Lancashire, and has delivered a number of lectures on fracking and Environmental Impact Assessment.

  • Stroud DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 1940 (Admin):   Zack represented Stroud District Council at a 6 week inquiry and in the High Court in relation to a proposed EfW plant in Gloucestershire:

  • R (Burridge) v Breckland DC [2013] J.P.L. 1308:   Zack acting for the claimant in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in an important case on the interpretation of the EIA Directive.

  • Colman v SoS for Communities and Local Government [2013] EWHC 1138 (Admin):   Zack acted for the Claimant in a challenge to an Inspector’s grant of permission for a 9 turbine wind farm which raised important questions on the application of the NPPF.

Environmental Law

Zack acts across a wide range of domestic and European environmental law matters, both criminal and civil. He was instructed by the Environment Agency in one of the first public inquiries in the UK under the Environmental Damage Regulations, and acts in a range of appeals under the Environmental Permitting Regulations and other environmental legislation.

EIA: Zack has particular expertise in Environmental Impact Assessment cases, having contributed to the leading practitioners’ book on the subject, and acted in two of the most significant EIA cases of recent years: in R (Champion) v North Norfolk DC [2015] 1 W.L.R. 3710, and R (Burridge) v Breckland DC [2013] J.P.L. 1308.

Contaminated land: Zack advises extensively on contaminated land matters. He has dealt with some of the country’s most complex contaminated sites, advising both on liability issues under the regulatory regimes – including Part 2A – and on structural and contractual aspects of transactions.

Waste: Zack has wide experience of advising companies faced with regulatory criminal proceedings in waste and hazardous waste related matters. He advises regularly on the definition of waste, and acted for the Claimant in Skrytek v SoS for Energy and Climate Change [2013] EWCA Civ 1231, an appeal based on the proper interpretation of the waste hierarchy in relation to a proposed waste incineration plant in Derby. Zack regularly appears at appeal hearings and inquiries in relation to permitted waste sites. 

Marine Law: Zack has wide experience of marine environmental law. He has worked extensively with the Marine Management Organisation on the productions of marine plans under the Marine and Coastal Management Act 2009. He edits the marine section of Garners Environmental Law, and is co-authoring a forthcoming book on marine planning and licensing.

Nuisance: Zack has advised on and acted in a variety of nuisance cases – both private and statutory nuisance – covering matters such as odour, noise, dust, and contamination of soil and groundwater. 

Water: Zack has extensive experience of a variety of matters relating to water resources. In particular, he has acted in Environment Agency prosecutions for offences under the Water Resources Act 1991. He has advised on legal issues arising out of the Water Industry Act 1991. He has advised on the legal implications of groundwater contamination. He has advised extensively in relation to; the rights and liabilities of sewerage undertakers under the Water Industry Act 1991.