Heather Sargent

Call: 2011

Heather practises primarily in planning and compulsory purchase, environmental and EU law.

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Practice summary

Planning

Environment

Public and Administrative

Cross-practice

Practice Summary

Heather is ranked fourth in the list of top-rated junior planning barristers in the Planning Law Survey 2023 and has been listed as one of the top five juniors by the survey for the past four years. She has been ranked in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for several years.

Her experience includes:

  • Acting for Marks and Spencer on the redevelopment of its flagship Marble Arch store
  • Acting for both developers and local planning authorities on numerous central London tall building schemes
  • Advising the promoter of the Euston Over-Station Development
  • Advising Gatwick Airport on its proposed DCO to bring its existing standby runway into routine use
  • Defending two judicial review challenges to the 2019 NPPF for MHCLG
  • Defending six judicial review challenges to the Airports NPS (which provides policy support for a third runway at Heathrow) for the Secretary of State for Transport
  • Appearing at the London Plan examination (for the London Borough of Enfield) and for site promoters at the Guildford, Wealden, Tandridge and Welwyn Hatfield Local Plans
  • Advising the acquiring authority on a CPO for a £37m road scheme (sole counsel) and acting for the acquiring authority on both the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (Calverley Square) CPO (theatre, civic centre and office scheme) and the London Borough of Enfield (Alma Estate Regeneration) CPO
  • Acting for both appellants and local planning authorities on major housing schemes including Wisley Airfield, Guildford (2,000 units); Peel Hall, Warrington (1,200 units); and two sustainable urban extensions in Northampton
  • Retail inquiry work (for both appellants and local planning authorities)
  • Acting for retirement home providers on appeal
  • High level judicial review and statutory challenge court work, including numerous appearances before the Court of Appeal as sole counsel.

Heather is a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel and of the Welsh Government’s B Panel of Junior Counsel. She is an Assistant Editor of the Encyclopedia of Planning Law and Practice, for which she focuses on heritage matters

Planning

Heather’s experience in planning includes:

Court work

  • Acting for the successful respondents both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in DLA Delivery Ltd v Baroness Cumberlege of Newick [2018] EWCA Civ 1305. The High Court decision was one of Planning magazine’s ten “need to know” court rulings for 2017.
  • Defending two judicial review challenges to the Revised NPPF for MHCLG (led by Rupert Warren KC).
  • Defending six judicial review challenges to the recently designated Airports National Policy Statement (counsel team led by James Maurici KC).
  • Appearing for the successful local planning authority in Oldham MBC v Tanna [2017] 1 WLR 1970, in which the Court of Appeal considered the proper interpretation of the service provisions in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, in the context of proceedings in respect of a s.215 notice.
  • Appearing at first instance and before the Court of Appeal for an affordable housing developer in a statutory challenge to the grant of planning permission for a rural exception site.
  • Acting for the first interested party, a telecommunications operator, in R (o.a.o. Mawbey) v Lewisham LBC [2018] EWHC 263 (Admin), a decision on the meaning of the word “mast” as used in Part 16 of the 2015 GPDO. The operator’s appeal is to be heard by the Court of Appeal in March 2019.
  • Successfully defending the judicial review claim in Smech Properties Limited v Runnymede Borough Council [2016] JPL 677, which raised before the Court of Appeal an important point concerning the High Court’s discretion not to quash a defective grant of planning permission (led by Nathalie Lieven KC and David Forsdick KC).
  • Successfully resisting on behalf of the developer a judicial review challenge to the grant of planning permission for the redevelopment of the former HMS Ganges site at Shotley Gate, Suffolk (led by David Elvin KC).
  • Appearing for nine claimant London local planning authorities in a High Court challenge to the Mayor of London’s Revised Early Minor Alterations to the London Plan, on grounds relating to affordable rented housing (led by Nathalie Lieven KC).
  • Regular appearances in the Crown Court and in the Magistrates’ Court in planning enforcement proceedings.

Planning inquiries and development plan examinations

  • Acting for the developer at a forthcoming inquiry in relation to a motorway service area (led by Timothy Corner KC).
  • Appearing for the appellant at an inquiry in respect of a proposed mixed-use development that includes 1,200 dwellings (junior to Christopher Lockhart-Mummery KC).
  • Acting for the developer at a five week inquiry into the proposed development of up to 2,068 dwellings at the former Wisley Airfield, Surrey, a Green Belt site that is partially previously developed land (led by James Maurici KC).
  • Appearing for the local planning authority at two inquiries in respect of proposed Sustainable Urban Extensions of 1,000 houses each (led by Timothy Corner KC).
  • Appearing for the appellant at a six day inquiry into a retail-led regeneration scheme (led by Charles Banner KC).
  • Regular work on appeals in relation to retirement home schemes.
  • Appearing at the London Plan examination and at the examinations into the Guildford, Wealden, Tandridge and Welwyn Hatfield Local Plans.

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Heather’s experience includes:
  • Acting for the acquiring authority at the inquiry into the recently confirmed Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (Calverley Square) Compulsory Purchase Order 2018, led by Craig Howell Williams KC. The purpose of the CPO is to facilitate the Calverley Square redevelopment scheme, which was granted planning permission in June 2018 and includes a new 1,200 seat theatre, a new civic centre for the Council and commercial office space.
  • Acting for the acquiring authority at the inquiry into the (subsequently confirmed) London Borough of Enfield (Alma Estate Regeneration) CPO 2016 (junior to David Elvin KC).
  • Advising Highways England in relation to a claim for compensation in respect of compulsory acquisition pursuant to a Development Consent Order for a road improvement scheme.
  • Advising in respect of the Worcestershire Parkway Regional Interchange CPO.
  • Advising on the Worcester Southern Link Road CPO.

Infrastructure

Heather’s experience includes:

  • Defending six judicial review challenges to the Airports National Policy Statement (counsel team led by James Maurici KC).
  • Advising in respect of the National Policy Statement for new nuclear above 1GW post 2025: siting criteria and process (led by Nathalie Lieven KC).
  • Advising as sole counsel on the Space Industry Act 2018 (at Bill stage).
  • Appearing for the claimant, a commercial objector, in R (Trago Mills Ltd) v SSCLG [2016] EWHC 1792 (Admin), a High Court challenge relating to a Development Consent Order.
  • Advising Highways England in relation to a claim for compensation in respect of compulsory acquisition pursuant to a Development Consent Order for a road improvement scheme.
  • Advising on a proposed challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision not to “call in” an application for planning permission for development at London Luton Airport.
  • Acting for the developer at an inquiry in relation to a motorway service area (led by Timothy Corner KC).
  • Advising on EIA of a biomass plant.
  • Acting as junior counsel for the developer in a successful challenge to the refusal of consent for a wind farm in Powys.
  • Advising in respect of the Worcestershire Parkway Regional Interchange CPO.
  • Advising on the Worcester Southern Link Road CPO.
  • Successfully resisting (on behalf of the developer) a judicial review challenge to the grant of planning permission for the Beddington Energy Recovery Facility (led by David Elvin KC).
  • Appearing for Lambeth Borough Council in a claim for judicial review of its decision to grant planning permission for the “Garden Bridge” (led by Nathalie Lieven KC).
  • Advising the Welsh Ministers in relation to the M4 Corridor around Newport.

Environment

Heather has a particular interest in EU environmental law, having worked on Case C-258/11 Sweetman v Ireland (Article 6 of the Habitats Directive) as a trainee at the Court of Justice of the EU in 2012. Her EU environmental experience includes:

  • Acting for the successful respondents both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in DLA Delivery Ltd v Baroness Cumberlege of Newick [2018] EWCA Civ 1305, which addresses the requirements of reg. 68(3) of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.
  • Successfully defending (in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal) on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency a judicial review challenge on Habitats grounds to the grant of planning permission by Forest of Dean District Council for development in Cinderford’s “Northern Quarter” (led by James Maurici KC and Timothy Corner KC).
  • Extensive advisory experience in respect of the EIA, SEA and Air Quality Directives and of the related domestic transposing provisions.
  • Advising the Department of Energy and Climate Change on infraction proceedings proposed by the European Commission (junior to David Blundell KC).

Other environmental experience includes:

  • Successfully defending King v Environment Agency [2018] EWHC 65 (QB), a claim for damages brought on human rights grounds in relation to flooding (led by Gwion Lewis KC).
  • Successfully acting for the Environment Agency in High Court challenges relating to the operation of the environmental permitting regime in the waste context.
  • Defending injunctive proceedings on behalf of Natural England.
  • Defending a prosecution pursuant to section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • Advising on the Climate Change Act 2008.
  • Advising a local authority on how to approach long-term flood risk.
  • Regularly advising in respect of the Aarhus Convention fixed costs regime.

Public and Administrative

In addition to her main areas of practice, Heather has a long-standing interest in public law more generally, having previously given tuitions in Administrative Law to students at the University of Oxford, taught Constitutional and Administrative Law at Birkbeck and written an MPhil thesis on the Human Rights Act 1998.

International

Heather spent 10 months working as a trainee in the EU institutions during 2011-2012, first for the Legal Service of the European Commission (Competition law) and subsequently at the Court of Justice of the EU (Cabinet of Advocate-General Sharpston).

In addition to EU environmental law (see “Environment”) , she has particular experience of both EU State aid law and EU public procurement law. This includes:

  • Acting for the claimant in a judicial review challenge to the local planning authority’s interpretation of State aid provisions in the Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”) Regulations 2010 (led by James Maurici KC).
  • Appearing for the claimant in the High Court in R (o.a.o. Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council [2016] EWHC 2166 (Admin), a public procurement, best value and State aid challenge to a £125 million development agreement (led by Charles Banner KC).
  • Advising a contracting authority on the procurement of community transport services.
  • Co-author (with James Maurici KC) of an article in the Journal of Planning and Environment Law on “State aid in planning and compulsory purchase order cases” (JPL 2015, 6, 621-643).

Other EU law experience includes acting pro bono in several sets of proceedings before the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) and the Upper Tribunal concerning EU residence rights, instructed by the AIRE Centre on behalf of the claimants.

Procurement and Subsidy Control

Heather’s public procurement and State aid experience includes:

  • Co-author with James Maurici KC of State aid in planning and compulsory purchase order cases (JPL, 2015).
  • Advising a local authority on the procurement of transport services.
  • Junior counsel for the claimant in the High Court in R (o.a.o. Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council (led by Charles Banner KC).
  • Acting for the claimants in a judicial review challenge to the local planning authority’s interpretation of the State aid provisions in the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations.

Cross-practice

Landmark's barristers often work at the intersection of our core practice areas; bringing a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience to bear on a particular dispute or issue facing a client.

Our focus is always on achieving the best possible outcome for our client. By viewing the client's objectives in a holistic way - and not purely through the lens of one rigidly-defined legal area - we deliver the best possible advice and representation in complex matters that engage multiple specialist areas of law. 

Whether it's providing support as an individual cross-practice barrister or a cross-disciplinary team of Landmark counsel, we are able to draw on an outstanding array of complementary skillsets and knowledge bases. This often achieves a better result than instructing multiple barristers from different specialist sets. This also improves the quality of client care through increased levels of communication, quicker response times, and a coordinated approach to clerking and fees, made possible by our team-based cross-practice approach.

Please contact our practice management team for more information.

Energy

EU Law post-Brexit

Local Government

Specialisms

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Infrastructure

Commercial/Retail

Development Consent Orders

Development Contracts and Overage

Development Contribution: Section 106 and CIL

Development Plans and other planning policy

Energy

Environment

Green Belt

Heritage

Highways, Footpaths and Rights of Way

Minerals and Waste

Planning Appeals, Inquiries and Hearings

Planning Judicial and Statutory Reviews

Residential

Specialisms

Aarhus Convention and Environmental Justice

Air Quality

Climate Change and Emissions Trading

Ecology and Biodiversity

Energy

Environmental Assessment (Environmental Outcomes)

Environmental Regulation

Habitats and Species

Waste

Water

Wildlife

Specialisms

International

Procurement and Subsidy Control

EU Law post-Brexit

Specialisms

Energy

EU Law post-Brexit

Local Government

"
Razor sharp and completely unflappable: without a doubt a rising star."

Legal 500

Sargent Heather Uk leading juniors 2024

Qualifications and achievements

Qualifications

  • 2010 – 2011: Bar Professional Training Course, Kaplan Law School, London
  • 2009 – 2010: Master of Philosophy in Law, University of Oxford
  • 2008 – 2009: Bachelor of Civil Law, University of Oxford (Distinction)
  • 2004 – 2008: BA in Jurisprudence – Law with Law Studies in Europe (French), University of Oxford

Awards

  • 2009: Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lincoln’s Inn
  • 2009: Book Prize, Hertford College, University of Oxford (for performance on the BCL)

Scholarships

  • 2012: Sunley Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • 2011: Sir Peter Bristow Scholarship, Middle Temple (to spend time working in the EU institutions)
  • 2010: Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • 2009 – 2010: Peter Birks Memorial Scholarship, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
  • 2006: Scholarship, Hertford College, University of Oxford (for performance as an undergraduate).

Memberships

Appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel
Appointed to the Welsh Government's Panel of Junior Counsel

Recommendations

Practice Managers

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