Simon Pickles

Practice summary

Practice Summary

Simon Pickles practices principally in three areas – planning, compulsory purchase & compensation and environmental law. Aside from a strong emphasis on advisory work, he routinely appears at inquiries, hearings and in the High Court and Lands Chamber.

Simon advises on highways issues and has appeared at footpath diversion and definitive map modification inquiries. He also provides local authority councillor training.


Simon has a great deal of experience of planning law and practice. He has advised and appeared at inquiries, hearings and examinations for developers and landowners, local authorities and individuals in relation to a wide range of developments.


Many appearances at inquiries into residential developments inc. mixed-use development. Assisting in preparation for and attendance at hearings into residential development.

Schemes considered have ranged from conventional residential schemes to more complicated or controversial examples including a garden suburb affecting the Green Belt, loss of open space, Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, specialist residential schemes for those approaching retirement or retired and affordable housing.

Energy and Waste

Advice over several years to a team of officers at Surrey County Council on the grant and subsequent variation of planning permission for a Waste Management ‘Eco Park’ (now under construction) comprising: a Gasification Facility (60,000 tpa); Anaerobic Digestion Facility (40,000 tpa); Community Recycling Facility; etc. Issues included: classification of the gasification plant as ‘disposal’; safety; Best Available Techniques); reference back to committee; and the application of section 73 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. Simon also represented the County Council at associated FP diversion inquiries. The original permission was not challenged and permission to challenge its variation was refused.

Advice on other anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis plant proposals and wind farm development. This work is against the backdrop of appearances at inquiries into major waste projects including: an energy-from-waste/incineration plant to accept waste from central London; and a major integrated facility including de-inking, anaerobic digestion, combined heat & power, and MBT technologies in Essex. Advice also on planning permission for windfarm development and exploratory deep on-shore mining (with a view to fracking or not).

Environmental impact assessment

Detailed appraisal of environmental statements relating to major residential development proposals.

IPPC/ Environmental permitting

Advice on permits relating to on-shore deep mining and waste-related developments, having earlier resisted judicial review challenges to permits granted in respect of energy-from- waste/incineration plants.

Habitats Directive and appropriate assessment

Advice in respect of miniplans designed to avoid a requirement for appropriate assessment of the prospect of impacts on the Thames Basin Heaths SPA (SANGS policy).

Contaminated land

Advice on the operation of the contaminated land regime.

Earlier work

Greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme Appeared on first appeal against a refusal by the Environment Agency to allow an applicant to join the scheme (outcome reversed by amending regulations). Appeared also on first appeal against a revocation notice served under the GHG Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2005

FEPA 1985Advice on the defence of a prosecution (discontinued) for the alleged unauthorized deposit of contaminated material under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985.

He is very able and has a good manner with lay clients"


Qualifications and achievements


Simon graduated with an MA in Law from Cambridge University (Sidney Sussex College). He is an Assistant Parliamentary Boundary Commissioner and a member of PEBA and UKELA.

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