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Christopher Katkowski QC

Call: 1982Silk: 1999
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Practice Summary

Chris Katkowski QC specialises in planning work in the main either preparing for and appearing at planning inquiries or acting in judicial reviews of planning decisions. The majority of his clients are from the private and corporate sectors together with a number of local planning authorities. Prior to taking silk Chris was a member of what is now the “A” Panel of Treasury Counsel as a result of which he has appeared in many court cases and continues to do so. He completed his term of office as Head of Chambers in May 2009.

Chris is consistently recognised in UK legal directories and in Planning magazine’s annual survey of planning lawyers as one of the foremost leaders in planning work in the country.

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019 ranks Chris as a “Star Individual” in Planning and describes Chris as: Universally regarded as a leading silk, Christopher Katkowski QC is a planning specialist with a remarkable track record of success at inquiry or in judicial review. Clients and peers, who speak warmly and at length of his creativity, sound judgement and concise advice, assert that he remains a leader at the Bar for complex planning cases. He is a brilliant QC – very personable, easy to work with and someone with great insight. He combines a huge intellectual capacity to grasp large, complex projects with the ability to convey his advice with great clarity and ease. He is a thoroughly nice man, fun and good to deal with too.”

The Legal 500 UK Bar Guide 2018 ranks Chris in the top tier of planning silks and says of him that he is: “Super-responsive.”

The 2019 Planning Law Survey published by Planning magazine ranks Chris as a top planning silk saying of him that he is: “the most recognisable and charismatic planning barrister on the circuit; he has seen it all, done it all and is completely at ease in front of any inspector or court in any situation; …top class, …a force to ​be reckoned with and always charmingly deadly.” Chris has topped the table 10 times which is more than any other planning silk has ever done.

Chris’ eye-catching successes have changed the face of London.

In his book “The Shard” Howard Watson reports that the late “Irvine Sellar said…”I’m a genius at picking geniuses:… the best QC in Christopher Katkowski.” “As a tough and critical man with extraordinarily high expectations of others, Sellar rarely hands out compliments, but his view of Christopher Katkowski remains undimmed by time: he describes the QC’s closing as “poetry”. “During the lengthy inquiry… the Queens’s Counsel himself was the pivotal figure in carrying the arguments in favour of the …scheme. The transcripts reveal Katkowski’s point-by-point dismantling of the counter-arguments and several masterstrokes.”

In his book “Leading from the Front” Gerald Ronson describes Chris as “a brilliant QC” having won the inquiry for the Heron Tower in the City.

Chris’ caseload is diverse. As Planning Magazine says “he has seen it all [and] done it all”.

He has appeared at hundreds of planning inquiries and court cases.

A good deal of his work involves advising clients how to avoid planning applications ending up at planning inquiries or being challenged in court.

Chris was appointed by the DCLG as an advisor to the Local Plans Expert Group in 2016 and by MHCLG as an advisor to the Rosewell Review in 2018; he was a keynote speaker at the Planning Inspectorate’s Annual Training Event in 2018.

Chris is down to earth and approachable and enjoys team working. He must be the only planning QC to have been awarded a gold disc (by MTV to celebrate the successful planning appeal for a new studio). His cases have appeared in episodes of the Archers and Judge John Deed.

Qualifications

Chris graduated from Cambridge with a BA (Law) in 1978, an LLB (First Class) in 1979 and MA in 1982.

He is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn.

Inquiries

Spurs regeneration scheme approved

28/06/2019

Tottenham Hotspur FC has secured planning permission on appeal for the residential-led mixed use regeneration on the former Goods Yard site on White Hart Lane, London.

The scheme will deliver up to 316 new homes. It was promoted on a hybrid basis, with “matters of layout, scale, appearance, landscaping and access within the site reserved for residential-led mixed-use redevelopment to comprise the demolition of existing buildings/structures and associated site clearance and erection of new buildings/structures and basement to provide residential units, employment (B1 Use), retail (A1 Use), leisure (A3 and D2 Uses) and community (D1 Use) uses, with associated access, parking (including basement parking) and servicing space, infrastructure, public realm works and ancillary development”. The scheme also included the change of use of No. 52 White Hart Lane (Station Master’s House) from C3 use to A3 use.

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Inquiries

Spurs regeneration scheme approved

28/06/2019

Tottenham Hotspur FC has secured planning permission on appeal for the residential-led mixed use regeneration on the former Goods Yard site on White Hart Lane, London.

The scheme will deliver up to 316 new homes. It was promoted on a hybrid basis, with “matters of layout, scale, appearance, landscaping and access within the site reserved for residential-led mixed-use redevelopment to comprise the demolition of existing buildings/structures and associated site clearance and erection of new buildings/structures and basement to provide residential units, employment (B1 Use), retail (A1 Use), leisure (A3 and D2 Uses) and community (D1 Use) uses, with associated access, parking (including basement parking) and servicing space, infrastructure, public realm works and ancillary development”. The scheme also included the change of use of No. 52 White Hart Lane (Station Master’s House) from C3 use to A3 use.

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