Home > People > Junior Counsel > Matthew Dale-Harris

Matthew Dale-Harris

Call: 2012
Download CV

Practice Summary

Matt/Matthew is a planning, property and environmental law specialist. In 2021 he was ranked as one of the top-rated planning juniors under 35 (Planning Magazine) and was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel. He is the Editor of the Environment section of the Civil Court Practice and assist the editors of the Planning Encyclopedia.

Matthew’s planning practice focuses on housing and infrastructure work (as well as CPO).

He has acted for a range of developers including national housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey and land promoters like Catesby Estates as well as specialist and boutique developers like Optivo and Acorn Developments. He also has a busy practice working for local authorities and regularly appears in development management and enforcement appeals around the country. As panel counsel, he regularly acts for the DHLUHC and the Environment Agency.

Some of the schemes Matt is currently or has recently been instructed on (in relation to the planning application, planning appeal, CPO and/or legal challenge stages) include:

  • Evelyn House, Greenwich. A high quality 100% affordable housing scheme promoted by Optivo within the Charlton Riverside regeneration area (with Reuben Taylor QC).
  • Hulton Park, Bolton. The redevelopment of a Grade II registered park and garden in the Bolton Green Belt to provide a championship standard golf course capable of winning a bid for the 2031 Ryder Cup along with up to 1,036 dwellings.
  • Whitfield Urban Extension, A major urban extension for the development of up to 6,750 homes (with David Elvin QC).
  • Whitechapel Bell Foundry. A controversial redevelopment of a historic bell foundry in the East End of London. Matthew acted (with Rupert Warren QC) for the objector, Reform Heritage.
  • Loxley-I gas exploration well, Surrey Hills. An exploratory borehole targeting the Lozley Gas Discovery in the High Weald Basin, one of the largest accumulations of natural gas in England (with David Elvin QC).
  • Capital House, Southwark. Redevelopment in the immediate context of the Shard and Guy’s Hospital to provide a 39-storey building housing up to 905 student accommodation units (with Russell Harris QC).
  • Land north of Flitch Way, Braintree. A 120 unit scheme on the edge of Braintree, Essex.
  • Roman Quarter Project, York. An mixed use redevelopment in York town centre involving the controversial excavation of Roman strata below the city and creation of a new archaeological attraction.

He also acts for local authorities in relation to their plans and is currently instructed (with Matthew Reed QC) by London Borough of Enfield in respect of their emerging local plan.

As a property litigator, Matthew has experience of residential and commercial disputes and has acted in the Tribunals as well as the County and High Courts. He has a particular specialism in development related work including litigation and advice relating to s.106 agreements as well as overage and other forms of development contracts.

He is experienced in public rights of way litigation both in relation to appeals under the 1981 Act and disputes in the courts.

He is regularly instructed in relation to broader countryside matters and continues to act for both landowners, regulators and representative bodies such as the British Association of Shooting and Conservation or Moorlands Association on matters of importance to landowners such as the management of peat, game birds, pest control and water abstraction.

Matthew’s most significant cases and inquiries can be accessed by clicking the links to the right, for more detail of his practice in specific areas please also click the links under ‘Expertise’.

Matthew is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association and the Planning Bar Association.

Planning Law

Planning is Matthew’s principal area of practice and he represents developers, local authorities and a range of other parties (including NGOs, individuals, community groups, parish councils and residents’ associations). His practice is broad and he is familiar with the law of town and country planning at every stage of the process (from plan-making to POCA) as well infrastructure planning under the Planning Act 2008 and planning enforcement at inquiry and in the criminal courts.

Recent work has involved a particular focus on heritage issues. Two recent call-in inquiries (decisions pending) have seen him appear for Bolton Council supporting a scheme to develop a new Ryder Cup standard golf course within an 18/19th century Registered Park and for Save Britain’s Heritage as an objector to a proposal to construct a 20 storey tower at Anglia Square, a part of the historic core of Norwich.

See links on the right of the page for his recent inquiries and High Court cases.

Matthew assists the editors of the Planning Encyclopedia, for which he has provided contributions in relation to plans and plan-making, as well as plan-making, development control, enforcement, and infrastructure delivery. He is also a contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law in relation to which he writes the chapter on Strategic Environmental Assessment) and is the editor of the Environment section of the Civil Court Practice 2019 (The Green Book). This reflects his particular interest in the environmental aspects of planning work in which respect he has worked on issues relating to EIA, SEA, land contamination, the Water Framework Directive and Habitats Directive including in relation to infrastructure projects such as Gatwick’s proposed second runway and proposal to change the use of its backup runway.

He is also currently working on a book (with other members of chambers) on planning in National Parks and AONBs.

Matthew is regularly instructed in relation to infrastructure and plan making. Recent experiences include:

  • Advising landowners in relation to the M25 Junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange.
  • Appearing for Gatwick Airport Limited at the examination of the Reigate and Banstead Local Plan.
  • Advising Gatwick Airports Limited as part of a team of Landmark Counsel on the Government’s Airports NPS
  • Appearing for Friends of the Earth at a number of hearing in relation to the North Yorkshire Minerals and Waste Plan (fracking)
  • Appearing for Save Maccsfield Green Belt (a local residents group) at the examination into the Cheshire East Local Plan,
  • Walsall MBC Site Allocation Document and Area Action Plan: Advising Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council (with James Maurici QC) in relation to habitats issues arising around promotion of local plans.

Matthew enjoys the collegiality of the planning profession and has given talks and training to local authorities across the country as well as participating in RTPI training and at the RTPI Young Planner’s Conference.

Property and Leasehold Enfranchisement Law

Matthew has a busy property practice with a particular focus on leasehold extensions and enfranchisement and regularly appears in the county court and First Tier Residential Property Tribunal.

Before joining Landmark Matthew acted as a duty advisor in residential possession claims at Willesden County Court. During pupillage he also gained experience of a wide range of other property matters including restrictive covenants, boundary disputes, landlord and tenant claims (both residential and commercial), forfeiture actions, village greens, and a variety of issues in leasehold enfranchisement and property valuation.

Matthew regularly appears in the county courts on a wide range of possession and 1954 Act matters, including a claims against trespassers and forfeiture proceedings. He has sought and obtained vesting orders under Part III of the 1987 Act and under s.44 of the Trustee Act 1925. He also has experience of dealing with bankruptcy applications, and with applications for charging orders and orders for the sale of a property.

Recent appearances have included:

  • Y Crwys Village Green Inquiry: appeared for landowner responding to village green application in the centre of Y Crwys village.
  • Larwood v Kinnish (B00SS482): appeared for claimant seeking possession of land and facing a counterclaim for adverse possession.
  • Appearances in the county court in full trials relating to boundary disputes, possession, rights of way, the existence of agricultural tenancies and harassments claims.
  • Appearances in the First Tier Tribunal (Residential Tribunal) in relation to a contested application for a declaration of breach of covenant.

Matthew’s advisory and drafting work has raised issues across property law including forfeiture, mortgages, party wall/boundary issues, property injunctions, severance, land registration, and the enforceability of section 106 agreements.

He frequently gives talks and seminars and is currently organising (with Matthew Fraser) a Landmark Chambers five-part series covering the “Nuts and Bolts of Property Law”.

Leasehold Enfranchisement

Prior to starting practice, Matthew was a pupil to Tom Jefferies and worked on a number of leasehold enfranchisement matters including a contested valuation hearing of a high value house in Mayfair, a complex enfranchisement of blocks of flats in West Kensington, and a restrictive covenant dispute in Westminster.

Recent enfranchisement and leasehold extension work includes successful appearances in the FTT in a variety of 1993 Act claims (relating to lease terms, purchase price and other issues), and in the county court in relation to a contested notice of claim under the 1967 Act. His advisory work often involves reviewing notices and helping to untangle the knotty procedural traps which the legislation specializes in. In this context, he often works with both solicitors and valuers.

Matthew is instructed regularly in relation to all areas of leasehold enfranchisement law and strategy and assist with drafting, advisory work and with advocacy in the Tribunal. He has recently given a talk in chambers on the validity of notices and wider questions of strategy and procedure under Part 1 of the 1993 Act. Notable recent work includes:

  • Multiple appearances in the Residential Property Tribunal for tenants seeking determination of the price to be paid for the freehold under the 1993 Act. A recent example was Perrott (and Ors) v Perry in which he successfully cross examined the respondent’s valuer, obtaining an acceptance that his client’s valuer had given a more useful valuation of the premium.
  • Advising clients in the context of a county court challenge to the validity of a tenants’ notice under the 1967 Act on the question of whether a property was a house reasonably so called.
  • Advising clients in relation to the time limits applicable under the 1993 and 1967 Acts.
  • Appearing in the Residential Property Tribunal for tenants seeking determination of the terms of a new lease to be granted under s.42 of the 1993 Act.

He is a member of the Property Bar Association.

Public and Environment (including EU)

Matthew’s public law practice is broad one, including a wide range of fields including the environment, social security, unlawful detention and immigration, public land disposal, and health care law.

He is a contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law in relation to which he writes the chapter on Strategic Environmental Assessment (with Charles Banner) and is the editor of the Environment section of the Civil Court Practice 2017 (The Green Book). He also has a particular interest in public procurement, in which respect he recently appeared (with David Smith) for the claimants in a litigation in the High Court concerning a £108m development agreement for the regeneration of Farnham town centre.

He regularly drafts claims and has appeared in the Administrative Court on a number occasions. He also has experience of drafting summary grounds of resistance for central government through GLD’s baby barrister scheme. Recent high court work includes:

  • R (Shirley) v SSCLG (CO/690/2017) acting (with Reuben Taylor QC) for a developer in response to a judicial review alleging that the Secretary of State’s refusal to call in an application was in breach of the Air Quality Directive.
  • Wylde v Waverley BC [2017] EWHC 466 (Admin): appeared (with David Smith) for the claimants in public procurement litigation in the High Court concerning a £108m development agreement for the regeneration of Farnham town centre.
  • R (Friends of the Earth) v Welsh Ministers [2015] P.T.S.R. D28: Appeared (with Alex Goodman) for Friends of the Earth in a judicial review of the decision of the Welsh Ministers to adopt a plan to build a new motorway through the Gwent levels to the south of Newport (on grounds relating to SEA).

Outside of the High Court, Matthew regularly appears in the First Tier Tribunal (IAC) and (Social Security) and in the Upper Tribunal (IAC) (including a recent successful urgent application to stay removal directions), and on a substantive appeal. His advisory practice is very broad and has involved working for NGOs such as Friends of the Earth in investigating potential challenges especially in relating to fracking and other forms of mineral exploration and exploitation.

As a former paralegal at a leading firm of environmental claimant solicitors he has a practical and hands on approach to the demands of bringing a judicial review claim, and has recently given two talks on “How to Get a JR Claim off the Ground”.

Rating and Compulsory Purchase Work

Matthew has a busy rating practice and regularly appears in the magistrates’ court and advises in relation to council tax and non-domestic rates. Recent work includes:

  • Serpes v City of London [2017] EWHC 1241 (Ch): successfully resisted an appeal in the High Court brought by a ratepayer in respect of unoccupied commercial property rates.
  • Regular appearances in the magistrates’ court for rate payers on cases raising questions in relation to charitable exemption; empty property relief; unoccupied property exemptions; rateable occupation; and jurisdictional questions.
  • He is currently acting for Aldi in relation to a valuation appeal which raises interesting issues as to the weight to be given to a lease, granted at a reverse premium.

His compulsory purchase practice involves both advisory and inquiry work, in which respect he has previously appeared at:

  • Ealing Filmworks Scheme CPO: appeared for London Borough of Ealing (as Promoting Authority) on a ten day inquiry into a CPO brought forward to enable the Land Securities’ mixed use leisure, retail and commercial scheme to be built (with Neil King QC). Key issues included the benefits which the scheme would deliver and whether an alternative to the CPO had been properly considered.
  • Brentford Football Stadium CPO Inquiry: appeared for First Industrial Ltd, statutory objectors to the Brentford Football Stadium CPO, over a nine-day inquiry (as junior to Neil King QC).

Matthew’s practice frequently involves issues of valuation (whether in the context of CPO, rates, leasehold enfranchisement, or commercial rent review).

Countryside and Rights of Way

Matthew has a busy public rights of way practice and, in addition to his advisory work, frequently appears for land owning objectors as well as local interest groups at inquiries under the Wildlife and Countryside 1981 Act.

At the present time he is also acting on a very interesting challenge in the High Court (led by George Laurence QC) which raises a range of important points on the approach to historic determination by the courts of Quarter Sessions, as well as the interpretation of Finance Act material.

He also has appeared for landowners and applicants at village green inquiries and applications to designate assets of community value.

In addition to his public rights work, Matt regularly advises and acts on private rights of way issues and in relation to restrictive covenants.

His countryside practice also includes a real breadth of environmental experience as detailed in the Environment tab. His reported cases and inquiries include issues as varied as gamebird licensing (pheasant and red legged partridge), peat management, pest control (specifically carrion crow), wild bird shooting licences, water abstraction and silage spreading.

Qualifications

Academic

  • 2006-9: BA (Hons) History, Durham University (First)
  • 2009-10: MSt Late Antique History, Art and Archaeology, Oxford University (Distinction)
  • 2010-11: Graduate Diploma in Law, Oxford Brookes (Distinction)

Professional

  • 2011-12: Bar Professional Training Course, Kaplan Law School (Very Competent)

Inquiries

Anglia Square Redevelopment, Norwich

28/01/2020

Matthew appeared for Save Britain’s Heritage, a charity specialising in heritage matters, as a Rule 6 objector to a 20 storey building development proposed for a rundown part of Norwich’s historic core. Issues included the impact of the scheme on the numerous Grade I, II* and II listed assets within the city and on the meaning of substantial vs less than substantial harm.

:

Inquiries

Hulton Park, Bolton

01/10/2019

Matthew represented the LPA in support of an ambitious scheme to deliver the Ryder Cup to Bolton through the creation of a new world class resort in Grade II registered park in the green belt. Main issues at the three week call-in inquiry included the heritage, green belt impact (in part resulting from the c.1000 homes to be delivered alongside the golf course) and the economic benefits of a sporting “mega event”.

:

Inquiries

Land south and west of Takeley Road, Uttlesford

21/05/2019

Matthew successfully represented a Parish Council over a four-day inquiry into their objection to a green-field housing scheme sought on appeal by Gladman. Main issues included highways safety, the application of the tilted balance and heritage impacts on a listed building.

:

Inquiries

St Patrick’s Hall, Reading

19/03/2019

Matthew represented the successful LPA on a two week inquiry into an appeal against refusal of permission for a substantial redevelopment of Reading University’s oldest residential campus site. Main issues included impact on townscape and local character and heritage impact on a locally listed student hall.

:

Inquiries

Land north and south of the Flitch Way, Braintree (led by Christopher Katkowski QC)

04/09/2018

Matthew appeared for the applicant on a called in application for a 1,600 home housing scheme on the edge of Braintree. Main issues included landscape and visual impact, coalescence, and transport sustainability. The application was finally refused after a post-inquiry change in the five year housing land supply position

:

Inquiries

Proposed residential development at Land South of Weston Road

14/03/2016

Matthew appeared as sole counsel for Great Horwood Parish Council in a four day call-in inquiry into a housing development brought forward by Taylor Wimpey, at which the successful Parish Council was the sole main party arguing for refusal. Key issues included landscape impact, conflict with Neighbourhood Plan, evidence for local and neighbourhood housing need.

:

Inquiries

89 Martindale Road, TW4

24/11/2015

Appearing for Appellant at inquiry into appeal against an enforcement notice under ground (d).

:

Inquiries

Land at Worldwide Butterflies Site, West Dorset

16/11/2015

Appearing for West Dorset District Council over two day inquiry into an appeal against enforcement notice under grounds (a), (c), (d), (f) and (g).

:

Inquiries

Brentford Community Football Stadium CPO Inquiry

08/09/2015

Today the inquiry into the confirmation of a compulsory purchase order made by the London Borough of Hounslow for the provision of a new, 20,000 seat community football stadium for Brentford Football Club opened. The Club moved to its current stadium in Griffin Park, Brentford in 1904, and has long since outgrown this location. The CPO if confirmed will enable the regeneration of a site that is principally used for unattractive industrial and related uses, between Kew Bridge and the elevated M4 motorway. The redevelopment will include some 910 new homes, which will assist in enabling the development, as well as a hotel and other uses. The Club’s proposals have been lauded as bringing significant inward investment with regenerative benefits into a relatively isolated area of Brentford.

The inquiry is expected to run for two weeks.

James Maurici QC and Andrew Byass are appearing for the London Borough of Hounslow.

Russell Harris QC is acting for the Club.

Neil King QC and Matthew Dale-Harris are appearing for First Industrial Limited, one of the objectors to the CPO.

:

Inquiries

Ealing Filmworks CPO

14/04/2015

A public inquiry opens today into a major compulsory purchase proposal by the London Borough of Ealing and Land Securities. The CPO aims to assemble a site for a cinema, shopping, offices and housing.

Neil King QC and Matthew Dale-Harris are representing Ealing and Land Securities, Nathalie Lieven QC is for the Empire Cinema group and Rupert Warren QC is for Aberdeen Asset Management.

:

Articles and Presentations

Inquiries

Anglia Square Redevelopment, Norwich

28/01/2020

Matthew appeared for Save Britain’s Heritage, a charity specialising in heritage matters, as a Rule 6 objector to a 20 storey building development proposed for a rundown part of Norwich’s historic core. Issues included the impact of the scheme on the numerous Grade I, II* and II listed assets within the city and on the meaning of substantial vs less than substantial harm.

:

Inquiries

Hulton Park, Bolton

01/10/2019

Matthew represented the LPA in support of an ambitious scheme to deliver the Ryder Cup to Bolton through the creation of a new world class resort in Grade II registered park in the green belt. Main issues at the three week call-in inquiry included the heritage, green belt impact (in part resulting from the c.1000 homes to be delivered alongside the golf course) and the economic benefits of a sporting “mega event”.

:

Inquiries

Land south and west of Takeley Road, Uttlesford

21/05/2019

Matthew successfully represented a Parish Council over a four-day inquiry into their objection to a green-field housing scheme sought on appeal by Gladman. Main issues included highways safety, the application of the tilted balance and heritage impacts on a listed building.

:

Inquiries

St Patrick’s Hall, Reading

19/03/2019

Matthew represented the successful LPA on a two week inquiry into an appeal against refusal of permission for a substantial redevelopment of Reading University’s oldest residential campus site. Main issues included impact on townscape and local character and heritage impact on a locally listed student hall.

:

Inquiries

Land north and south of the Flitch Way, Braintree (led by Christopher Katkowski QC)

04/09/2018

Matthew appeared for the applicant on a called in application for a 1,600 home housing scheme on the edge of Braintree. Main issues included landscape and visual impact, coalescence, and transport sustainability. The application was finally refused after a post-inquiry change in the five year housing land supply position

:

Inquiries

Proposed residential development at Land South of Weston Road

14/03/2016

Matthew appeared as sole counsel for Great Horwood Parish Council in a four day call-in inquiry into a housing development brought forward by Taylor Wimpey, at which the successful Parish Council was the sole main party arguing for refusal. Key issues included landscape impact, conflict with Neighbourhood Plan, evidence for local and neighbourhood housing need.

:

Inquiries

89 Martindale Road, TW4

24/11/2015

Appearing for Appellant at inquiry into appeal against an enforcement notice under ground (d).

:

Inquiries

Land at Worldwide Butterflies Site, West Dorset

16/11/2015

Appearing for West Dorset District Council over two day inquiry into an appeal against enforcement notice under grounds (a), (c), (d), (f) and (g).

:

Inquiries

Brentford Community Football Stadium CPO Inquiry

08/09/2015

Today the inquiry into the confirmation of a compulsory purchase order made by the London Borough of Hounslow for the provision of a new, 20,000 seat community football stadium for Brentford Football Club opened. The Club moved to its current stadium in Griffin Park, Brentford in 1904, and has long since outgrown this location. The CPO if confirmed will enable the regeneration of a site that is principally used for unattractive industrial and related uses, between Kew Bridge and the elevated M4 motorway. The redevelopment will include some 910 new homes, which will assist in enabling the development, as well as a hotel and other uses. The Club’s proposals have been lauded as bringing significant inward investment with regenerative benefits into a relatively isolated area of Brentford.

The inquiry is expected to run for two weeks.

James Maurici QC and Andrew Byass are appearing for the London Borough of Hounslow.

Russell Harris QC is acting for the Club.

Neil King QC and Matthew Dale-Harris are appearing for First Industrial Limited, one of the objectors to the CPO.

:

Inquiries

Ealing Filmworks CPO

14/04/2015

A public inquiry opens today into a major compulsory purchase proposal by the London Borough of Ealing and Land Securities. The CPO aims to assemble a site for a cinema, shopping, offices and housing.

Neil King QC and Matthew Dale-Harris are representing Ealing and Land Securities, Nathalie Lieven QC is for the Empire Cinema group and Rupert Warren QC is for Aberdeen Asset Management.

:

MEMBERS PORTFOLIO

Click the icon next to any member to add their profile to this portfolio.
Member Call/Silk CV Email Print
icon-accordion-chevron icon-arrow-left icon-arrow-right icon-chevron-down icon-chevron-left icon-cross icon-download icon-letter icon-linked-in icon-phone-outline icon-phone icon-search icon-search icon-select-chevron icon-top-right-corner icon-twitter