Matthew Henderson

Call: 2016
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Practice Summary

Matthew practices in planning and environmental, property and non-domestic rating law. He acts for developers, local authorities and a range of individuals and interested parties.  He frequently appears in the High Court, public inquiries and examinations, both led and unled.

Recent court work includes:

  • London Borough of Lambeth v SSHCLG [2019] UKSC – Matthew represented the London Borough of Lambeth, led by Matthew Reed QC, in an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning the approach to the interpretation of planning permissions and the extent to which it is possible to imply terms into a planning permission.
  • Loughlin v Wiltshire Council [2018] EWHC – Matthew represented the local planning authority in a judicial review of a decision to grant planning permission.
  • Brent v SSHCLG [2019] EWHC – Matthew represented the second respondent, the landowner, in an appeal pursuant to section 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Recent public inquiry and examination work includes:

  • Old Chase Farm, Chelmsford – Matthew successfully represented the local planning authority at a four day enforcement inquiry concerning the change of use of agricultural land to storage.
  • William Court, Hall Road, London – Matthew successfully represented a Rule 6 Party at a four day inquiry concerning the refusal of planning permission for a high value development of three homes adjacent to the St John’s Wood Conservation Area.
  • Cabinet at Reed, Hertfordshire – Matthew successfully represented a Rule 6 Party at an appeal against the refusal of retrospective planning permission for the conversion of the Cabinet at Reed public house into residential use.
  • Dorset Minerals Site Plan Examination – Matthew represented a local action group at the public examination.

Planning and Environment

Matthew has a broad planning and environmental practice, with experience of advisory, inquiry, and court proceedings.

Matthew advises on all aspects of planning law and his clients include developers, local authorities and non-governmental organisations. Recent advisory work includes:

  • The proper construction of amendments to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010
  • S.106 contributions and the approach to assessing benchmark land value
  • Possible grounds for challenging the grant of planning permission on the basis of bias and pre-determination
  • Advice on available compensation in relation to compulsory purchase orders
  • Advice on planning enforcement action for breach of conditions attached to a planning permission
  • The proper application of NPPF para. 14 where the local planning authority could not demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

Matthew has experience of planning appeals, both at Inquiry and by written representations. Recent examples include:

  • Representing a developer at an inquiry concerning the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness of existing use in relation to the conversion of a house into flats
  • Drafting written representations for a residential development where the Local Planning Authority could not demonstrate a five-year housing land supply
  • Appearing as a junior to Charles Banner at two inquiries in the East Riding of Yorkshire concerning whether the local planning authority could demonstrate a five-year housing land supply and the sustainability of large residential development in the open countryside.

Matthew also undertakes work in respect of development under the Planning Act 2008.  Recent examples include:

  • Advising on proposed amendments to a development consent order (with David Elvin QC)
  • Advising on whether a development amounted to a nationally significant infrastructure project (with Charles Banner).

As a pupil to Matthew Reed QC and Charles Banner, Matthew also has experience of judicial review challenges of planning decisions and challenges under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Matthew’s experience in the above areas traverses several sectors, for example: residential and commercial property, energy (including fracking, anaerobic digestion and renewable energies) and transport (including ports and river navigation).


Matthew has appeared in the County Court and High Court on property related matters and has a busy advisory practice. Recent examples of Matthew’s practice include:

  • Advising both tenants and landlords in relation to business tenancies (including sporting tenancies) under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, on a wide range of issues including renewal and termination
  • Advising and representing a local authority in relation to a disrepair claim
  • Residential possession proceedings in the County Court
  • Advising on the validity of property notices
  • Advising on land registration matters.

As a pupil to Tom Jefferies, Matthew gained considerable experience of leasehold enfranchisement and restrictive covenants.

Matthew’s property law practice compliments both his planning work and public law work. For example, he has experience during pupillage of development contract litigation involving aspects of both property and planning law, as well as local government advisory work on the proper management of property resources underpinning education provision.


Matthew accepts instructions in all areas of public law. He has appeared in the First-tier Tribunal on immigration matters and in front of Independent Review Panels on school exclusion appeals.

As a pupil to Carine Patry, Matthew gained considerable experience on immigration matters, including immigration judicial review claims.

Prior to joining Chambers, Matthew volunteered with the School Exclusion Project, representing the parents of children who had been permanently excluded from school.

Public Procurement

Recent examples of Matthew’s procurement work include:

  • advising a local authority on procurement under the PCR 2015 in the context of a development agreement
  • advising the Home Office on a procurement process outside of the PCR 2015.


  • BA English Language and Literature – University College, University of Oxford
  • Graduate Diploma in Law – City University, London
  • Bar Professional Training Course – BPP University, London
  • Buchanan Prize – Lincoln’s Inn
  • Advocacy Scholarship – BPP University
  • 1st Place – Property Bar Association Essay Competition 2016
  • 1st Place – UK Environmental Law Association Essay Competition 2015
  • 1st Place – Blackstones/UH National Criminal Advocacy Competition 2016 (1st place team and individual)
  • 3rd Place – Gluckstein Advocacy Competition, Lincoln’s Inn


Proposed 67 dwelling development at Hutton Cranswick, East Riding of Yorkshire


This was a 6 day public inquiry into an appeal by Williamsfield Developments Ltd into the refusal by East Riding of Yorkshire District Council of its application for outline planning permission for 67 dwellings on an unallocated greenfield site outside the settlement boundary at Hutton Cranswick.

A central issue in the appeal was whether the Council was able to demonstrate a deliverable 5 year housing land supply (‘5YHLS’). In 2017, the Council emphatically succeeded in fending off a sustained challenge to its claimed 5YHLS at 3 appeals by Gladman (in South Cave, Holm-on-Spalding Moor and Pocklington), two of which resulted in costs awards in favour of the Council. Those appeal decisions received a nationally high profile in the planning & development industry at the time and were treated as illustrative of the demanding task facing appellants seeking to interrogate a local authority’s 5YHLS following the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the St Modwen  case concerning the interpretation of the definition of ‘deliverable’ in the 2012 National Planning Policy Framework. In the Hutton Cranswick appeal, the Appellant sought to re-open the argument in reliance on the revised definition of ‘deliverable’ in the 2018 and 2019 versions of the NPPF and having regard to the accompanying Planning Practice Guidance. The Council contended that the Appellant had misunderstood the revised definition and that its application of the definition to the Council’s claimed 5YHLS was misplaced.

The forthcoming decision of the Inspector (Philip Ware DipTP MRTPI) is likely to be one of, if not the, leading early appeal decisions on the effect of the new NPPF and PPG on determining 5YHLS in the context of planning decision-making.

Charles Banner QC and Matthew Henderson appeared for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, instructed by Peter Atkinson of the Council’s legal department. Charles appeared in all 3 of the 2017 appeals in which the Council successfully defended its 5YHLS, with Matthew in the latter two.



Queens Hotel, Croydon


Matthew represented a Residents’ Association at a four day inquiry into a proposal to enlarge the Queens Hotel, Croydon.  Key issues included heritage (involving both the Church Road Conservation Area and locally listed buildings), transport (including parking stress and highway safety), design and residential amenity.



The Cabinet at Reed, Hertfordshire


Matthew appeared for a local action group in an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the conversion of the Cabinet pub at Reed into a residential dwelling. The key issues (in respect of which the action group called its own evidence) included heritage (the Cabinet is grade II listed), viability, assets of community value status and intentional unauthorised development.



Parchment Street, Chichester


Matthew appeared for a local planning authority in an appeal against a listed building enforcement notice, concerning modifications to a grade II listed terrace of houses.



Old Chase Farm, Chelmsford


Matthew appeared for the local planning authority in an appeal against an enforcement notice alleging a material change of use of agricultural land to commercial storage.    The inquiry lasted four days and the key issues included the identification of the planning unit, dormant uses and supervening planning events.



Dorset Mineral Site Plan Examination


Matthew appeared for a local action group opposing the allocation of a cluster of sites over the course of a multi-day examination into the Dorset Mineral Site Plan.  Key issues included the impact on designated heritage assets (including conservation areas, grade I listed buildings and scheduled monuments), Strategic Environmental Assessment and biodiversity.



William Court, Hall Road, St John’s Wood, London


Matthew acted for the successful Rule 6 Party in an appeal against the refusal of planning permission by Westminster City Council for a high value development of three homes adjacent to the St John’s Wood Conservation Area. The inquiry lasted for four days and the key issues (all of which the action group called evidence in respect of) included heritage, design, daylight and sunlight, and parking.



Old High Street, Headington, Oxford


Matthew acted for the developer in an appeal against the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness for proposed use or development. The appeal concerned the proposed construction of residential dwellings on a site within the Headington Conservation Area relying on an historic planning permission.



Godfrey Ermen Playing Fields, Abbey Hey, Manchester


Matthew acted for the successful applicants in respect of the registration of Godfrey Ermen Playing Fields as a village green. The application was heard by an Inspector at a four day inquiry in May 2018. Key issues included whether the activities of dog walkers were a qualifying sport or pastime and whether the use was without force.

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Melbourne Road, Leyton, London


Appeal against refusal of certificate of lawfulness for existing use or development in respect of the subdivision of a dwellinghouse into flats.



Holme-on-Spalding Moor and Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire


Matthew appeared for the successful local planning authority (led by Charles Banner) at two multi-week inquiries concerning residential development at Holme-on-Spalding Moor and Pocklington.  Both inquiries considered whether the local planning authority were able to demonstrate a five year housing land supply.  Other key issues included landscape and visual impact and highways impact.

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