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Rhodri Price Lewis QC

Call: 1975Silk: 2001
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Practice Summary

Rhodri Price Lewis QC has practised in planning and environmental law for over 30 years. He is a deputy High Court Judge sitting in the Administrative Court where he hears all types of public law cases. He has been appointed to sit in the newly created Planning Court. He is a Recorder of the Crown Court, an assistant Parliamentary Boundary Commissioner and he has sat as the Inspector in many village green cases.

In his practice he specialises in major infrastructure projects such as proposals for energy, waste and transport developments but his work covers the whole range of planning and environmental law including housing, business and retail development and compulsory purchase.

Rhodri has acted for many of the leading companies in the environmental field such as Veolia, Viridor, Sita, WRG, Southern Water and Miller Argent.

He has advised and appeared for many major housebuilders such as Crest, Bovis Homes, Berkeley Homes, Miller Homes and Redrow. In the retail field he has been particularly instrumental in helping the development of deep discount shopping both in town and out of town having advised Lidl on many matters and appeared for them at a number of public inquiries.

He has acted for public authorities promoting major transport developments such as the Baldock bypass and the Hastings relief road. He promoted a new railway through the Snowdonia National Park.

He has advised in and appeared in energy cases including surface mining schemes and energy from waste schemes. He has acted in many cases relating to mineral extraction of all kinds both for mineral operators and for mineral planning authorities.

He has promoted business parks and other large-scale commercial developments all over the country.

He has guided development plans of all kinds including core strategies, area action plans, local plans, minerals plans and waste plans through the statutory processes on behalf of the promoting authorities. He has also advised and acted in objections to such plans.

He has advised registration authorities, applicants and objectors in village green matters and, as well as on many occasions acting as the Inspector conducting the inquiry and advising the registration authority, he has appeared frequently at such inquiries on behalf of objectors to registration.

Rhodri has extensive experience of appearing in the higher courts in planning and environmental matters both in judicial review and statutory challenges.

Qualifications

Rhodri read Jurisprudence at Pembroke College, Oxford and Criminology at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He is a Recorder and was appointed an Assistant Parliamentary Boundary Commissioner in 2000. He is also a qualified ADR Group Accredited Mediator.

Recommendations

Rhodri is listed as a leading silk in planning and environmental law in recent Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners directories:

“He’s absolutely supportive of his witnesses, he has a steely edge when he needs it, and his ability to call a situation and adapt his approach is impressive.” “He’s a great strategist and clients really like working with him.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

‘He is a great strategist who cuts through to the key issues and ensures the team focus on the central objective and how they get there.’ Legal 500, 2021, Planning

‘A planning specialist who handles everything from village green cases to major infrastructure projects.’ Legal 500, 2021, Environment

“He is excellent on his feet and gets straight to the key issues.” Chambers & Partners, 2014

“Gives sensible, pragmatic advice.” Legal 500, 2014

“Lauded by peers for his ‘punchy yet beautiful’ advocacy style.” 2013

“A ‘good planning lawyer who knows what he’s doing. He’s also quite fun.'” 2013

Rhodri “has ‘the ability to identify the important commercial issues’ and ‘will not pursue legal points for their own sake’.” 2012

Inquiries

New Motorway Service Area approved for the A1(M) in Yorkshire

13/04/2021

Following a three week inquiry in February-March 2021, the Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has rejected the proposal for a new Motorway Service Area (“MSA”) at Junction 50 of the A1(M) close to Ripon.  At the same time, he has approved the proposed Vale of York MSA further south on the A1(M) between Junctions 48-49.  Harrogate Borough Council, the local planning authority, resisted both proposals.

Department for Transport Circular 02/2013 was a significant factor in the outcome.  It indicates that the recommended maximum distance between MSAs should be no more than 28 miles, whereas the current gap between the Wetherby and Durham MSAs on the A1(M) is 60 miles.  The new Vale of York MSA will help plug that gap.  Applegreen plc’s success at the inquiry is the culmination of 25 years of attempts to obtain permission for a new MSA in the vicinity of Kirby Hill village.  Part of the downfall of Moto’s proposal for the Ripon site was the Inspector’s conclusion, adopting the opponents’ positions, that it would represent a very sizeable incursion into the rural landscape and seriously undermine its inherent characteristics.  By contrast, the Inspector found that the Vale of York MSA would protect the landscape character of the district.

Rhodri Price Lewis QC and Gwion Lewis QC represented Applegreen plc at the inquiry.

Stephen Whale represented Harrogate Borough Council.

A copy of the decision can be found here.

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Inquiries

New Motorway Service Area approved for the A1(M) in Yorkshire

13/04/2021

Following a three week inquiry in February-March 2021, the Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has rejected the proposal for a new Motorway Service Area (“MSA”) at Junction 50 of the A1(M) close to Ripon.  At the same time, he has approved the proposed Vale of York MSA further south on the A1(M) between Junctions 48-49.  Harrogate Borough Council, the local planning authority, resisted both proposals.

Department for Transport Circular 02/2013 was a significant factor in the outcome.  It indicates that the recommended maximum distance between MSAs should be no more than 28 miles, whereas the current gap between the Wetherby and Durham MSAs on the A1(M) is 60 miles.  The new Vale of York MSA will help plug that gap.  Applegreen plc’s success at the inquiry is the culmination of 25 years of attempts to obtain permission for a new MSA in the vicinity of Kirby Hill village.  Part of the downfall of Moto’s proposal for the Ripon site was the Inspector’s conclusion, adopting the opponents’ positions, that it would represent a very sizeable incursion into the rural landscape and seriously undermine its inherent characteristics.  By contrast, the Inspector found that the Vale of York MSA would protect the landscape character of the district.

Rhodri Price Lewis QC and Gwion Lewis QC represented Applegreen plc at the inquiry.

Stephen Whale represented Harrogate Borough Council.

A copy of the decision can be found here.

:

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