Stephen Whale

Call: 1999
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Practice Summary

Stephen was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1999.  He has been a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel since 2007 (London A Panel since 1 September 2015), and he is one of the highest ranked juniors for Planning in the country in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Current directory accolades: “An intellectual heavyweight: accessible and personable.” (Legal 500, 2018); “Extremely articulate and affable, with a very quick grasp of the issues.” (Chambers & Partners, 2019). Previous directory accolades include: “He is accessible and has the ability to provide very clear written advice for clients.”; “He is great at instilling client confidence in a no-nonsense, unstuffy way.”; “vast experience of advising on large infrastructure projects”; “excellent and well liked by clients”; “totally unflappable”; “well liked by judges and inspectors”; “outstanding”; “excellent as he’s very persuasive and comes across very well”; and “very good in conference because he sets out issues clearly and concisely.”

Stephen has an extensive practice in all aspects of planning and environment law, local government law, highway law, public law and licensing law.  He regularly advises and represents developers, local authorities, interest groups, government agencies and the Secretary of State.  Stephen has a great deal of experience at planning inquiries and hearings, as well as DCO examinations, together with all court levels from the magistrates’ court up to the Supreme Court.  He is licensed to accept direct instructions by way of Public Access. Stephen has many reported cases to his name. He has been highly ranked in the leading directories for both Planning and Licensing over many years.  Stephen is the author of the enforcement section in the Encyclopedia of Planning Law.

Memberships

Planning and Environment Bar Association; Agricultural Law Association; Administrative Law Bar Association.

Planning and Environment

Stephen’s experience embraces all aspects of the planning process, including the formulation of planning proposals and plans, planning applications, prior approval, permitted development, enforcement, certificates of lawfulness, environmental impact assessment, section 106 obligations, listed buildings and conservation areas, scheduled monuments, Article 4 directions, Council committee meetings, inquiries and hearings, judicial review challenges and statutory challenges in the High Court and above.  Stephen represents clients in criminal law proceedings in connection with enforcement notices, tree preservation orders and listed buildings.  His workload has concerned a wide range of development proposals, including for housing, retail, airports, waste treatment, strategic rail freight interchanges and windfarms.  Stephen advises on compensation for compulsory purchase as well as appearing in the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal in connection with the same.

Stephen has a particular interest and expertise in rural and agricultural planning law and similar matters.  Recent examples include: grouse moor enforcement appeal (Yorkshire); certificate of lawfulness for shooting estate (Hampshire); forestry buildings and prior approval (Dartmoor); rights of common on golf club land (Sussex); bridleway diversion (Surrey); footpaths across equine stud farm (Hampshire); curtilage development in Green Belt (Essex); affordable housing in a hamlet (Somerset); oil exploration in an AONB (Surrey); grazing rights on registered common land (Dartmoor); agricultural barn conversion (Northumberland).  Stephen is an active member of the Agricultural Law Association.

Examples of large-scale proposals with which Stephen has recently been involved or is currently involved include HS2, the M4 smart motorway DCO, the A180/A160 DCO in Lincolnshire, the A556 DCO in Cheshire, the Thames Tideway Tunnel DCO in London, the A21 in Kent, the £6bn redevelopment of London Bridge Station, compulsory purchase to facilitate the new stadium for Tottenham Hotspur FC, proposed oil exploration in the Surrey Hills, aviation expansion at Farnborough Airport and Dunsfold Aerodrome, the Radlett strategic rail freight interchange and numerous proposals for large-scale housing development.  At the other end of the spectrum, Stephen’s recent work has included advising on a planning application for 8 flats, advising a parish council on a Local Plan Examination, a judicial review challenge to planning permission for a new dwelling, drafting submissions for a planning appeal under Written Representations and advising on a listed building consent.

Highways

Stephen has a wealth of experience on highways matters, including: the promotion of major motorway schemes on behalf of Highways England; traffic regulation orders; proposals to divert, create or extinguish public footpaths and bridleways.  He has appeared at DCO examinations, roads inquiries and rights of way inquiries on many occasions.

Local Government

Stephen has advised a very large number of local authorities over the years, including in their capacities as local planning authority, highway authority (including traffic regulation orders), registration authority (commons and village greens), order making authority (definitive statements and maps) and licensing authority (premises licences).  He also routinely represents those opposed to or involved with local authorities for one reason or another.  Stephen’s recent work in this field has included advice on CIL payments, planning injunctions, criminal proceedings for uprooting trees, a reserved matters application for a sports lake and a proposed football training academy on Metropolitan Open Land.  Stephen has acted as a village green Inspector.

Qualifications

Education

  • Inns of Court School of Law
  • College of Law
  • University of Birmingham

Scholarships & Prizes

  • Peter Duffy Bar European Group Scholarship 2001
  • Gray’s Inn Junior Award 1998
  • Gray’s Inn Karmel Award 1997

Inquiries

Inquiries

Planning permission granted for Green Belt equestrian operation

01/07/2019

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed the appellant’s appeal and granted planning permission for a mixed equestrian, forestry and agricultural use on a Green Belt site in Hertfordshire, together with planning permission for the erection of equestrian buildings, the stationing of a residential static caravan and the construction of a manege.  The decision is the culmination of a six-year process, during which the appellant and her husband have faced numerous setbacks including by way of refusals and undetermined applications.  Planning permission will provide a platform for the Tipulo Stud operation (which specialises in the breeding, training and competing of purebred Andalusian horses) to thrive and grow.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the appellant throughout the appeal.  Stephen, a member of the Agricultural Law Association, is expert in rural planning and related matters.  Other equestrian related cases of his include a dispute regarding public footpaths across a stud farm in Hampshire, a certificate of lawfulness appeal involving a Bexley equestrian centre and a proposed bridleway diversion on a stud farm in Surrey.

For a copy of the Appeal Decision, click here.

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Inquiries

A63 Hull DCO hearings get underway

04/06/2019

The East Yorkshire city of Hull (strictly, Kingston-upon-Hull) grew prosperous thanks to its maritime position.  But it was severely damaged by WWII bombing and the post-War period was a story of economic hardship.  The award of UK City of Culture 2017 helped the city’s rejuvenation, generating over £200m in inward investment.  Part of the ongoing renaissance is the proposed A63 Castle Street improvement, a 1.5km scheme to improve traffic flow on this major route through the city to the docks whilst enhancing pedestrian links between the Old Town and the renovated marina.  The DCO examination hearings begin on 4 June 2019.

Stephen Whale, instructed by BDB Pitmans LLP, is representing Highways England (the applicant) at the hearings.  It is Stephen’s sixth DCO: previous cases include the A556 in Cheshire, the A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement scheme and the M4 smart motorway.

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Inquiries

Planning permission granted on appeal for 103 student accommodation units in Reading

13/08/2018

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed the developer’s appeal and granted planning permission for a 103 bed purpose built student accommodation building in central Reading. The site, a former car park, is in a conservation area and in the setting of a range of listed buildings. The Inspector concluded that the proposal would enhance the former and that the minor impact on the latter would be outweighed by the public benefits.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the developer during the appeal. The result follows Stephen’s successful representation on an appeal in December 2017 concerning a proposal for 117 purpose built student accommodation units in Falmouth.

For a copy of the Reading decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Planning permission granted on appeal for 117-bed purpose built student accommodation building in Falmouth, with costs

20/12/2017

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed an appeal and granted planning permission for a 117-bed purpose built student accommodation building in Falmouth, on the site of a former hotel.  Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the developer throughout the appeal process and at the hearing.  The appeal was resisted by Cornwall Council, “Save Our Falmouth,” the Town Council and hundreds of local residents.

The Inspector also ordered Cornwall Council to pay the developer’s appeal costs in full.  He found that it had acted unreasonably in the way it determined the application, that it provided no substantive evidence to back up its reason for refusal relating to noise and disturbance and that it persisted with a prematurity argument despite another adverse decision.  The Inspector said an officer email referring to “political sensitivities” could very well explain the Council’s about turn from an initial position of support to one of refusal.

Falmouth and neighbouring Penryn host thousands of students of Falmouth University and the University of Exeter.  This planning permission is consistent with the Local Plan support for the provision of specialised student accommodation and with the growth strategies of the two universities.

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Inquiries

Essex eco-village given the green light

30/10/2017

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed an appeal and granted planning permission for the erection of 94 residential dwellings, a flexible mixed use building and open space on a greenfield site on the edge of Newport in Essex, within the area of Uttlesford District Council.

The scheme, designed by Zed Factory Limited (whose Principal is Professor Bill Dunster OBE MA), will export surplus electricity generated by its solar arrays to the national grid and the technology incorporated into the design is such that residents will have net zero energy demand.  The eco-credentials, coupled with a range of other benefits and the Council’s lack of a five year housing land supply, helped secure planning permission.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the appellant, Sir Arthur Ellis Will Limited, at the four-day inquiry.

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Inquiries

Queens Park Rangers win latest match

22/09/2017

Queens Park Rangers are a sleeping giant of London football.  Long memories are needed to recall their last major success, in the 1967 League Cup final, or their 2nd place finish in the old First Division in the 1975-76 season.  But the club has big ambitions for the future.  Part of the process of fulfilling these ambitions is a new state-of-the-art training centre at a site known as Warren Farm in Southall, in the area of Ealing London Borough Council.  Ranged against the club is a small group of determined objectors known collectively as Hanwell Community Forum.  They have so far brought judicial review proceedings to challenge the development agreement between club and Council, judicial review proceedings to challenge the planning permission for the training centre and applied for two public footpaths across the middle of Warren Farm to be added to the definitive map.  The Appeal Decisions in relation to the footpath applications have just been issued, with success for QPR and the Council.  The next big match is the Court of Appeal hearing in December, concerning the judicial review challenge to the planning permission.

Stephen Whale represented QPR at the footpath inquiry, and will represent the Council in the Court of Appeal.

Reuben Taylor QC will represent QPR in the Court of Appeal.

 

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Inquiries

Croydon Lane cemetery inquiry

19/05/2017

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has dismissed the appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for a burial site incorporating a chapel building on land close to Banstead in Surrey.  The site is in the Green Belt, and the Inspector concluded that the proposal would represent inappropriate development, harmful in principle and also in terms of loss of openness, encroachment into the countryside and impact on character & appearance.  The Inspector was not persuaded that there is a clear deficiency in the supply of burial space such that the needs of the Borough’s residents are not being met, and he found that the other considerations relied upon by the appellant did not clearly outweigh the harm.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented Reigate & Banstead Borough Council at the inquiry.

For a copy of the decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Secretary of State approves M4 smart motorway scheme

05/09/2016

The Secretary of State for Transport has made an order granting development consent for the M4 smart motorway scheme.  The order provides for the improvement and alteration of 32 miles of the M4 motorway between Junction 3 (Hayes) and Junction 12 (Theale), upgrading it to a smart motorway with the hard shoulder transformed into a permanent additional lane coupled with the introduction of emergency refuge areas.  The Secretary of State agreed with the applicant and the examining authority (the Inspectors), based on a road safety audit and a trial on the M25, that this would be safer than the existing layout.  The scheme is also forecast to result in less congestion, even allowing for the anticipated increase in usage.  Provision of noise barriers and low noise surfacing is also forecast to result in noise reductions for adjacent residents even though the carriageway will be closer to them.  A monitoring requirement will provide safeguards in terms of air quality.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2022, at a cost of up to £862m.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers, instructed by DLP Piper UK LLP, successfully represented the applicant (Highways England) during the DCO examination.  Stephen also successfully represented the same client (then known as the Highways Agency) during the DCO examinations into the A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement scheme (2015) and the A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway scheme (2014).

For a copy of the decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Dartmoor National Park Authority wins “off-grid community” case

12/08/2016

An “off-grid community,” which has been living in a woodland in the Dartmoor National Park for over a decade, has lost its appeals against enforcement notices issued by Dartmoor National Park Authority and the refusal of its planning application. The inquiry represented a test case for the Authority’s new policy on low impact development.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the Authority at the inquiry.

For a copy of the decision, please click here.

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Inquiries

Worthing seafront inquiry

09/05/2016

Four day inquiry relating to a proposal for the tallest residential building on the Worthing seafront.  The main issues were design, residential amenity and parking & traffic.

Stephen Whale successfully represented Worthing Borough Council.

For a copy of the decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Exeter Road, Topsham

23/02/2016

This was an appeal against Exeter City Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for a 60 bed residential care home, 44 assisted living apartments and 55 age restricted dwellings on the edge of Topsham.

The main issues included:

(1) whether the Council could demonstrate that it had a five year housing land supply, which turned on whether it was appropriate to include student accommodation within the housing land supply; and

(2) whether the development was in breach of development plan policies relating to the ‘Topsham Gap’ between Exeter and Topsham, and if so what weight should be given to those polices.

Charles Banner appeared for the appellant developer, Waddeton Park Ltd (instructed by Stephens Scown LLP)

Stephen Whale appeared for Exeter City Council (instructed by the Council’s Legal Department).

On 28 April 2016 the Inspector published his decision allowing the appeal, together with a partial award of costs in the Appellant’s favour: click here for details.

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Inquiries

M4 smart motorway development consent order examination: initial hearings

20/11/2015

This week has seen the initial Issue Specific Hearings and Open Floor Hearings as part of the examination of the proposed M4 smart motorway development consent order. Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers, instructed by DLA Piper, is representing Highways England as applicant.

The proposal is to convert the M4 into a smart motorway along a 32 mile stretch between London and Theale (Junctions 3 to 12), which means relieving congestion by converting the hard shoulder into a running lane and using advanced technology to monitor traffic flow and vary mandatory speed limits.  Instead of a hard shoulder, periodic emergency refuge areas are to be provided.  The examination will conclude in March 2016.  If development consent is granted, the smart motorway stretch is projected to open in 2022 at a cost of up to £862m.

Stephen represented the Highways Agency at both the A556 and A160/A180 development consent order examinations.

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Inquiries

Mr Fidler and the house behind the straw bales: latest news

27/03/2015

Mr Fidler’s unauthorised house, in the Green Belt near Redhill, is notorious.  It is the one with the mock Tudor façade and the castellated towers, built almost fifteen years ago and for the first four years of its existence hidden behind straw bales.  It has generated a great deal of applications, appeals and litigation.

The most recent application was Mr Fidler’s application for planning permission to retain the building as an agricultural worker’s dwelling.  The Council refused the application, leading to an appeal.

On 26 March 2015, the Secretary of State dismissed Mr Fidler’s appeal.  A formerly suspended High Court injunction order now takes effect, with the result that Mr Fidler now has 90 days from the Secretary of State’s decision within which to demolish the dwelling.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in the injunction proceedings and on this latest appeal.

For a copy of the decision letter, click here

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Inquiries

Development consent granted for A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement, Lincolnshire

09/02/2015

The Secretary of State for Transport has made an Order granting development consent for major improvements to the A160 and the A180 in Lincolnshire, close to the ports of Immingham and Grimsby (the largest ports by tonnage in the United Kingdom).

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the Highways Agency during the DCO examination.  Stephen also successfully represented the Highways Agency in 2013-2014 during examinations and inquiries in connection with major improvements to the A556 (Cheshire) and A21 (Kent).  He regularly advises and represents clients on issues associated with all manner of highways, ranging from public footpaths to motorways.

For a copy of the A160/A180 decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Outcome of A21 inquiries

01/05/2014

The Secretaries of State have decided, following concurrent inquiries in 2013, to make a range of orders and to grant two listed building consent applications to provide for the dualling of 4.1km of the A21 trunk road between Tonbridge and Pembury, Kent, in place of the existing single carriageway.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the applicant Highways Agency.

Stephen has since the A21 inquiries represented the Agency at the A556 development consent order examination in Cheshire, and this July he will represent the Agency at the A160 development consent order examination in Lincolnshire.

For the A21 decision letter, click here.

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Inquiries

Redhill Aerodrome inquiry takes off

07/01/2014

Three members of Landmark Chambers are appearing at the inquiry into proposals to replace the grass runways at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey with a paved runway, the first since the Aerodrome opened in 1934.

Christopher Katkowski QC and Reuben  Taylor QC are representing the Aerodrome company. Stephen Whale is representing both local planning authorities.

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Inquiries

DCO examination hearings into A556 road scheme get underway

12/12/2013

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers is representing the Highways Agency at the Development Consent Order examination hearings into the proposed £212m A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway in Cheshire. The issues include the new draft National Networks National Policy Statement, the legal duty as to air quality and scheme proposals for noise/ecological/visual impact mitigation.

Stephen has extensive experience of highway matters, ranging from national road schemes through to footpath orders.

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Inquiries

Fishing and footpaths

12/11/2013

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers is representing the Prince Albert Angling Society (“PAAS”) at an inquiry into a controversial application to add numerous public footpaths across land PAAS owns in Cheshire.

PAAS, founded in 1954, is Europe’s largest fishing society, with over 230 waters and more than 8,500 members.

Stephen has represented landowners and order making authorities at very many footpath inquiries over the years, as well as appearing in the High Court in connection with cases arising out of the same.

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Inquiries

Sutherland House, Sutton

17/07/2013

Stephen Whale represented the developer at a public inquiry into the proposed conversion of the vacant Sutherland House office tower in Sutton to 160 dwellings plus car parking and ground floor A1/A3 uses.  The main issues were the viability of the scheme if affordable housing is included, together with the impact of aspects of the proposed development on the character & appearance of the area and the amenity of some of the future occupiers.

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Inquiries

A21 Inquiries

15/05/2013

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers is representing the Highways Agency at two concurrent inquiries into proposals to dual a 3.5km section of the A21 in Kent between Tonbridge and Pembury involving demolition of listed buildings. The inquiries are scheduled to last for three weeks.

 

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Inquiries

Willow Farm, Norfolk

12/03/2013

Stephen Whale represented the developer at an appeal against a refusal to grant an application for a certificate of lawful use.  It was common ground that there had been a material change of use of the appeal site from agriculture to agriculture/fuel supply more than 10 years before the date of the application.  The issue was whether there had been a further material change of use by way of “intensification” in the 10 years preceding the application, giving rise to the application of the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Herts CC v SSCLG [2012] EWCA Civ 1473.

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Inquiries

Melbourne Road, Teddington

09/01/2013

Stephen Whale represented the developer, a registered charity, at an appeal concerning proposed housing development in the functional floodplain close to the River Thames.  The case gave rise to issues as to the appropriate classification of the site in terms of the Flood Zone, the sequential test and the exception test.  There were also issues as to the design of the proposed dwellings, and their impact on the character and appearance of the area.

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Inquiries

Dunsfold Park

13/07/2012

Stephen Whale represented the owner of Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey in an appeal concerning flights during the Olympics.

The local planning authority, Waverley Borough Council, has for a long time adopted the position that the Aerodrome is precluded by a planning condition from operating any flights at all on Sundays. On 17 February 2012, encouraged by a range of Parish Councils and very many local residents, its Planning Committee refused to allow any Sunday flights even for the period of the Olympics. Dunsfold Park Ltd appealed. The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State concluded that the Olympics are a World event of exceptional national sporting and economic importance, and that the local planning authority had disregarded the substantial predicted short-term job creation, the extra business to be generated and the longer-term spin-off benefit for the area and the wider economy. The Inspector has permitted the Aerodrome to operate flights during every day of the Olympics, including on Sundays, from 0700 to 2100. He endorsed the continuing application of the Air Transport White Paper (2003) and the accepted methodologies for aircraft noise measurement and mapping (with 57 dBA Leq 16hr as marking the approximate onset of significant community annoyance).

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

Priors Marston, Warwickshire, footpath inquiry

06/12/2011

Stephen Whale represented the applicants at a public inquiry into a proposal to extinguish a public footpath under section 118 of the Highways Act 1980.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

Hennings v East Sussex County Council

14/10/2011

Public inquiry into definitive map modification order (public footpath).

Stephen Whale represented a landowner opposed to a definitive map modification order made under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which if confirmed would transform her driveway into an official public footpath.

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Inquiries

Fairlawne Estate, Kent

10/08/2011

Lengthy public inquiry into public path diversion order.

Stephen Whale represented a landowner seeking confirmation of a public path diversion order made under section 119 of the Highways Act 1980.

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Inquiries

Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire

01/09/2010

Non-statutory public inquiry into application to register land as a village green.

Stephen Whale acted as village green Inspector during five day inquiry to consider application under the Commons Act 2006.

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Inquiries

TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd

31/07/2010

This was a major Public Inquiry into proposals for increase in aircraft movements from 28,000 to 50,000 per annum. The appeal was successful and planning permission was granted by the Secretary of State for a near doubling of aircraft movements.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

River Club, Kingston-upon Thames

15/04/2010

Stephen Whale represented the appellant at a public inquiry into an appeal concerning an extension of a sports and leisure club on Metropolitan Open Land (the London equivalent of Green Belt land).

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Inquiries

Old Bexley Equestrian Centre

10/03/2010

Stephen Whale represented the local planning authority at an inquiry into an appeal against a refusal to issue certificate of lawfulness.

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Inquiries

Kent International Gateway

23/12/2009

Timothy Corner QC and Stephen Whale represented Maidstone Borough Council at lengthy planning inquiry into appeal an against refusal to grant planning permission for strategic rail freight interchange on 112 hectares site; planning permission refused by the Secretary of State in September 2010. Click here for the decision.

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Inquiries

Kaur v Southampton City Council

08/10/2009

Stephen Whale successfully represented the local planning authority at a public inquiry into an appeal against a refusal to issue a certificate of lawfulness for the use of a building as manager’s accommodation ancillary to the use of the main house as a HMO.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

Daventry Housing Appeals Inquiry

23/07/2009

Timothy Corner QC and Stephen Whale represented West Northamptonshire Development Corporation at this lengthy planning inquiry into three appeals concerning proposals for up to 10,000 new houses on land outside Daventry.

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Inquiries

Devine v Ealing London Borough Council

08/05/2009

Stephen Whale successfully represented the appellant at a public inquiry into a proposal to extend a London nightclub, obtaining for the appellant in addition a partial costs award.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

West Northamptonshire Development Corporation Inquiry

01/01/2009

Major multi party housing inquiry; three proposals for housing extensions to Daventry, totalling 10,000 units of housing; acted on behalf of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation.

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Inquiries

George Wimpey Southern Ltd v Arun District Council

15/01/2007

Five-day public inquiry into proposal for 393 new homes in Sussex.

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Inquiries

Coventry Airport Inquiry

01/01/2007

Appeal by West Midlands International Airport Ltd against non-determination of application for new passenger terminal at Coventry Airport; acted for Coventry Airport.

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Inquiries

South Downs National Park Inquiry (2004 and 2007)

10/11/2003

Stephen Whale was Leading Counsel for Countryside Agency/promoter 2004 (and Natural England 2007).

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Inquiries

Hithermoor Waste Disposal Inquiry

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Inquiries

Planning permission granted for Green Belt equestrian operation

01/07/2019

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed the appellant’s appeal and granted planning permission for a mixed equestrian, forestry and agricultural use on a Green Belt site in Hertfordshire, together with planning permission for the erection of equestrian buildings, the stationing of a residential static caravan and the construction of a manege.  The decision is the culmination of a six-year process, during which the appellant and her husband have faced numerous setbacks including by way of refusals and undetermined applications.  Planning permission will provide a platform for the Tipulo Stud operation (which specialises in the breeding, training and competing of purebred Andalusian horses) to thrive and grow.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the appellant throughout the appeal.  Stephen, a member of the Agricultural Law Association, is expert in rural planning and related matters.  Other equestrian related cases of his include a dispute regarding public footpaths across a stud farm in Hampshire, a certificate of lawfulness appeal involving a Bexley equestrian centre and a proposed bridleway diversion on a stud farm in Surrey.

For a copy of the Appeal Decision, click here.

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Inquiries

A63 Hull DCO hearings get underway

04/06/2019

The East Yorkshire city of Hull (strictly, Kingston-upon-Hull) grew prosperous thanks to its maritime position.  But it was severely damaged by WWII bombing and the post-War period was a story of economic hardship.  The award of UK City of Culture 2017 helped the city’s rejuvenation, generating over £200m in inward investment.  Part of the ongoing renaissance is the proposed A63 Castle Street improvement, a 1.5km scheme to improve traffic flow on this major route through the city to the docks whilst enhancing pedestrian links between the Old Town and the renovated marina.  The DCO examination hearings begin on 4 June 2019.

Stephen Whale, instructed by BDB Pitmans LLP, is representing Highways England (the applicant) at the hearings.  It is Stephen’s sixth DCO: previous cases include the A556 in Cheshire, the A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement scheme and the M4 smart motorway.

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Inquiries

Planning permission granted on appeal for 103 student accommodation units in Reading

13/08/2018

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed the developer’s appeal and granted planning permission for a 103 bed purpose built student accommodation building in central Reading. The site, a former car park, is in a conservation area and in the setting of a range of listed buildings. The Inspector concluded that the proposal would enhance the former and that the minor impact on the latter would be outweighed by the public benefits.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the developer during the appeal. The result follows Stephen’s successful representation on an appeal in December 2017 concerning a proposal for 117 purpose built student accommodation units in Falmouth.

For a copy of the Reading decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Planning permission granted on appeal for 117-bed purpose built student accommodation building in Falmouth, with costs

20/12/2017

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed an appeal and granted planning permission for a 117-bed purpose built student accommodation building in Falmouth, on the site of a former hotel.  Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the developer throughout the appeal process and at the hearing.  The appeal was resisted by Cornwall Council, “Save Our Falmouth,” the Town Council and hundreds of local residents.

The Inspector also ordered Cornwall Council to pay the developer’s appeal costs in full.  He found that it had acted unreasonably in the way it determined the application, that it provided no substantive evidence to back up its reason for refusal relating to noise and disturbance and that it persisted with a prematurity argument despite another adverse decision.  The Inspector said an officer email referring to “political sensitivities” could very well explain the Council’s about turn from an initial position of support to one of refusal.

Falmouth and neighbouring Penryn host thousands of students of Falmouth University and the University of Exeter.  This planning permission is consistent with the Local Plan support for the provision of specialised student accommodation and with the growth strategies of the two universities.

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Inquiries

Essex eco-village given the green light

30/10/2017

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has allowed an appeal and granted planning permission for the erection of 94 residential dwellings, a flexible mixed use building and open space on a greenfield site on the edge of Newport in Essex, within the area of Uttlesford District Council.

The scheme, designed by Zed Factory Limited (whose Principal is Professor Bill Dunster OBE MA), will export surplus electricity generated by its solar arrays to the national grid and the technology incorporated into the design is such that residents will have net zero energy demand.  The eco-credentials, coupled with a range of other benefits and the Council’s lack of a five year housing land supply, helped secure planning permission.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the appellant, Sir Arthur Ellis Will Limited, at the four-day inquiry.

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Inquiries

Queens Park Rangers win latest match

22/09/2017

Queens Park Rangers are a sleeping giant of London football.  Long memories are needed to recall their last major success, in the 1967 League Cup final, or their 2nd place finish in the old First Division in the 1975-76 season.  But the club has big ambitions for the future.  Part of the process of fulfilling these ambitions is a new state-of-the-art training centre at a site known as Warren Farm in Southall, in the area of Ealing London Borough Council.  Ranged against the club is a small group of determined objectors known collectively as Hanwell Community Forum.  They have so far brought judicial review proceedings to challenge the development agreement between club and Council, judicial review proceedings to challenge the planning permission for the training centre and applied for two public footpaths across the middle of Warren Farm to be added to the definitive map.  The Appeal Decisions in relation to the footpath applications have just been issued, with success for QPR and the Council.  The next big match is the Court of Appeal hearing in December, concerning the judicial review challenge to the planning permission.

Stephen Whale represented QPR at the footpath inquiry, and will represent the Council in the Court of Appeal.

Reuben Taylor QC will represent QPR in the Court of Appeal.

 

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Inquiries

Croydon Lane cemetery inquiry

19/05/2017

The Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector has dismissed the appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for a burial site incorporating a chapel building on land close to Banstead in Surrey.  The site is in the Green Belt, and the Inspector concluded that the proposal would represent inappropriate development, harmful in principle and also in terms of loss of openness, encroachment into the countryside and impact on character & appearance.  The Inspector was not persuaded that there is a clear deficiency in the supply of burial space such that the needs of the Borough’s residents are not being met, and he found that the other considerations relied upon by the appellant did not clearly outweigh the harm.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented Reigate & Banstead Borough Council at the inquiry.

For a copy of the decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Secretary of State approves M4 smart motorway scheme

05/09/2016

The Secretary of State for Transport has made an order granting development consent for the M4 smart motorway scheme.  The order provides for the improvement and alteration of 32 miles of the M4 motorway between Junction 3 (Hayes) and Junction 12 (Theale), upgrading it to a smart motorway with the hard shoulder transformed into a permanent additional lane coupled with the introduction of emergency refuge areas.  The Secretary of State agreed with the applicant and the examining authority (the Inspectors), based on a road safety audit and a trial on the M25, that this would be safer than the existing layout.  The scheme is also forecast to result in less congestion, even allowing for the anticipated increase in usage.  Provision of noise barriers and low noise surfacing is also forecast to result in noise reductions for adjacent residents even though the carriageway will be closer to them.  A monitoring requirement will provide safeguards in terms of air quality.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2022, at a cost of up to £862m.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers, instructed by DLP Piper UK LLP, successfully represented the applicant (Highways England) during the DCO examination.  Stephen also successfully represented the same client (then known as the Highways Agency) during the DCO examinations into the A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement scheme (2015) and the A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway scheme (2014).

For a copy of the decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Dartmoor National Park Authority wins “off-grid community” case

12/08/2016

An “off-grid community,” which has been living in a woodland in the Dartmoor National Park for over a decade, has lost its appeals against enforcement notices issued by Dartmoor National Park Authority and the refusal of its planning application. The inquiry represented a test case for the Authority’s new policy on low impact development.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the Authority at the inquiry.

For a copy of the decision, please click here.

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Inquiries

Worthing seafront inquiry

09/05/2016

Four day inquiry relating to a proposal for the tallest residential building on the Worthing seafront.  The main issues were design, residential amenity and parking & traffic.

Stephen Whale successfully represented Worthing Borough Council.

For a copy of the decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Exeter Road, Topsham

23/02/2016

This was an appeal against Exeter City Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for a 60 bed residential care home, 44 assisted living apartments and 55 age restricted dwellings on the edge of Topsham.

The main issues included:

(1) whether the Council could demonstrate that it had a five year housing land supply, which turned on whether it was appropriate to include student accommodation within the housing land supply; and

(2) whether the development was in breach of development plan policies relating to the ‘Topsham Gap’ between Exeter and Topsham, and if so what weight should be given to those polices.

Charles Banner appeared for the appellant developer, Waddeton Park Ltd (instructed by Stephens Scown LLP)

Stephen Whale appeared for Exeter City Council (instructed by the Council’s Legal Department).

On 28 April 2016 the Inspector published his decision allowing the appeal, together with a partial award of costs in the Appellant’s favour: click here for details.

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Inquiries

M4 smart motorway development consent order examination: initial hearings

20/11/2015

This week has seen the initial Issue Specific Hearings and Open Floor Hearings as part of the examination of the proposed M4 smart motorway development consent order. Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers, instructed by DLA Piper, is representing Highways England as applicant.

The proposal is to convert the M4 into a smart motorway along a 32 mile stretch between London and Theale (Junctions 3 to 12), which means relieving congestion by converting the hard shoulder into a running lane and using advanced technology to monitor traffic flow and vary mandatory speed limits.  Instead of a hard shoulder, periodic emergency refuge areas are to be provided.  The examination will conclude in March 2016.  If development consent is granted, the smart motorway stretch is projected to open in 2022 at a cost of up to £862m.

Stephen represented the Highways Agency at both the A556 and A160/A180 development consent order examinations.

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Inquiries

Mr Fidler and the house behind the straw bales: latest news

27/03/2015

Mr Fidler’s unauthorised house, in the Green Belt near Redhill, is notorious.  It is the one with the mock Tudor façade and the castellated towers, built almost fifteen years ago and for the first four years of its existence hidden behind straw bales.  It has generated a great deal of applications, appeals and litigation.

The most recent application was Mr Fidler’s application for planning permission to retain the building as an agricultural worker’s dwelling.  The Council refused the application, leading to an appeal.

On 26 March 2015, the Secretary of State dismissed Mr Fidler’s appeal.  A formerly suspended High Court injunction order now takes effect, with the result that Mr Fidler now has 90 days from the Secretary of State’s decision within which to demolish the dwelling.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in the injunction proceedings and on this latest appeal.

For a copy of the decision letter, click here

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Inquiries

Development consent granted for A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement, Lincolnshire

09/02/2015

The Secretary of State for Transport has made an Order granting development consent for major improvements to the A160 and the A180 in Lincolnshire, close to the ports of Immingham and Grimsby (the largest ports by tonnage in the United Kingdom).

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the Highways Agency during the DCO examination.  Stephen also successfully represented the Highways Agency in 2013-2014 during examinations and inquiries in connection with major improvements to the A556 (Cheshire) and A21 (Kent).  He regularly advises and represents clients on issues associated with all manner of highways, ranging from public footpaths to motorways.

For a copy of the A160/A180 decision, click here.

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Inquiries

Outcome of A21 inquiries

01/05/2014

The Secretaries of State have decided, following concurrent inquiries in 2013, to make a range of orders and to grant two listed building consent applications to provide for the dualling of 4.1km of the A21 trunk road between Tonbridge and Pembury, Kent, in place of the existing single carriageway.

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented the applicant Highways Agency.

Stephen has since the A21 inquiries represented the Agency at the A556 development consent order examination in Cheshire, and this July he will represent the Agency at the A160 development consent order examination in Lincolnshire.

For the A21 decision letter, click here.

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Inquiries

Redhill Aerodrome inquiry takes off

07/01/2014

Three members of Landmark Chambers are appearing at the inquiry into proposals to replace the grass runways at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey with a paved runway, the first since the Aerodrome opened in 1934.

Christopher Katkowski QC and Reuben  Taylor QC are representing the Aerodrome company. Stephen Whale is representing both local planning authorities.

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Inquiries

DCO examination hearings into A556 road scheme get underway

12/12/2013

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers is representing the Highways Agency at the Development Consent Order examination hearings into the proposed £212m A556 Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway in Cheshire. The issues include the new draft National Networks National Policy Statement, the legal duty as to air quality and scheme proposals for noise/ecological/visual impact mitigation.

Stephen has extensive experience of highway matters, ranging from national road schemes through to footpath orders.

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Inquiries

Fishing and footpaths

12/11/2013

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers is representing the Prince Albert Angling Society (“PAAS”) at an inquiry into a controversial application to add numerous public footpaths across land PAAS owns in Cheshire.

PAAS, founded in 1954, is Europe’s largest fishing society, with over 230 waters and more than 8,500 members.

Stephen has represented landowners and order making authorities at very many footpath inquiries over the years, as well as appearing in the High Court in connection with cases arising out of the same.

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Inquiries

Sutherland House, Sutton

17/07/2013

Stephen Whale represented the developer at a public inquiry into the proposed conversion of the vacant Sutherland House office tower in Sutton to 160 dwellings plus car parking and ground floor A1/A3 uses.  The main issues were the viability of the scheme if affordable housing is included, together with the impact of aspects of the proposed development on the character & appearance of the area and the amenity of some of the future occupiers.

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Inquiries

A21 Inquiries

15/05/2013

Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers is representing the Highways Agency at two concurrent inquiries into proposals to dual a 3.5km section of the A21 in Kent between Tonbridge and Pembury involving demolition of listed buildings. The inquiries are scheduled to last for three weeks.

 

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Inquiries

Willow Farm, Norfolk

12/03/2013

Stephen Whale represented the developer at an appeal against a refusal to grant an application for a certificate of lawful use.  It was common ground that there had been a material change of use of the appeal site from agriculture to agriculture/fuel supply more than 10 years before the date of the application.  The issue was whether there had been a further material change of use by way of “intensification” in the 10 years preceding the application, giving rise to the application of the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Herts CC v SSCLG [2012] EWCA Civ 1473.

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Inquiries

Melbourne Road, Teddington

09/01/2013

Stephen Whale represented the developer, a registered charity, at an appeal concerning proposed housing development in the functional floodplain close to the River Thames.  The case gave rise to issues as to the appropriate classification of the site in terms of the Flood Zone, the sequential test and the exception test.  There were also issues as to the design of the proposed dwellings, and their impact on the character and appearance of the area.

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Inquiries

Dunsfold Park

13/07/2012

Stephen Whale represented the owner of Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey in an appeal concerning flights during the Olympics.

The local planning authority, Waverley Borough Council, has for a long time adopted the position that the Aerodrome is precluded by a planning condition from operating any flights at all on Sundays. On 17 February 2012, encouraged by a range of Parish Councils and very many local residents, its Planning Committee refused to allow any Sunday flights even for the period of the Olympics. Dunsfold Park Ltd appealed. The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State concluded that the Olympics are a World event of exceptional national sporting and economic importance, and that the local planning authority had disregarded the substantial predicted short-term job creation, the extra business to be generated and the longer-term spin-off benefit for the area and the wider economy. The Inspector has permitted the Aerodrome to operate flights during every day of the Olympics, including on Sundays, from 0700 to 2100. He endorsed the continuing application of the Air Transport White Paper (2003) and the accepted methodologies for aircraft noise measurement and mapping (with 57 dBA Leq 16hr as marking the approximate onset of significant community annoyance).

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

Priors Marston, Warwickshire, footpath inquiry

06/12/2011

Stephen Whale represented the applicants at a public inquiry into a proposal to extinguish a public footpath under section 118 of the Highways Act 1980.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

Hennings v East Sussex County Council

14/10/2011

Public inquiry into definitive map modification order (public footpath).

Stephen Whale represented a landowner opposed to a definitive map modification order made under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which if confirmed would transform her driveway into an official public footpath.

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Inquiries

Fairlawne Estate, Kent

10/08/2011

Lengthy public inquiry into public path diversion order.

Stephen Whale represented a landowner seeking confirmation of a public path diversion order made under section 119 of the Highways Act 1980.

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Inquiries

Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire

01/09/2010

Non-statutory public inquiry into application to register land as a village green.

Stephen Whale acted as village green Inspector during five day inquiry to consider application under the Commons Act 2006.

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Inquiries

TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd

31/07/2010

This was a major Public Inquiry into proposals for increase in aircraft movements from 28,000 to 50,000 per annum. The appeal was successful and planning permission was granted by the Secretary of State for a near doubling of aircraft movements.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

River Club, Kingston-upon Thames

15/04/2010

Stephen Whale represented the appellant at a public inquiry into an appeal concerning an extension of a sports and leisure club on Metropolitan Open Land (the London equivalent of Green Belt land).

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Inquiries

Old Bexley Equestrian Centre

10/03/2010

Stephen Whale represented the local planning authority at an inquiry into an appeal against a refusal to issue certificate of lawfulness.

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Inquiries

Kent International Gateway

23/12/2009

Timothy Corner QC and Stephen Whale represented Maidstone Borough Council at lengthy planning inquiry into appeal an against refusal to grant planning permission for strategic rail freight interchange on 112 hectares site; planning permission refused by the Secretary of State in September 2010. Click here for the decision.

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Inquiries

Kaur v Southampton City Council

08/10/2009

Stephen Whale successfully represented the local planning authority at a public inquiry into an appeal against a refusal to issue a certificate of lawfulness for the use of a building as manager’s accommodation ancillary to the use of the main house as a HMO.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

Daventry Housing Appeals Inquiry

23/07/2009

Timothy Corner QC and Stephen Whale represented West Northamptonshire Development Corporation at this lengthy planning inquiry into three appeals concerning proposals for up to 10,000 new houses on land outside Daventry.

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Inquiries

Devine v Ealing London Borough Council

08/05/2009

Stephen Whale successfully represented the appellant at a public inquiry into a proposal to extend a London nightclub, obtaining for the appellant in addition a partial costs award.

Click here for the decision

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Inquiries

West Northamptonshire Development Corporation Inquiry

01/01/2009

Major multi party housing inquiry; three proposals for housing extensions to Daventry, totalling 10,000 units of housing; acted on behalf of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation.

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Inquiries

George Wimpey Southern Ltd v Arun District Council

15/01/2007

Five-day public inquiry into proposal for 393 new homes in Sussex.

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Inquiries

Coventry Airport Inquiry

01/01/2007

Appeal by West Midlands International Airport Ltd against non-determination of application for new passenger terminal at Coventry Airport; acted for Coventry Airport.

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Inquiries

South Downs National Park Inquiry (2004 and 2007)

10/11/2003

Stephen Whale was Leading Counsel for Countryside Agency/promoter 2004 (and Natural England 2007).

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Inquiries

Hithermoor Waste Disposal Inquiry

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