Planning & Environment


From an early age, Philip has had a deep-rooted interest in the Environment. During pupillage and onwards, Planning and the Environment have always been part of his practice. He has attended numerous inquiries, been involved in many judicial reviews, as well as High Court challenges. He was awarded a College of Law prize for his work on the “Polluter Pays Principle” in 2002.

He is instructed by Planning Consultants, Local Authorities, Solicitors, Architects and members of the public. He takes particular joy in co-ordinating Rule-6 Parties (Local Action Groups) who seek to challenge private developers at inquiries, often based on Environmental considerations and impact. He was an active member of the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) and advised many clients based on the potential harm to the Environment.


Previous instructions

He has received numerous instructions, successfully challenging Local Planning Authorities over Gypsy and Traveller site applications’ lawfulness and planning merits.

He represented a village action group in Flintshire North Wales at both LDP and committee where he challenged the development of a housing estate.

He successfully represented a local action group in South Wales against the development of a disused quarry against a leading QC and junior, which has now become a major tourist attraction known as “The Canyons”.

He advised and represented a Private Golf Club in Essex opposing the development of a play area. He successfully obtained Planning Permission for a contested barn conversion in the Brecon Beacons national park.


Current instructions

Advising “Rossett Focus Group” in their ongoing challenge to a development proposal outside of Wrexham.

Representing and advising a “Secret Millionaire” on his barn conversion in Carmarthenshire West Wales.

Representing a local action group opposing the development of an incinerator


High court challenges

Philip has appeared alone and led in numerous legal challenges in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Examples:

R (on the application) of Ernest Martin McCleave v Powys County Council v Sheila Powell [2018] EWHC 2892 (Admin)

Successful legal challenge to the Council to ensure the decision failed properly, and that it complied with its duty under section 66 (1) of the Listed Buildings Act 1990 to have particular regard to the desirability of preserving a listed building (in this case the Church of St David Cadw) including its setting and features of special architectural or historic interest.

Islam v SoS (R on the Application of) (1) Tower Hamlets (2) [2012] EWHC 1314 (Admin)

Leading case on the conflict of Section 288 and 289 Appeals.

Georgiou (R on the Application of) v SoS [2011] EWCA Civ 775

Successful Appeal in the Court of Appeal against a High Court Judge and a Planning Inspectors decision regarding their lack of reasons (is there a better way to describe this?) when the only expert evidence was in favour of the Appellant.

Jenkins v Welsh Assembly [2010] EWCA Civ

Split decision in the Court of Appeal relating to a complicated judicial review on material considerations (on Appeal from Patrick Curran QC) in relation to Cardigan Island Farm Park. Against Clive Lewis QC (as he was then).

Catt, R (on the application of) v Sos & Anor [2008] EWHC 1042

Important case on getting an interim injunction against a local planning authority when the merits in law and on the facts were hopeless.

Clients often find themselves in difficult situations, which may need fighting or diffusing in or out of court. Either option is available, and both are supported by guidance concerning the law and tactical advice to obtain the best possible outcome.