Michael acts for developers, government agencies, local planning authorities, residents’ groups, pressure groups and individuals. He has considerable experience in planning, enforcement, compulsory purchase and village green inquiries and hearings as well as in local plan inquires. He is frequently instructed in statutory reviews, judicial reviews and injunction applications. He prosecutes and defends in the Magistrates’ and Crown Court in matters relating to enforcement and stop notices, listed buildings, planning enforcement orders, noise abatement notices, statutory nuisance, trading standards and the control of advertising regulations.
He has experience across a wide range of development types such as large scale residential schemes and commercial and industrial projects (including retail, office, leisure, hotel, landfill, waste incinerators, garden centres, equestrian centres and various types of farming enterprise). He has advised on matters relating to wind turbines, village greens and rights of way and has petitioned the Cross-Rail Parliamentary Select Committee on behalf of a local residents association. Michael has an established practice relating to caravan and mobile home land use and is recognised by the Legal 500 as being a leading authority in the subject. He also has particular expertise in permitted development rights and lawful development applications.
Early in his career at the Bar Michael had a thriving criminal practice and brings a unique perspective to proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 following on from planning enforcement prosecutions. He continues to accept instructions on criminal matters relating to planning, environmental and agricultural matters.
His previous career provides Michael with an obvious advantage when dealing with engineering and technical matters, particularly issues relating to mineral resources, contaminated land, landfill sites, flooding, heritage assets, habitats, species protection and highways.
Court of Appeal:
Ball v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Brentwood District Council  All ER (D) 24 (Jan),  EWCA Civ 372 – s.288 statutory review following on from a s.78 planning appeal relating to a high-profile green belt gypsy site development comprising 6 pitches in the constituency of Eric Pickles MP, the then Secretary of State.
George Reed v SSCLG  EWCA Civ 241 – successful s.289 challenge quashing dismissal of enforcement appeal. Challenge based on flawed assessment of intensification in a mixed use of land.
Winchester City Council v SSCLG  EWCA 563,  EWHC 101 (Admin);  7 E.G. 99 (C.S) – An important case considering the extent of the applicability of the judgement in I’m Your Man Ltd v SSE (1999) in determining a lawful use by reference to the words used in the description of a planning permission, in the context of an absence of relevant conditions.
Turner v SSCLG  EWCA Civ 466 – A leading case on the interpretation of the assessment of impact on openness in the green belt, the Court deciding that there is a visual element to impact on openness, thus allowing developers to argue that where green belt development can be screened or landscaped, the impact on openness is reduced. The Court also determined that where moveable development, such as mobile homes, are concerned the impact is also reduced when compared to permanent development.
AZ v SSCLG  B.L.G.R. 444;  J.P.L. 713 – the first successful s.288 challenge where the decision turned on the interpretation and applicability to planning decisions of Article 8 ECHR, Article 3 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children Act 2004 (“best interests”). This was the first reported case where such principles, well-known in immigration fields were successfully applied in a planning law context, the matter in issue being residential development in the Green Belt.
Cash v SSCLG  J.P.L. 420 – s.288 challenge relating to service of enforcement notices. Challenge successful on issue of service of the notices.
Forest of Dean DC v SSCLG and Ricky Jones  EWHC 4052 (Admin) – successfully resisted local authority’s challenge to a grant of planning permission on appeal and application for a declaration that the planning permission had lapsed. The substantive challenge related primarily to the assessment of heritage assets.
O’Connor v SSCLG & Epping Forest District Council  EWHC 3821 (Admin) – successful challenge to the decision of the SSCLG to dismiss an appeal contrary to the recommendation of his Inspector where the SSCLG’s conclusions in respect of flood zone and flood risk were vitiated by illegality (subsequent successful redetermination).
Connors v SSCLG & Guildford Borough Council  EWHC 334 (Admin) – the first relevant s.288 challenge following on from the judgment of the Planning Court in Moore & Coates v SSCLG  EWHC 44 (Admin);  P.T.S.R. D14 that the SSCLG had applied policies set out in Written Ministerial Statements in both a discriminatory manner and in breach of the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Wenman v SSCLG & Waverley Borough Council & Guildford Borough Council  EWHC 925 (Admin) – successful challenge to an Inspector’s application of the NPPF to countryside residential development in the context of housing supply policies. This successful appeal resulted in the only technical adjustment to date of the National Planning Policy Framework. It also established that mobile homes, caravans and dwellings of non-traditional construction are to be considered housing under the NPPF. The decision was appealed by the SSCLG to the Court of Appeal, the challenge being withdrawn five days before the hearing date, following receipt of the Respondent’s skeleton argument.
Johnson v Secretary of State Environment, Food and Rural Affairs  UKUT 207 (AAC) – Successfully represented a farming business from the North East in the first reported challenge in the Administrative Appeals Chamber to a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone designation.
Michael regularly advises in a broad spectrum of highways related matters including; TROs, parking revenue and charging, festival traffic management, compulsory purchase, Definitive Map Modification Orders, ownership and boundary disputes, temporary and permanent stopping up orders, road closures under the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 and Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and s.278 agreements.