Constanze Bell

Planning & Environment


36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082


5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123


Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570

Clerked by:
William Brown
Gary Smith
Mark Ronson

Planning & Environment

Area of Expertise: Planning & Environment

Constanze advises and accepts instructions in all areas of town and country planning law. Recent advisory work has included: proposed planning enforcement prosecutions; extinguishment of MPV rights under the NERC Act; compulsory purchase; the Habitats Directive and derogation tests; the Habitats Directive and appropriate assessments; and the lawfulness of an allocation policy for gypsy and traveller sites.

Constanze is a member of the ‘Environmental Law Foundation’ and is willing to consider acting pro bono when instructed by ELF in appropriate cases. Pro bono work has included advising a local action group (Power without Pylons) on their consultation response to the final public National Grid consultation on major infrastructure proposals to join up Moorside power station to the grid (‘the North West Connections Project’). The proposals have been featured in the press including in The Telegraph.  


Notable Cases

Land at Intall Fields Farm, Stoke Pound Lane (Appeal Ref: APP/P1805/C/16/3163467)

Successfully represented the LPA in a complex enforcement notice appeal where the extent of the planning unit was in dispute. The LPA submitted and the Inspector concurred that the site was one planning unit in composite mixed use. Accordingly, the immunity clock reset each time a new use was added to the existing mixture of uses (providing any such change was material).

 Sty Lane, Micklethwaite (Appeal Reference: APP/W4705/V/14/2228491)

Successfully represented Redrow and Bellway Homes, as junior to Paul Tucker QC, in this appeal against a refused residential housing development. Paul and Constanze secured outline permission for 420 to 440 dwellings.

Application to register land at Newry Beach and Green, Holyhead, Anglesey as a TVG

Instructed on behalf of a local action group seeking to register land as a TVG in Wales. Legal issues at the inquiry included: the significance of the use; statutory incompatibility; the application of Barkas and the presumption of lawfulness.

Land at Blencathra View, Gamblesby (Appeal Ref: APP/H0928/C/15/3141454)

Successfully represented a landowner in this enforcement/ CLEUD refusal appeal regarding horsiculture and ‘planning law’s ponies’. Careful examination of legal issues arising from ‘horsiculture’ as a planning concept was necessary.


Hearings have included:

Land to the West of Arrow Bridge, Grange Lane, Alvechurch B48 7DJ (Appeal Ref: APP/P1805/X/16/3155580)

Successfully represented a local authority in a hearing regarding a refused CLOPUD which sought a declaration that a change from a mixed ancillary use to a storage use would be lawful in circumstances where there was a proposed change of ownership which would sever the existing planning unit.

Walters and Leeds City Council, a Revocation Order under s97 TCPA 1990

Successfully represented a developer opposing a revocation order for a planning permission issued in error. Issues include: the correct approach to compensation; whether the notice is a nullity and the expedience of a revocation. The LPA withdrew the revocation notice.


Rights of Way Inquiries have included:

Isle of Anglesey County Council (Addition of Footpath at Tai Bach the Community of Llanddona) Modification Order 2016;ROW/3161246

Successfully represented the Order Making Authority for representation at an inquiry into a definitive map modification order to add a public right of way to the definitive map. Issues included: use by implied permission; intention to dedicate; and the correct date of challenge. The order was confirmed.

The Shropshire Council (Parish of Frodesley) Modification Order 2010; Ref: FPS/L3245/7/16

Successfully represented the Order Making Authority at this complex inquiry into an order proposing to: add a bridleway; add a footpath; downgrade a bridleway and delete part of a bridleway. Issues included: the discovery of a drafting mistake and its sufficiency to displace the presumption in favour of the definitive map; the creation of a new right of way on land adjoining land over which there is an obstructed right of way; and whether public rights can be acquired over a route mistakenly shown on the definitive map.    

Nottinghamshire County Council (Arnold Footpath No. 56) Modification Order 2013

Successfully represented the Order Making Authority for representation at an inquiry into a definitive map modification order to add a public right of way to the definitive map. The order was confirmed.  

Significant Reported Cases

R (Save Britain's Heritage) v Liverpool City Council and another [2016] EWCA

Successfully resisted an application for an urgent injunction brought by Save Britain’s Heritage in the Court of Appeal to prevent deconstruction of the Futurist Cinema in Liverpool.

R (Save Britain's Heritage) v Liverpool City Council and another [2016] EWCA Civ 806

Instructed (as a junior to Anthony Crean QC) on behalf of a Local Authority in an important heritage case. The question before the Court of Appeal was whether paragraph 18a-036 of the Planning Practice Guidance required a local authority to consult the Department for Culture, Media and Sport separately on development proposals for Lime Street, Liverpool which was within the buffer zone of a World Heritage Site. The appeal was dismissed and permission to appeal to the Supreme Court was refused.



Constanze has a varied planning, environment and public law practice. She was appointed to the Attorney General's Regional Panel (Junior Counsel to the Crown, C Panel) in April 2018. 

Constanze undertook a part-time secondment with Bromsgrove and Redditch District Council’s Legal Services Department in 2015-16. She advised on planning, local government law and judicial review and assisted with planning prosecutions. Constanze also acted as the authority’s legal advisor at planning committee.

Constanze’s licensing practice involves regular instruction to appear in the Magistrates and Crown Courts in taxi licence revocation appeals.

Constanze’s broader public law work includes: judicial review, Local Government Ombudsman complaints, Parking Tribunal appeals and Valuation Tribunal representation.

Before coming to the bar Constanze worked in the NGO sector. She was part of the legal team for ‘Control Arms’, a coalition of NGO’s working to secure a human rights orientated Arms Trade Treaty. Constanze retains an active interest in human rights law and, in particular, in planning and environmental cases involving human rights issues.  

Year of Call: 2013


Areas of Expertise

PEBA (Planning & Environmental Bar)

ELF (Environmental Law Foundation)

IAPP (International Association of Privacy Practitioners)

WiP (Women in Property)

Middle Temple

Northern Circuit


Attorney General's Regional Panel, Junior Counsel to the Crown, C Panel (April 2018- )


Bar Professional Training Course, Kaplan London (2012-13), Very Competent

Graduate Diploma in Law, City University, London (2011-12), Commendation

History & Philosophy of Science BSc (hons), UCL (2007-10), First Class. First class in all three years, final year dissertation graded first class.

Leeds Girls’ High School (LGHS)


BPTC year (2012-13): Middle Temple Harmsworth Scholarship for BPTC; Winner, Human Rights essay competition, International Bar Association (2012)

GDL year (2011-12): Middle Temple Harmsworth Scholarship for GDL

Extracurricular: Winner of the Vodafone ‘World of Difference’ Competition (2011)

UCL (2007-10) UCLU Centenary Colours (2010); UCLU Debating Society Honorary Life Membership (2010); UCL Colours (2009); UCL Top in Class Prize (STS Department) (2008).



‘It’s not fair! Is it?’, (May 2018) Encyclopaedia of Local Government Law Bulletin, Sweet & Maxwell

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