John is a Partner in the Real Estate Team.
He is Head of Planning and specialises in planning law, compulsory purchase, environmental law and regeneration. John frequently advises landowners, developers and local authorities and has recently acted for several local authorities in connection with large new housing schemes. Before joining Ashfords he worked both in house with two local authorities and for a City law firm. He has been a partner with Ashfords since 1997.
He is recognised as a leading figure in Planning by both the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and is praised for his work relating to high-profile mixed-use developments and regeneration work. He is well regarded for his skill in high-level challenges and compensation claims.
- Advising London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in connection with a planning application to redevelop the Empress State Building in Earls Court for residential use.
- Advising a landowner whose land was threatened with compulsory action in order to build a new road and flood defence. The County Council and Environment Agency had joined forces so that the County was purporting to use the Agency's flood relief powers in order to construct a road, on the giving of notice without any objections. We challenged the use of these powers in order to achieve a satisfactory negotiated settlement for our client.
- Acting in the High Court and the Court of Appeal for the interested party land owners and their developer partner, Bovis Homes, following a Statutory Challenge to the grant of planning permission for 55 houses on the Exe Estuary on appeal by a planning inspector. The Statutory Challenge was brought by a third party opposition group on grounds relating to the environmental impact assessment, the appropriate assessment that had been undertaken in respect of ecological impacts and the approach towards the provision of sites of alternate natural green space.
- Advising Devon County Council in connection with a new settlement at Cranbrook, East of Exeter including ensuring the provision of primary schools, a secondary school, a library, a bypass, highway works, railway station and travel plans.
- Advising Derby City Council in preventing the unauthorised demolition of the listed Hippodrome Cinema in Derby including a three day High Court hearing into the Council's injunction - reported as Derby City Council v Antony.
- Advising the owner of a waste site in connection with a judicial review of the decision of Bath and North East Somerset Council to take enforcement action. Reported as R v B& NES Council ex parte Gazelle Properties.