Celina Colquhoun - Planning & Environment
Celina Colquhoun specialises in all aspects of Planning, Environmental and Compulsory Purchase Law; Highways, Local Government & Public and Administrative Law as well as Licensing Law. She is a member of NIPA, PEBA, ALBA, CPA and UKELA. She has extensive experience appearing as an advocate in public inquiries and hearings as well as in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Celina acts for and advises a wide range of public bodies and private parties.
Her career had a significant grounding in national infrastructure planning and highways projects and in particular represented the Highways Agency and the Government’s Airports Policy Division at the 1995-99 Heathrow Terminal 5 inquiry and she has continued such work which includes the first appointment under s.101 of the Planning Act 2008 by the Planning Inspectorate in 2013/14 together with Martin Kingston QC and Ian Dove QC (as he then was) from No5. This work comprised providing legal advice and assistance to the Examining authority appointed to examine the NSIP DCO for the cross- London Thames Tunnel Tideway (or ” Super Sewer” )application . She advised the examining authority throughout the examination itself and subsequently through the reporting period. She is currently instructed on the early stages of the promotion of a DCO in respect of nuclear facility led by Martin Kingston QC.
She is regularly instructed by housing developers including Redrow, David Wilson SLP and Bellway Homes both in respect of promoting housing sites through appeal where necessary and in s.288 challenges but also in respect of CIL and Local Plan examinations. She also appears for smaller developers in respect of housing schemes including more recently those seeking to utilise Class Q permitted development rights.
She has particular experience also in advising and representing planning authorities seeking the adoption of Local Plans. A recent example is Canterbury City Council whose plan was adopted in 2017. She is currently advising 2 other authorities in respect of their own local plans.
She is a specialist in highways law having promoted and opposed highways and footpath orders as well as seeking orders for and against highways authorities where there has been an obstruction to the highway. She advised a number of a highway authorities upon the
submission and drafting of the London Permit Scheme for Road Work and Street Works (LoPS). In Summer 2012 it became a London wide scheme, operational in every London borough.
Other notable work has included representing Manchester City Football Club & Manchester City Council led by Ian Dove QC in relation to the CPO of land for MCFC's new football academy in 2012; she petitioned the Commons Select Committee on the HS2 (London - West Midlands) hybrid bill on behalf of a village in 2014 and successfully challenged a Neighbourhood Plan in 2015 (see ?Maynard-V-Chiltern DC  EWHC 3817(Admin))
She has promoted and advised on CPOs (e.g. under the Housing Act 1980 for Leicester City Council 2015) as well as addressing compensation and issues of blight (e.g. HS2).
She has a number of ongoing planning related judicial reviews and s.289 and s.113 challenges in the High Court.
Celina regularly lectures and provides legal training to other professionals in her fields. She has presented a number of papers at the annual No 5 planning seminars and will be doing so again his year. She has regularly provided training and legal updates through the RTPI. In line with her experience in infrastructure Celina assisted the National Infrastructure Planning arm of in providing training for the NSIP Examining Inspectors. She conducted expert witness training courses for a number of years on the preparation and presentation of evidence at inquiries.
She is also an elected member of the Bar Council and sits on the Law Reform Committee and EU Law Committee.
BAR COUNCIL – LRC & EULC
"She is extremely good, particularly with clients and consultant teams, and deals with substantial volumes of work diligently." "She has an excellent sense of judgement and is excellent at dealing with senior players in the industry."
Chambers UK 2018
“In court, she has an ability to withstand quite intense questioning. She doesn't get flustered, she is very calm, and she stands firm.”
Chambers UK, 2017
‘Tenacious and incredibly bright.’
Legal 500, 2016
Focuses on large infrastructure projects, particularly highways work. She also has an extensive caseload of planning matters as diverse as town and village greens and compulsory purchase orders. "She is absolutely tenacious."
Chambers UK, 2016
‘Highly experienced and excellent at providing strategic advice.’
Legal 500, 2015
Celina Colquhoun "Delivers dynamic, swift advice"
Legal 500 2014
"She is a good and determined advocate, who prepares thoroughly and shows a good mastery of technical information." ?
Chambers UK 2014
Celina Colquhoun is ‘a robust and well-prepared advocate’ who is ‘good on her feet and charming in the inquiry arena’. She is known for her work on large infrastructure projects, and often represents the Highways Agency.
"extremely good and very approachable" senior junior Celina Colquhoun, whom one instructing solicitor praises highly for "turning things around quickly. She is a great advocate, who is very persuasive, and very good with clients." Her extensive planning experience includes housing projects, large infrastructure inquiries, highways work and CPOs.
Chambers & Partners 2013
Celina Colquhoun is ‘practical, amenable and willing to go the extra mile’' also rated ''Her is rated for her excellent advocacy skills and ‘approachable nature’
In 2012 Chambers & Partners Celina is "well backed" by commentators who were "quick to praise" her "dynamism" and "affability" . She is also described as being "particularly effective in front of the planning inspectorate".
She was also recognised as a leading planning junior in Chambers & Partners 2011 and 2010. The 2011 edition describes her as “popular” and states that “she wins strong market approval”. It also notes that “she has displayed a wealth of acumen in relation to compulsory purchases, and recently advised on some high-profile matters concerning large-scale developments".The 2010 edition described her as “a very bright, reliable barrister who is fast making quite a name for herself." It also remarked upon her “considerable degree of experience in planning development and compulsory purchase orders (CPOs), and is also extremely skilled in matters involving highways”.