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Barrister - james corbet burcher

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Andrew Bisbey

Practice Group Clerks
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Mitchell Nash
David Lewis

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Tony McDaid

Birmingham
Tel: +44 (0) 121 606 6195
Fax: +44 (0) 121 210 7311

London
Tel: +44 (0) 207 420 7568

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James Corbet Burcher - Planning & Environmental Law Barrister

James Corbet Burcher is a specialist planning barrister.

In 2018, he was voted the No.1 rated planning junior under 35 years and No.9 planning junior overall in Planning Magazine’s Annual Planning Law Survey:

“A very intelligent and very capable advocate”

Chambers and Partners Bar UK records him as an Up & Coming Junior for Planning in the Midlands Region:

“He has an extensive knowledge of the legal system…Extraordinarily detailed and very thorough." [2018]

“An up-and-coming junior frequently highlighted for his client- friendly approach who is developing a strong reputation in the market…He has a good style and intellectual approach…He is very capable and very keen." [2017]

James is a member of the Planning and Environmental Bar Association’s (PEBA) Committee, and sits on the Bar Council as PEBA’s representative.

He is a qualified Advocacy Tutor with Lincoln’s Inn.

PLANNING COURT AND APPELLATE WORK                             

James has appeared in over 30 cases before the Planning Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, both led and unled.

This includes many recent cases on the interpretation of the National Planning Policy Framework, culminating in the successful appearance in the Supreme Court for Richborough Estates in Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes [2017] UKSC 37.

A full list of his court cases is set out below.

PLANNING INQUIRIES AND HEARINGS                                       

James has appeared at over 40 planning inquiries and hearings.

In 2013-14, he acted for Pinewood Studios Ltd securing planning permission for film studios development on 46ha of Green Belt land (as junior to Martin Kingston QC).

Examples of recent inquiry work in 2018 include:

-         Securing planning permission for 141 dwellings at Hanslope, Milton Keynes for Davidsons Homes (unled);

-         Appearing on behalf of Peel Investments, promoting residential development (600 dwellings) at Broadoak, Salford (as junior to Martin  Kingston QC);

-         Acting on behalf of Rockspring and St Congar promoting residential development (850 dwellings) at Thorp Arch, Leeds (as junior to Chris Young).

LOCAL PLAN EXAMINATIONS                                                                      

James advises regularly on the promotion of sites through the local plan process, especially in the context of strategic planning in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and West of England.

He has also appeared in three s113 challenges to Local Plans and is consequently well-versed in the legal and policy frameworks concerning housing numbers, the duty to cooperate, site assessent and strategic environmental assessment.

He has recently advised on the Consultation Draft Text of the NPPF and the implications for site promotion.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN EXAMINATIONS                                  

James is one of the leading junior barristers working in the field of neighbourhood planning.

In the last four years, he has advised on a total of more than 60 neighbourhood plans at all stages of development. He has appeared at 8 neighbourhood plan hearings and in several of the judicial review challenges in this field.

The majority of his work in this field is for housebuilders and development promoters, whom he assists with detailed written representations covering the “basic conditions”, site assessment, strategic environmental assessment and procedure.

Work for community groups includes acting for Central Milton Keynes Town Council in the major called-in inquiry concerning a town centre retail development in 2016.

OTHER SECTOR INTERESTS                                                         

Prior to coming to the Bar, James carried out research on post-war London planning history to postgraduate level. This grounding in the historical development of the British planning system informs all of his professional work today.

James has a particular interest in the development of planning legislation and policy to promote and support new technologies (PropTech, PlanTech) and in international comparative land use law (notably in the USA, France and Germany).

He is working towards qualification as a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute

EDUCATION                                                                                        

BA(Hons) Modern History (First Class), Magdalen College, University of Oxford

Mst Modern History, Magdalen College, University of Oxford

CPE (Distinction), City University

LLM (Distinction), University College London

BPTC, BPP (London)

AWARDS                                                                                              

University of Oxford:

Demy (Full College Academic Scholarship) Oxford Half-Blue, Modern Pentathlon

Lincoln’s Inn:

Hardwicke Entrance Award Lord Bowen Scholarship Lord Mansfield Scholarship Sunley Pupillage Award

Other:

UKELA Moot: Winner of both Senior and Junior Competitions

MEMBERSHIPS                                                                                   

Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA)

UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA)

National Infrastructure Planning Association (NIPA)

Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)

Council for Tall Buildings in the Urban Habitat (CTBUH)

International Planning History Society (IPHS)

NOTABLE CASES                                                                              

Richborough Estates v SSCLG [2018] EWHC 33 (Admin)

Forest of Dean DC v Wright [2017] EWCA Civ 2102

St Modwen v SSCLG [2017] EWCA Civ 1643

Verdin (t/a The Darnhall Estate) v SSCLG [2017] EWHC 2079 (Admin)

Baroness Cumberlege of Newick v SSCLG and DLA Delivery [2017] EWHC 2057 (Admin)

East Staffordshire BC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWCA Civ 893

R(Williams) v Powys CC [2017] EWCA Civ 42

(1) Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; (2) Cheshire East BC v Richborough Estates Partnership LLP and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] UKSC 37

DLA Delivery Ltd v Lewes DC [2017] EWCA Civ 58

Trustees of the Barker Mill Estates v Test Valley BC [2016] EWHC 3028 (Admin)

East Staffordshire BC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWHC 2973 (Admin)

R(Kebbell Developments Ltd) v Leeds City Council [2016] EWHC 2664 (Admin)

R(Flint) v South Gloucestershire Council [2016] EWHC 2180 (Admin)

Stryjak v Hounslow LBC [2016] EWHC 1897 (Admin)

R(Wright) v Forest of Dean DC [2016] EWHC 1349 (Admin)

St Modwen Developments Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWHC 968 (Admin)

Richborough Estates Partnership LLP and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government v Cheshire East BC [2016] EWCA Civ 168

Cheshire East BC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Renew Land Developments [2016] EWHC 571 (Admin)

R(Williams) v Powys County Council and Bagley [2016] EWHC 480 (Admin)

R(Dudfield) v Forest of Dean DC [2016] EWHC 291 (Admin)

West Berkshire DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and HDD Burghfield Common Ltd [2016] EWHC 267 (Admin)

R(DLA Delivery Ltd) v Lewes DC [2015] EWHC 2311 (Admin)

IM Properties Development Ltd v Lichfield DC [2015] EWHC 2077 (Admin)

Kings Lynn and West Norfolk BC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Elm Park Holdings [2015] EWHC 2464 (Admin)

IM Properties Development Ltd v Lichfield DC [2015] EWHC 1982 (Admin)

Wychavon DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and North Oak Homes Ltd [2015] EWHC 761 (Admin)

Crane v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 425 (Admin)

R(Gladman Developments Ltd) v Aylesbury Vale DC [2014] EWHC 4323 (Admin)

R(IM Properties Development Ltd) v Lichfield DC [2014] EWHC 2440 (Admin)

R(Jones) v English Heritage [2014] EWHC 2259 (Admin)

Zurich Assurance Ltd v Winchester City Council [2014] EWHC 758 (Admin)

South Northamptonshire Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Barwood Homes Ltd [2014] EWHC 570 (Admin)

R(Scottish Widows Plc) v Cherwell DC [2013] EWHC 3968 (Admin)

RECOMMENDATIONS 

“Commended by sources for his adept handling of planning matters involving assets of community value and for his work in neighbourhood planning and residential development matters. He represents developers, as well as local planning authorities in public inquiries and planning appeals.” "He has an extensive knowledge of the legal system and is very well versed on Neighbourhood Plans." "Extraordinarily detailed and very thorough."
Chambers UK 2018

"He has a good style and intellectual approach." "He comes back very quickly, lets you know what he is doing and doesn't leave you hanging. He is very capable and very keen."
Chambers UK 2017