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Barrister - Leanne Buckley-Thomson

Senior Practice Manager
Andrew Bisbey

Practice Group Clerks
Craig Wain
Mitchell Nash
David Lewis

Chief Executive & Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

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

Tel: +44 (0) 207 420 7568

[email protected]

Leanne Buckley-Thomson - Planning & Environment

Leanne is a specialist Planning and Housing practitioner.  She has been recognised in Planning Magazine’s Guide to Planning Lawyers and Law Survey as one of the top planning juniors under 35.  She is also on the Women of Influence 2018 list in the RTPI’s The Planner magazine. 

Leanne regularly advises and represents developers, Local Planning Authorities and Rule 6 Parties on a broad range of planning matters including large residential developments, changes of use, stationing of mobile homes & caravans, development within residential curtilages and 'granny annexes', the interpretation and application of the Use Classes Order, Lawful Development Certificates, Assets of Community Value (ACVs), highways and Rights of Way.  She has experience dealing with matters concerning Habitats Regulations and protected species.  Recent work has included advising on planning policy making and interpretation of policy.

Leanne represents clients at all stages of the process and is well-versed in inquiry advocacy, including having worked on larger scale inquiries and statutory appeals to the High Court.  Leanne also details with matters of planning enforcement, both by way of enforcement notice and injunction.

In addition to her instructions, as past Chair of the South Coast Young Planners Network Leanne remains an active member of the RTPI and is regularly invited to speak at seminars and to judge awards.  She has recently filmed a segment for the RTPI’s project with Fun Kidz Radio “Agent Plan-IT” to encourage school aged children to engage with planning.  As a qualified trainer, Leanne’s seminar and training extends to more bespoke packages of delivery for local authorities, businesses and other organisations.

Recent work includes:

Section 78 Appeals:

Land at Pluckley Road, [APP/E2205/W/17/3182838]: 245 dwellings (heritage, landscape impact, transport/highways, flood risk, 5yrHLS).  2.5 week inquiry led by Peter Goatley of Chambers.

Land at Fleckney Road, Leicestershire [APP/F2415/W/17/3182409]: 290 dwellings (landscape impact, character and appearance, transport/highways, accessibility and sustainability).  5 day inquiry representing the Rule 6 Party.

Land at Great Glen, Leicestershire [APP/F2415/W/17/3167654]: outline application for up to 170 dwellings (landscape impact, transport/highways, 5yrHLS, emerging NP).  5 day inquiry successfully representing the Rule 6 Party despite the LPA offering no evidence.

Land at Lower Road and Browns Field, Effingham [APP/Y3615/W/16/3151098]: application for the erection of a replacement secondary school and the construction of 295 dwellings (need, ecology, heritage, design, transport/highways, emerging NP).  3 week inquiry led by Scott Stemp of Chambers representing the Parish Council.

Land at Tewkesbury Road, Twigworth and Land at Innsworth, Gloucester [APP/G1630/W/16/3154464 and APP/G1630/W/16/3164033]: conjoined appeals concerning an outline application for a mixed use development up to 725 dwellings and a local centre of comprising A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, D1, D2 uses and a primary school at Twigworth and an outline application for a mixed use development comprising up to 1,300 dwellings and 8.31 hectares of land for employment generating uses comprising A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, D1, D2, B1 and B8 uses and a primary school at Innsworth.  Represented the Highways Authority assisting them in achieving a settled position with the Appellant during the course of Inquiry.

Land at Stoke Road, Bishops Cleeve [APP/G/1630/W/16/3149785]: outline application for up to 265 dwellings, and associated A1 convenience retail store.  6 day inquiry representing the Parish Council.  Appellant sought an adjournment on day 2, and costs were successfully obtained following a paper application.

Old House at Home, Newnham [APP.H1705/W/17/3169774]: application for planning permission for the change of use from A4 public house to C3 residential dwelling house (viability, ACV listing, heritage, sustainability).  2 day appeal hearing representing the Appellant.  Partial award of costs awarded against interested party, the Parish Council.

Land at Frimhurst Farm, Camberley [APP/D3640/W/16/3145185]: 2 day inquiry representing the Appellant.  Appeal of the refusal of retrospective permission for the continued use of the existing Industrial Centre (Use Classes B1, B2 and B8) from which 42 businesses operate.

Section 174 Enforcement Appeals:

Land at the Rear of 67 and 69 Denham Lane, Chalfont St Peter [APP/X0415/C/17/3172814]: 1 day Enforcement Notice appeal acting for the local planning authority (Grounds a, d, f and g).  Change of use from agriculture to mixed use including residential and storage.

Land at Tall Trees, Chesham [APP/X0415/C/16/3150596]: 2 day Enforcement Notice appeal acting for the local planning authority (all Grounds a to g).  Change of use from residential (C3) to mixed use of residential and open storage (C3 and B8). 

Land at Four Acres (adjacent to Jesmund House), Ashford [APP/E2205/C/15/3134481]: 1 day Enforcement Notice appeal hearing acting for an interested party (Grounds a and g).   Change of use from agriculture to mixed use for agriculture and residential (including the stationing of a caravan/mobile home and touring caravan for residential occupation).

Other Enforcement Action

In addition to representing parties at enforcement inquiries, Leanne also has experience advising and providing representation at Court for local authorities and Defendants in respect of:

  • Injunctive action pursuant to section 187B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972. 
  • Prosecutions for breaches of enforcement notices both in the Magistrates and Crown Courts.
  • Advising with regard to Direct Action and Stop Notices.
  • Committals following breach of injunctions.


Leanne’s dual expertise as both a planning and housing barrister, and her general civil litigation experience, means that she is particularly equipped to advise and assist with injunctive proceedings in the County and High Court.

Appellate Courts:

Kestrel Hydro v. Secretary of State CLG and Spelthorne Borough Council [2016] EWCA Civ 784 (lead by Scott Stemp of Chambers) – successful defence on appeal of the Local Planning Authority’s pursuit of enforcement action; the juridical basis for Murfitt and Somak Travel; the extent of Bowring and also compliance of ground (F) appeals with Article 1 Protocol 1;

Various judicial review advice and representation work;

Other Work:

In addition to the aforementioned advocacy experience, Leanne is also available to advise and draft across a broad spectrum of planning matters.  Given her civil litigation experience in the County Court, Leanne is also able to draft civil proceedings; for example civil money claims for the enforcement of s106 agreement financial contributions.  Please contact the clerks for further information.

Direct Public Access:

Leanne is direct public access trained and available for instruction on a Licensed Access or Direct Public Access basis by Developers, Planning Consultants, Public Interest Groups, and members of the public.


LLB (Hons) Bristol, MSc FPC (Open); BVC, Bristol Institute of Legal Practice; Civil and Commercial Mediator, ADR Group


Western Circuit, RTPI, NAPE, 


Past chair of the RTPI South Coast Young Planners Network Steering Group