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Barrister - richard humphreys qc

Year of Call:  1986

Year of Silk:  2006

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Senior Practice Manager:
Abdul Hafeez

Practice Group Clerks:
Craig Wain

Lucas Bennett
Gavin John
Christy Irvine

Chief Executive & Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

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Richard Humphreys QC - Public Law

Wide-ranging practice in Public Law including Town and Country Planning, Compulsory Purchase, Environmental, and Local Government Law, with extensive experience in litigation, public inquiries and advisory work. Cited as a Leading Silk in the Legal 500 Directory.

Practice Areas

Planning practice includes involvement in substantial regeneration(1) and infrastructure projects(2), development plan processes(3), industrial/office(4), agriculture(5), minerals(6) and waste(7), retail(8), housing(9), leisure(10), conservation(11) and highways work(12), as well as certificates of lawfulness(13) and enforcement(14). Advisory work includes affordable housing, section 106 obligations(15) and advice on community infrastructure levy. Court cases at all levels including High Court(16), Court of Appeal(17) and House of Lords(18) (Supreme Court).

Compulsory purchase work includes section 17 inquiries(19) (certificates of appropriate alternative development), section 226(20) (TCPA 1990 inquiries/compulsory acquisition for development/planning purposes), compensation, section 84 Law of Property Act 1925 applications (restrictive covenants), and Lands Tribunal(21) (Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal) cases.

Environmental work includes hazardous substances regulations(22), environmental protection(23) (prescribed processes and substances) regulations, statutory and public nuisances(24), waste directive(25).

Local government includes powers, constitution of committees, Code of Conduct, EU procurement, freedom of information, emergency powers, affordable housing, markets(26), hackney carriage licences (and related human rights issues(27)).


Contributor, Halsbury's Laws (Local Government) (2001), A former editor of Crown Office Digest Contributor to Anti-Social Behaviour Law (publ. Jordans), Contributor to RICS online guidance. 5 articles published in Journal of Planning Law "Interpreting planning permissions after Stevenage - the primacy of the plans?" (2011); "Material Change in use - what's character got to do with it?" (2011); "20 years of the 10 year period for enforcement: time for reform? (2011); Integrity in the planning system in England: lacunas but lessons from a British Isle (2015); and Sustainable development: does the NPPF paragraph 14 ensure that future generations can meet their own needs? (2016).


Administrative Law Bar Association, Planning and Environment Bar
Association, National Infrastructure Planning Association


He really tests the case and identifies weaknesses in good time for them to be addressed.’
Legal 500 UK 2018

"He is very thorough and has a mastery of the detail. Forensic would be the word that springs to mind."
Chambers UK, 2016

Richard Humphreys is "Recommended for litigation, public inquiries and advisory work"
Legal 500 UK 2014


Nottingham University LLB (1981-1984) Cambridge University LLM (1984-1985) Pupillages with John Laws (Treasury Counsel) and Clive Newberry 


1 Regeneration: e.g. Western sector, High Wycombe CPO (2000); Central Sunderland redevelopment and Vaux brewery site (2006), West of Stevenage urban extension (2005), Camborne-Pool-Redruth urban regeneration (2007). Shirley town centre regeneration (2011)

2 Infrastructure: e.g. Thames Gateway Bridge Inquiry (2006), City of London heliport (1991); Redhill Aerodrome redevelopment (1993), Manchester Second Runway (1995), Heathrow Terminal 5 (1997) inquiries. Various telecommunication mast cases (2003-2010); crematorium. London Gateway (Shellhaven) container  port development (2007). Camborne, Cornwall - promotion of new crematorium (2009); Wind turbine inquiries e.g. Daventry District, Northamptonshire (2011), Carlisle City Council (2012), London Oxford Airport (2013) and various pending (2013/14). NSIP advisory work Carlisle Airport (2012). Paper and powerpoint presentation on Development Consent Orders (2012).

3 Development Plan: e.g. Darlington BC (1998), Stevenage BC (2003), Harlow DC (2004), Basingstoke and Deane BC (2004), Sunderland City Council (2007), Carlisle City Council (2007). Also objections for Cavanna Homes, Wimpey Homes, Somerfield Stores Ltd. Recent: Wiltshire Core Strategy (2013) for Wiltshire Council, Lichfield Core Strategy (2013) for Lichfield Council. Advisory work re Cheshire East Local Plan (2013). Defence of High Court challenge to West Lancashire Local Plan (2014) and Stafford Local Plan (2014-15) and Stafford Local Plan Part 2 (2017).

4 Industrial/office: e.g. Quinn Glass, Ellesmere Port, Europe's largest bottle making and filling factory (2006). office development in the grounds of a listed building in Penzance for Walker Moyle (Stephen Bott Planning).

5 Agriculture: e.g. Poultry sheds development, Banham Poultry (Broadland District Council); Poultry processing operation, Hevingham (Broadland District Council); Pig farm, Woolpit (Mid Suffolk District Council). Gabbons Nursery, Penryn (2009).

6 Minerals: e.g. advising industry (e.g. Atlantic Aggregates) and mineral planning authorities (e.g. Powys County Council - whether need for EIA - R v. Powys CC ex p. Idris Andrew; Warwickshire County

Council - South-West Warwick housing development; Cornwall County

Council - South Crofty Tin Mine/proposed mixed-use surface redevelopment). Issues concerning interpretation of permissions and conditions, review of minerals permissions, reliance on permitted development rights (e.g. Part 19 of the GPDO 1995), environmental impact assessments requirements, viability of extraction, compatibility with residential development, sterilisation of minerals, assessment of reserves and resources, the sale of mineral product, the meaning of waste, the interpretation of supply agreements. Former Fullers’ Earth site, Bath (Bath and North-East Somerset Council (2013-2015); ROMP and review of mineral permissions call-in inquiry, Cornelly Quarries near Bridgend (acting for Tarmac Ltd) 2015-16; Mepal Quarry (Aggregate Industries) (2018).

7 Waste: e.g. Cheshire Replacement Waste Local Plan representing Ellesmere Port and Neston BC; inquiries concerning waste proposals. Bath and North-East Somerset Council – Former Fullers Earth site, Bath (2012-2015)

8 Retail: For Safeway, Asda, Tesco (2013), Aldi (2015-6) and B&Q, for various retail park owners, and for numerous local authorities since 1992, including Dacorum BC, Peterborough City Council, Epping Forest DC, London Borough of Enfield, Middlesbrough BC, Carrick DC, Bedfordshire County Council, Darlington BC, Wycombe DC, Westminster City Council, Three Rivers DC , Carlisle City Council (2008), Milton Keynes Council (2010), London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (2010), Stevenage BC (1999, 2004, 2010), Telford and Wrekin Council (2012), Rother DC (2012), Wycombe DC (2012-13); Shirley regeneration (2012) (Birchwood Developments/Asda); Sunderland City Council (2006, 2012-13, 2015); acted for Aldi for new store at Fletton Close, Leicester on business park (2015-6); and Great Barr, Birmingham (pending). convenience and comparison goods, retail warehousing, warehouse clubs, certificates of lawful use.

9 Housing: e.g. West of Stevenage urban extension (2005), South Crofty, Camborne (2006), a substantial housing-led surface development at South Crofty Tin Mine; housing inquiry in North Weald for Crest Nicholson (2007); housing inquiry in Hinckley for Crest Nicholson (Pegasus Planning); housing inquiry, St Margarets Hotel, Carbis Bay - construction of apartments (2008) (appellant); housing inquiry, Udimore Road, Rye - construction of 135 dwellings (Rother DC)

(2008); housing/B1 inquiry, Robertsbridge Mill - B1 and 66 residential units (Rother DC) (2008); housing inquiry, Gabbons Nursery, Penryn, - 148 dwellings (appellant) (2009). Trub Farm, Castleton, Rochdale inquiry – 199 dwellings (2013), Enderby, Leicestershire residential development inquiry (2013); Cheshire East Council 12 residential development inquiries (2013-2014) with issues including 5 year housing land supply, green gap, landscape, conservation/listed building setting, historic hedgerows, agricultural land, highways;; Maldon residential development for Linden Homes (120 dwellings) (2014). ; Farnsfield (for Newark and Sherwood Council), 2015; Farnsfield (for Newark and Sherwood Council), 2015; Manchester City Council CPO (Brunswick)

2015; Shurnhold, Melksham (for Wiltshire Council) (2016); Ticehurst (for Rother DC) (2017); Semington (for Wiltshire Council) (2017).

10 Leisure: e.g. Stax multisports complex, nr Farnham (DTZ/Cannons) (2008); Waterside Park, Weymouth (2008); extended opening hours for Walkabout (Regent Inns plc), in Watford (Planning Potential).

11 Conservation: e.g. Nutfield, West Sussex inquiry/enabling development against Horsham District Council; Works affecting listed buildings, Dunstable and Eaton Bray (South Bedfordshire District Council);Enforcement inquiry against Daventry District Council;St John's Wood Robert Adam residential development (Westminster City Council);Extension of listed building, St John's Wood (Westminster City Council); Water Research Company office redevelopment, Medmenham (Wycombe District Council); West Walls of Carlisle (Tesco retail inquiry) (2007). Milton Keynes Council – Tesco, Wolverton redevelopment (2010). Weston Lane, Shavington (Cheshire East Council) (2014) (setting of listed building)

12 Highways: e.g. Mayfield Bypass Inquiry; A13 road improvement inquiry (British Railways Board); Promotion of second crossing of River Severn in Newtown (Powys County Council); Brooklands Inquiry, Surrey (Woking Borough Council); Promotion of footbridge/CPO inquiry, Leeds (Leeds Development Corporation); Stopping up/ diversion of highways orders relating to Western Sector development, High Wycombe (Wycombe District Council); North-facing slip road, Junction 5, M11 inquiry (Epping District Council); London Gateway (Shellhaven) new container port (Essex County Council). 2 M40 Motorway Service Areas - respectively for Mobil Oil and Wycombe DC.

13 Certificates of Lawfulness: e.g. Court cases include R. v. Thanet DC ex p. Tapp and Britton (2001) for Thanet District Council - Certificates of Proposed Lawful Development. Whether authority has power to modify the description of proposed development in a section 192 application; Childs v. First Secretary of State (2005) certificate of lawfulness as base for material change; Stevenage BC v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2010) proper interpretation of planning permissions. Substantial advisory work for developers and local authorities on retail certificates (2010-2013).

14 Enforcement: e.g. Court cases include R. v. Wicks (HL) (1997) (1997) 2 WLR 876 (HL) Counsel for respondent Thanet District Council. Whether open to a Defendant to challenge an enforcement notice, when prosecuted, on the ground of bad faith. Wycombe DC – (1) The Lodge, Marsh (2011) and (2) Babs Park, Bourne End (2011), Bath and North-East Somerset Council – Former Fullers Earth site, Bath (2012 -14)

15 London Borough of Waltham Forest v. Oakmesh (2009) 2009] EWHC 1688 (Ch). Counsel for Family. whether validity of section 106 obligation open to question in injunctive proceedings pursuant to section 106(5) notwithstanding previous appeal to discharge obligation.

16 High Court: e.g. R v Thurrock Borough Council, ex parte Tesco Stores and Others (1991) (1994) JPL 328 Counsel for First Respondent - Whether Costco operation retail, wholesale or sui generis; R. v. King's Lynn & West Norfolk D.C. ex p. Bolam (1994)Counsel for respondent District Council. Planning permission for chicken sheds; planning committee bias, perversity; R. v. Powys C.C. ex p. Idris Andrews (1996) JPL B130 Counsel to respondent County Council. Decision to grant minerals permission. Environmental Impact

Assessment Regulations; New Forest D.C. v. SSE and Shorefield Holidays Limited (1996) JPL 935 Counsel for Shorefield Holidays Limited. Fall-back test - whether a real (as opposed to theoretical) possibility that hotel permission implemented in early 1970s might be developed if chalet development not permitted in Green Belt; R v. Oldham MBC ex p. Bentley (1996) JPL B119 Counsel to respondent Borough Council. Whether permission "implemented" in breach of condition; R. v. East Dorset D.C. ex p. de Mattos (1997) Counsel to the District Council. Whether grant of planning permission for Council-owned land flawed for bias; Alfred McAlpine Ltd v. Darlington B.C. (1998) Counsel to Darlington BC. Challenge to lpa's reasons for rejecting local plan inspector's recommendations; Petursson v. Hutchison 3G UK Ltd (High Court, Technology and Construction Court, Birmingham) (2006) JPL 554 Counsel for Hutchison (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer). Paragraph 17, Schedule 2 to Telecommunications Act 1984 objection to mast. Review of all current evidence concerning risk to human health; R (Corbett) v. First Secretary of State (High Court) (2006) JPL 505 Counsel for applicant. Judicial review by third party of decision of FSS to reinstate withdrawn appeal. Whether power to reinstate; London Borough of Waltham Forest v. Oakmesh Ltd and Family Mosaic [2009] EWHC 1688 (Ch). Counsel for Family. whether validity of section 106 obligation open to question in injunctive proceedings pursuant to section 106(5) notwithstanding previous appeal to discharge obligation; Stevenage BC v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2010) proper interpretation of planning permissions. R(Brown) v. Carlisle City Council (2013-14) validity of permission for enabling development at Carlisle Airport.

17 Court of Appeal: e.g. R. v. Thanet DC ex p. Tapp and Britton (2001); Lloyd-Jones v. T-Mobile UK Ltd (CA) (2003) Counsel for T-Mobile (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer). Paragraph 17, Schedule 2 to telecommunications act 1984 objection to mast. Whether notice of installation needs to be visible to members of public and whether failure, if not visible, stops time for objection running. Redrow Homes v. First Secretary of State (2005) [2005] JPL 502, Junior Counsel for South Gloucestershire Council - ability of FSS to retrict use of access permitted in 1957 outline permission to buses. Persimmon Homes (Thames Valley) Ltd and others v. Stevenage Borough Council (2005) NPC 136. Junior Counsel for Stevenage Borough Council. Meaning of requirement for "general conformity" between structure and local plans. 18 House of Lords: Griffiths v. Jenkins (1992) 2 WLR 28 (HL) power of High Court to order to complete rehearing when hearing a criminal appeal by way of Case Stated. Counsel for prosecuting water company (Appellant); R. v. Wicks (1998) 2 AC 92.

19 Compulsory Purchase/section 17: e.g. Ibstock Brick, South Gloucestershire inquiry.

20 Compulsory Purchase/section 226: e.g. Western Sector, High Wycombe CPO; Dacorum/Tring/Cow Roast CPO. Manchester(Brunswick) CPO 2015 for Manchester City Council. Southern Link Road (Worcester) CPO (2016).

21 Compulsory Purchase/Lands Tribunal: e.g. Frisby and Small, Leicester; South Norwich Ring Road.

22 Hazardous Substances: e.g. Ellesmere Port and Neston BC (2007); Dacorum BC (2011)

23 Environmental processes: e.g. Hull and Goole Port Health Council (2002) EWHC 2484 Article 1 of the First Protocol did not apply to the premium value of an existing hackney carriage licence which had accrued due to the local authority restriction on number of licences.

24 Nuisance: e.g. Mid Suffolk DC v. Clarke (1992-1996) (Magistrates' Court abatement notice appeal, High Court injunction and contempt proceedings). Cank Farm, Tanworth-in-Arden (2011, 2014-2016).

25 Waste: e.g. IPMM v. Kent County Council (2009) (inspector's decision). Bath and North-East Somerset Council – Former Fullers Earth site, Bath (2012 -14)

26 Markets: e.g. Delyn BC v. Solitaire (Liverpool) Ltd 93 LGR 614

27 Human Rights: e.g. R (Royden) v. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (2002) EWHC 2484 Article 1 of the First Protocol did not apply to the premium value of an existing hackney carriage licence which had accrued due to the local authority restriction on number of licences.