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Barrister - rowena meager

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]

Rowena Meager - Planning & Environment

Rowena has a busy planning practice and has experience of appearing at both planning (appeal) inquiries and inquiries concerned with applications for the registration of new greens pursuant to the Commons Act 2006 (previously the Commons Registration Act 1965). She has experience of appearing on behalf of applicants, land owners, local planning authorities and Rule 6 parties and has recently been instructed to appear at inquiries into the registration of new greens, inquiries in connection with housing development, appeals against the refusal of planning permission for change of use from sui generis use to retail and other matters such as appeals against refusal of permission for temporary agricultural dwellings. Rowena has experience of planning control and enforcement. She has been instructed to provide representation at hearings, proceedings in the magistrates’ court and a Crown Court appeal against conviction for breach of condition notice.

Rowena also has a busy advisory practice.

Rowena’s practice has been wide ranging and includes (but is not limited to) issues concerned with:

  • New town and village green applications
  • Public rights of way
  • Interpretation of historic enclosure awards
  • Change of use (including limitation issues)
  • Housing development
  • Article 4 directions
  • General permitted development
  • Enforcement (including injunctions in relation to anticipated breach of planning control)
  • Wind farm development

Rowena is regularly instructed by commons registration authorities to sit as an Inspector to preside over non-statutory public inquiries into applications to register land as a new town or village green. Recent inquiries at which she has sat as the appointed Inspector include:

  • Land known as Baxter’s Field, Summer Street, Stroud
  • Land adjacent to Churchdown Community Centre, Churchdown
  • Land known as ‘Debenham’s (Bon Marche) Sports Field’, Gloucester
  • Land at Grove Lane, Keresley
  • Land known as the ‘Humpty Dumps’ at Bowling Green Lane, Cirencester
  • Land at Keresley Newlands (Le Hanche Close)
  • Land at Back Lane, Long Lawford
  • Land known as ‘The Glebe / The Leaze’ at Nympsfield, Gloucestershire
  • Land off Hardings Drive at Stinchcombe Hill, Dursley
  • Land at Weddington (known as Weddington Church Fileds), Nuneaton

Rowena also frequently appears at public inquiries for the parties in applications to register new town and village greens, both applicants and objectors, as well as providing advice on the merits and the strategic management of such applications. 

In addition to Inquiry work Rowena has recently undertaken court work in the High Court (statutory challenges and judicial review) and Court of Appeal including:

  • Solihull MBC –v- (1) Gallagher Homes Ltd (2) Lioncourt Homes Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 1610 (junior to Christopher Katkowski QC)
  • Gambone –v- SOS for Communities & Local Government & Another [2014] All ER (D) 246
  • University of Bristol –v- North Somerset Council [2013] EWHC 231 (Admin); [2013] JPL 940 (junior to Ian Dove QC)
  • Infocus Public Networks –v- SOS for CLG [2013] EWHC 4622 (Admin)

Judicial review concerning the proper interpretation of provisions within the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 as they relate to town and village green applications (settled after 2 days) (junior to Ian Dove QC)

Seminars and Training

Rowena frequently delivers seminar / training papers on a wide range of topics to audiences of legal practitioners as well as to other professionals such as planning consultants. Recent papers delivered include topics such as localism, emerging policy and the weight to be attributed to ministerial statements, break clauses in commercial leases, agricultural and business property relief from inheritance tax, commercial leases and the landlord and tenant relationship and contentious probate (due execution of wills, capacity, undue influence, want of knowledge and approval, etc). 

Academic Profile

Prior to joining No5 Chambers Rowena enjoyed an academic career. She has held lecturing posts at New College, Oxford, and the University of Buckingham. Until 2014 she continued to teach the Law of Trusts for New College every year (alongside her practice) and from 2009 to 2012 Rowena held a three year, fixed term appointment as external examiner for the University of Cambridge for their Land Economy Tripos undergraduate programme (with specific responsibility for all law and planning papers).

Rowena has published widely on various property law related topics although she does have a particular interest in the rapidly developing law on the registration of new greens. Her publications address but are not limited to topics as diverse as the law concerning the registration of new greens, issues concerning public and private rights of way, proprietary estoppel, the establishment of rights in the family home and issues arising in respect of the liability of trustees who are also directors of a corporate trust company. Rowena has been a regular contributor to the Rights of Way Law Review (an authoritative commentary on English Law relating to rights of way, new green registration and highway law, amongst other things) and one of her articles (RWLR Oct 2009) was cited with approval by Lord Hope in the Supreme Court in R (Lewis) v Redcar & Cleveland BC [2010], a decision which changed the legal test for the registration of new town and village greens.


Prescription and User As of Right: Ripe for Wholesale Reform? Modern Studies in Property Law Volume 6, Hart Publishing, 2011, Susan Bright ed, Chapter 12, p 241
New Town and Village Greens and Rights of Use, Rights of Way Law Review (RWLR), April 2011, Section 15.3, page 189
The Village Green Industry: Back in Business [2010] 69(2) Cambridge Law Journal 238
Redcar in SC: Deference is Dead Rights of Way Law Review, May 2010, Section 15.3, 161
Wild v Secretary of State Rights of Way Law Review, January 2010, Section 6.2, 27
Nec vi, nec clam, nec precario: The only criteria for a prescriptive claim? [2009] 73 Conveyancer & Property Lawyer, 505
Deference & User As of Right: An Unholy Alliance Rights of Way Law Review, October 2009, Section 15.3, 147
Pick a Number (2009) New Law Journal 1281
‘Dog-leg’ claims kicked into touch: beneficiaries exposed? [2009] Denning Law Journal 119
A setback for the village green industry? [2009] 68(2) Cambridge Law Journal 281
A Family Affair (2009) New Law Journal 588
Smith v Muller Rights of Way Law Review, February 2009, Section 14.2, 85
Show Me The Money (2009) New Law Journal 144
The Winchester Case Rights of Way Law Review, February 2008, Section 7.1, 33
New Town & Village Greens Rights of Way Law Review, October 2007, Section 15.3, 123
New Town & Village Greens: Back From the Brink [2006] 70 Conveyancer & Property Lawyer 584
New Town & Village Greens: A Thing of the Past? [2006] 70 Conveyancer & Property Lawyer 265
A New Dawn for Town & Village Greens? Rights of Way Law Review, February 2006, Section 15.3, 91
Secret Trusts: Do They Have a Future? [2003] 67 Conveyancer & Property Lawyer 203

  • LLB (Hons) (First Class)
  • BCL (Oxon)
  • BVC (graded ‘Outstanding’)

Licensed for direct access
Awarded a ‘Lord Denning Scholarship’, a ‘Hardwicke Scholarship’ and a ‘Shelford Scholarship’ by Lincoln’s Inn
Awarded a ‘Buchanan Prize’ by Lincoln’s Inn for ‘outstanding’ BVC performance
Awarded the ‘Clifford Chance Prize’ for best performance in Civil Procedure in the 2003 BCL examinations
Awarded the ‘Barnett Bequest’ by Merton College, Oxford, to study for the BCL
Awarded ‘Linnels Pize’ for best graduating undergraduate law student in her year

  • Lincoln’s Inn (Lord Denning, Hardwicke and Shelford Scholar and Buchanan Prize Winner)
  • Denning Society (society of scholars of Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Property Bar Association
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Planning and Environment Bar Association