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Background

Richard Humphreys KC

Call: 1986 | Silk: 2006

Ranked as a leading silk in Planning and Environment.

Legal 500 2024

"I find Richard an extremely approachable individual who is open to discuss both the positives and negatives of arguing potential points upon which might have an influence on the outcome. Richard’s wide range of instantly recallable planning knowledge is extremely helpful and he communicates this complex knowledge in clear language which is easy for all to understand."

Legal 500 2022 - Planning and Environment (Midlands)

Ranked as a leading silk in Planning and Environment.

Legal 500 2022 - Planning and Environment (London)

"I am most grateful for the time and immense care you have taken to review this case."

Planning consultant, 2018

"Many thanks Richard: a thoroughly thorough opinion! Your advice, options and recommendation/s are understood and appreciated."

Planning consultant, 2018

Richard Humphreys KC is a leading Barrister in the fields of Planning, Environment and Local Government Law, with extensive experience in planning appeals, court litigation, highways law, compulsory purchase and local government law.

Richard practises in courts at all levels, including the Planning Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and at public inquiries and related advisory work. Richard has been instructed in some of the leading cases in recent years, including Swindon BC v. DB Symmetry Ltd and Secretary of State in the Supreme Court.

Expertise

Environment

Environmental work has included numerous advices and/or representation in respect of statutory and public / private nuisances, environmental protection (prescribed processes, substances and waste) regulations, and hazardous substances regulations, including in relation to Buncefield depot, Hemel Hempstead. Recent instructions include representing Cank Farm, Tanworth-in-Arden (nuisance case) in the High Court.

Planning

Planning practice includes extensive experience in substantial regeneration and infrastructure projects, including highways and aviation, development plan preparation, SA/SEA/HRA and EIA, residential, industrial/office, retail, heritage, leisure, agriculture, minerals and waste development, certificates of lawfulness and enforcement notices. Richard has particular expertise in relation to residential schemes, retail and commercial development.

Highways

Richard has advised and/or represented numerous clients in relation to Highways matter. Experience includes road improvement schemes, bypass inquiries, Motorway Service Areas, Toll Roads, road bridges and footbridges, stopping up/ diversion of highways orders, and rights of way. He is currently representing DB Symmetry Ltd in the Supreme Court (Swindon BC v. DB Symmetry Ltd and Secretary of State (whether a planning condition does and can require a landowner to dedicate a right of way to the public).

Major Infrastructure

Richard has been involved in some of the largest schemes considered at inquiry. He has experience of the DCO process under the Planning Act 2008, as well as substantial infrastructure development pursuant to the Town and County Planning Act 1990, the Transport and Works Act 1992, the Electricity Act 1989 and other infrastructure related legislation. Examples include the Thames Gateway Bridge, the City of London heliport, Redhill Aerodrome, Manchester Second Runway, Heathrow Terminal 5, London Gateway (Shellhaven) container port development, Carlisle Airport freight development, London Oxford Airport, telecommunication mast cases, wind turbine inquiries inquiries and proposed solar farms. Richard has advised and acted for the CAA in respect of numerous airports including Manchester, Stansted, Cardiff, Southampton and City Airport, London.

Minerals & Waste

Richard has been involved in numerous cases involving mineral extraction (from tin to limestone to sand and gravel to gypsum to fullers earth; as well as waste development. He has represented some of the largest Quarry and Waste operators in the country , including Tarmac and Aggregate Industries. He has particular expertise in relation to issues concerning interpretation of permissions and conditions, review of minerals permissions, permitted development rights, 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, waste delivery and the interpretation of supply agreements.

More recent case examples include Former Fullers’ Earth site, Bath; Cornelly Quarries near Bridgend and Mepal Quarry, Cambridgeshire.

Plan-making

Richard has been instructed to advise upon and appear at a number of Development plans and has considerable experience of promoting and opposing plans as well as representing clients in Legal Challenges to adopted Local Plans.

Recent instructions have related to Wiltshire Core Strategy, Lichfield Local Plan, Mendip Local Plan Part 1, West Lancashire Local Plan, Stafford Local Plan Parts 1 and 2, Hartlepool Local Plan, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Gloucester Plans, Harrogate Local Plan, North Essex Part 1 Local Plans and, currently, St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, Carlisle.

Planning Enforcement

Richard successfully argued the still leading case of R v Wicks in the House of Lords (the scope for a Defendant to challenge the validity of an enforcement notice when prosecuted for non-compliance). He has appeared at numerous enforcement inquiries and has in-depth knowledge of enforcement law. Recent instructions have included those from Wycombe DC (Babs Park, Bourne End), and from Nick Hood (Brush Garage, Walsall).

Residential

Richard has advised and/or represented a large number of developers (including Bellway Homes, Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson, Redrow Homes, Barratts/BDW, Linden Homes, Orbit Homes and Orchard Homes) and Local Authorities at many public inquiries and through subsequent Legal Challenges. Richard therefore has a very good working knowledge of OAN, 5 year supply, employment, viability, Green Belt, heritage, landscape and EIA and Habitats Regulations issues. He recently secured a planning permission for residential development for North Warwickshire and Hinckley College.

Public Law

Richard practices the following areas:

Local Government

Local government work includes advising on the scope of statutory powers (including financial), State Aid, governance, the constitution of committees (including political balance), election law, Code of Conduct issues, freedom of information, the acquisition, appropriation and disposal of land, emergency planning, urgent works notices, the provision of affordable housing, the establishment, diversion, extinguishment and protection of public rights of way, town and village greens, common land, charter and statutory markets and fairs, hackney carriage licensing, caravan site licensing and duties in relation to travellers. He is currently representing Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council in a High Court case brought by Cumbria County Council challenging the decision of the Secretary of State to create 2 rather new unitary authorities rather than a single authority for Cumbria. He recently represented DB Symmetry Ltd in the Supreme Court (Swindon BC v. DB Symmetry Ltd and Secretary of State – whether a planning condition does and can require a landowner to dedicate a right of way to the public).

Related News, Resources and Events

Publications


300,000 new homes a year – elephants in the room and flying pigs?

Introduction Does the housebuilding industry have sufficient workforce capacity to deliver 300,000 homes per annum? “When it comes to construction, the housing industry bemoans planning…

Publications


DB Symmetry Ltd and another (Respondents) v Swindon Borough Council (Appellant)

No5’s Richard Humphreys KC has successfully acted for DB Symmetry Ltd in the case ‘DB Symmetry Ltd and another (Respondents) v. Swindon Borough Council (Appellant) [2022] UKSC 33’. The…

View all related news

    

"a thoroughly thorough opinion! Your advice, options and recommendations are understood and appreciated."


  • Bencher, Inner Temple
  • LLB (Nottingham)
  • LLM (Cambridge)

Related News, Resources and Events

Publications


300,000 new homes a year – elephants in the room and flying pigs?

Introduction Does the housebuilding industry have sufficient workforce capacity to deliver 300,000 homes per annum? “When it comes to construction, the housing industry bemoans planning…

Publications


DB Symmetry Ltd and another (Respondents) v Swindon Borough Council (Appellant)

No5’s Richard Humphreys KC has successfully acted for DB Symmetry Ltd in the case ‘DB Symmetry Ltd and another (Respondents) v. Swindon Borough Council (Appellant) [2022] UKSC 33’. The…

View all related news

Clerk Team

Andrew Bisbey

Practice Director, Planning & Environment, Director of Clerking

andrewb@no5.com

07732 055798

Marc Forrest-Thomas

Practice Manager, Planning & Environment

marct@no5.com

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