Christian Hawley

Viewing: Planning and Environment for Christian Hawley

Christian joined Chambers in 2015. He is also a Chartered Surveyor (Planning and Development) and prior to his change of career to the Bar was a Property Director at Lidl UK. His 13 years of industry experience has provided Christian with a rich knowledge of property development and planning allied with a keen sense of commercial realism.
Christian regularly acts for developers, promoters, local authorities and interested parties across a wide range of planning and environmental matters both at Inquiry and in the higher courts. He also enjoys a busy advisory practice.
Christian regularly advises and acts for residential developers (both led and un-led) on a wide range of sites ranging from proposals for small developments through to schemes of 900 and 1,000 dwellings. Christian also advises regularly on ‘post-permission’ issues such as the interpretation and discharge of planning conditions, the interpretation and effect of s106 agreements, drainage and highways matters.
Having worked in the retail sector of the property development industry for 13 years prior to coming to the Bar Christian has a great deal of experience in dealing with retail matters. He has acted on small and large schemes and regularly advises upon the correct application of the sequential test and consideration of the NPPF where in conflict with older development plans. He also regularly deals with retail impact issues and other issues typically arising from retail schemes such as highways matters.
Advice on EIA matters including reviewing draft Environmental Impact Assessments. Most recently he has acted in the High Court in a matter considering the proper scope of Environmental Permits under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (see cases below).
Acting for both Local Authorities and those subject to Enforcement Action. Examples include unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller pitches, unauthorised works to listed buildings, unauthorised development and changes of use.
Local Plans
Advising on the promotion of development proposals through the Local plan process and appearing at Local Plan Examinations (Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan, North Hertfordshire Local Plan, East Cambs Local Plan, Chester and Cheshire West Local Plan Part 2) for clients such as Gladman Developments and Barratt Homes.
Compulsory Purchase
Advising on compulsory purchase matters both for Local Authorities and for those affected. Examples include promoting a CPO for an individual residential property to secure its redevelopment and that it be put back into beneficial use through to a proposal for the compulsory purchase of land for redevelopment as a Gypsy and Traveller Transit Site.
Assets of Community Value
Advising in relation to ACV applications both for Local Authorities and those affected by such applications. Such advice has included in particular the correct statutory process which must be followed, appeals and compensation.
Accommodation for the elderly
Christian advises regularly for scheme promoters on applications for a range of schemes (both with and without care homes) for the accommodation of the elderly and in particular whether the specific proposal at hand triggers (or not) the usual range of contributions required by mainstream residential developments.
Community Infrastructure Levy
Both advising Local Authorities upon the implementation and application of the Community Infrastructure Levy and advising scheme promoters / developers on what contribution requests can be justified along with the interaction between the CIL regime and any proposed (or sought) s106 obligations.
Having worked in property development and being a Chartered Surveyor Christian is well versed in the operation of viability appraisals. Christian has provided advice, seminars and training on this topic particularly in light of the recent revisions as regards viability in the NPPF and the Practice Guidance. It has also been a key feature of a number of the Inquiries that Christian has been involved in.
Notable Cases
R (oao Danning) v Sedgemoor District Council [2021] EWHC 1649 (Admin)
Successful challenge to the LPA’s failure to: (1) discharge its duty under s149(1) Equalities Act 2010 when determining a planning application which would involve the ‘loss’ of a public house, (2) properly interpret its own development plan policies for consideration of the loss of community facilities.
R (oao Squire) v Shropshire Council and Matthew Bower [2019] EWCA Civ 888
The case concerned the scope of Environment Agency Permits issued under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 and whether the LPA had properly considered the direct and indirect environmental impacts of the proposal in terms of manure spreading as required by Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2011.
South Gloucestershire Council v SSHCLG and Barratt Homes (Bristol Division) (2018)
Advised Barratt Homes (led by Jeremy Cahill QC) in defending the claim brought by the LPA against the grant of permission following a public inquiry for up to 121 dwellings and a retail unit in Charfield, Glos. Christian appeared as sole counsel in the High Court oral permission hearing, permission was refused to bring the claim. The claim was brought on the basis that the planning inspector had incorrectly interpreted the provisions of the NPPF (2012 Annex 1) and NPPG on the issue of prematurity (the LPA’s position at the Inquiry being that the proposal was premature to the West of England Joint Spatial Strategy).
R (oao John Williams and Others) v Forest of Dean District Council [2018] EWHC 2409 (Admin)
Successful advised and acted for the Defendant Council in judicial review proceedings brought by the Claimant seeking to challenge the lawfulness of a Breach of Condition Notice issued by the Council requiring the demolition and removal of a building on the Claimant’s land. The claim was brought on three grounds: (1) that the condition in question was manifestly unreasonable and so uncertain in meaning such that it was void, (2) that the Council has misdirected itself when considering whether the building was still ‘needed’ for the purposes of agriculture, (3) that the remedy sought exceeded that which was required to remedy the breach and fell outside the terms of the 1990 Act and so was unreasonable. The claim was dismissed on all three grounds and the subsequent application to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal was refused.
Hearing – Land of Anchor Road, Coleford, Somerset (2021)
Secured planning permission for up to 63 dwellings. Issues: (1) scale of development, (2) outside settlement boundary (greenfield), (3) effects upon landscape and appearance.
Inquiry – Land at Omega Zone 8, St Helens (2021)
Led by Peter Goatley QC – secured detailed permission for B8 logistics warehouse (81,570 sqm) for occupation by T J Morris along with outline permission for B2 and B8 units (123,930 sqm). Main Issue: Green Belt / Very Special Circumstances
Inquiry – Land to south of White Rock, adj Brixham Road, Torbay (2021)
Led by Peter Goatley QC – secured permission for up to 400 dwellings. Issues: location (outside of established built up areas / not allocated), effects upon landscape character (in particular South Devon AONB).
Hearing – Land off Broad Street, Clifton (2019)
Secured planning permission for up to 80 dwellings, Issues: effect of proposed development on the character and appearance of the area and on the setting and identity of Clifton.
Inquiry – Former North Worcestershire Golf Club, Hanging Lane, Birmingham (2019)
Led by Christopher Young QC – secured permission for Bloor Homes for up to 800 dwellings, a primary school and associated development. Issues: 5YHLS, ‘deliverability’, meaning of ‘windfall’ sites.
Inquiry – Wooton Road, Charfield, Glos (2018)
Led by Jeremy Cahill QC – secured permission following a two-week public inquiry for Barratt Homes for up to 121 dwellings and a retail unit. The Main Issues were: (1) Prematurity (the Council contending that the proposal was premature in the context of the emerging West of England Joint Spatial Strategy), (2) Highways and connectivity, (3) Railway safety. The Council’s subsequent challenge to that permission was refused permission.
Inquiry – Land at Harker, Carlisle (2018)
Advised and acted successfully for Carlisle County Council as Education Authority in seeking appropriate financial contributions to be made toward the provision of primary and secondary education arising from a proposal for 300 new dwellings.
Inquiry – Land North of Ashby Road, Tamworth (2018)
Led by Jeremy Cahill QC – secured permission for up to 1,000 dwellings. The application was called in for determination by the SoS. The Main Issues were: (1) Highways mitigation, (2) Education contributions, (3) Affordable Housing provision and (4) whether or not the proposal was required to make financial contributions towards leisure provision in the adjoining local authority area given its proximity to it.
Inquiry – Land at Earl Road and Epsom Avenue, Handforth Dean, Cheshire (2018)
Advised and acted for St Modwen Developments as a Rule 6 Party objecting to the co-joined called in inquiries for (1) up to 23,000m2 Open A1 retail space with 2,274m2 A3/A5 floorspace and (2) for five units of up to 5,130m2 for A1, A3 and A5 use. The Main Issues were: (1) Retail Impact Assessment, (2) Transport / Highways, (3) Trade Diversion and (4) Impact on investment. Decision awaited.
Neighbourhood Plan Examination – Storrington and Sullington and Washington NP 2018-2031 (2018)
Advised and prepared written representations (led by Christopher Young QC) on behalf of Clarion Housing seeking to remove the designation of a site of interest to them as a Local Green Space in the draft NDP. Christian subsequently appeared as sole counsel at the NDP Examination and secured the recommendation of the Examiner that the site be deleted from the NDP and not be designated as a LGS.
Inquiry – Land adj to Sainsbury’s Supermarket, Old Smithfield, Bridgnorth (2017)
Advised and acted successfully for Shropshire Council in the called in inquiry into an application for 5 No retail units of up to 2,573m2. The Council supported the scheme, local traders and residents were a Rule 6 party opposing the scheme. The Main Issues were: (1) Retail Impact Assessment, (2) Loss of car parking / adequacy of car parking, (3) Trade Diversion, (4) Trade leakage and ‘clawback’, (5) Impact upon heritage assets / conservation area.
Hearing / s288 Challenge – Land off Stonepath Drive, Hatfield Peverel (2017)
Acted for Gladman Developments at a Hearing in relation to a refused application to up to 80 dwellings. The appeal was dismissed and Christian continued to act for Gladman (led by Richard Kimblin QC) in bringing a successful challenge to that dismissal. The SoS consented to judgment.
Inquiry – Sandyway Nurseries, Newent, Glos (2017)
Advised and acted successfully for Forest of Dean District Council at public inquiry into the Council’s refusal of permission for the stationing of 23 caravans for occupation by agricultural workers. The Main Issues were: (1) Need, (2) Agricultural Worker Occupancy, (3) Permitted Development.
Inquiry – Land at Leeds Road, Collingham and Breary Lane East, Bramhope (2016)
Led by Jeremy Cahill QC – acted successfully at a 3-week public inquiry for Miller Homes in relation to proposals for 150 and 380 dwellings respectively. The Main Issues were: (1) Five-year housing land supply, (2) Landscape impact, (3) Highways, (4) Flood Risk, (5) Ecology and (6) Drainage.
Inquiry – Land at New Yatt Road, North Leigh, West Oxon (2016)
Led by Peter Goatley – acted successfully for Gladman Developments at public inquiry securing permission for up to 76 dwellings.
Inquiry – Land at Burford Road, Witney, West Oxon (2016)
Led by Peter Goatley – acted successfully for Gladman Developments at public inquiry securing permission for up to 270 dwellings.
Footpath Deletion and Modification Inquiry – Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire (2018)
Advised and acted successfully at Inquiry for Shropshire Council in relation to a proposed Footpath deletion and proposed Footpath modification. The Order was opposed by the landowner affected. The two Orders were confirmed.
Inquiry – The Mill Manager’s House, Cromford Mill, Cromford (2017)
Advised and acted successfully for Derbyshire Dales District Council at Inquiry in relation to an appeal against the Council’s issuing of a Listed Building Enforcement Notice requiring that unauthorised works to the listed Mill Manager’s House (part of the Cromford Mill complex within the Cromford Conservation Area and Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site) be reversed and the building reinstated to its original condition. Christian further advised, following the dismissal of the appeal, in relation to proceedings brought in order to secure compliance with the upheld notice.
Village Green Inquiry – Somerford, Congleton (2017)
Advised and acted successfully at Inquiry for Cheshire East Highways Department in objecting to an application to register an area of land as a village green.
BPP / Broadway House Chambers Public Law Prize 2013
College of Law / Freeth Cartwright Environmental Law Prize 2011
Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
Member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
BPTC – Very Competent, BPP Leeds 2011-2013
GDL – Commendation, College of Law Chester 2009-2011
Postgraduate Diploma in Surveying – Distinction, University of Reading 2009-2011
BA (Hons) History and Politics – 2.1, University of York 1996-1999
Previous Experience
As a Property Director at Lidl UK Christian was responsible for the Runcorn Property Department (comprising the Acquisitions, Construction and Facilities Management teams) covering the North West and North Wales reporting directly to the Regional Director and Board of Directors. Christian was responsible for the property strategy for the area including (1) Acquisition of new sites, (2) Planning, (3) Legal Process, (4) Construction and fit-out of new supermarkets, (5) Management of the existing property portfolio.

Latest News & Publications

Planning analysis: The continued loss of rural pubs to alternative, higher value uses...

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2021
Hitting the statute books at the very start of the now seemingly distant nineties...

Date: Wed, 09 Sep 2020
An unusual case of a developer seeking the intervention of the High Court...

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2020