Douglas Armstrong QC is a member of the Planning and Environmental Law Group at No5 Barristers’ Chambers.
Douglas Armstrong’s principal areas of practice cover Planning, Environmental, Property, Local Government, Administrative, Constitutional and Licensing law. He has appeared at inquiries, hearings and challenges concerned with a wide range of matters including residential and retail development, landfill/waste, mineral, flooding, roads, infrastructure, compulsory purchase, renewable energy generation proposals, enforcement notices, listed buildings and local plans. He has represented developers, planning authorities and special interest groups. Douglas advises on Development Plan policies, large infrastructure (including roads, rail and bridge) proposals, Section 75 Agreements and Performance Bonds and Environmental law issues including contaminated land. He has appeared in the Court of Session in statutory appeals and judicial reviews. Douglas has appeared in the Supreme Court.
Douglas has advised on major public procurement and competition law issues. Douglas has appeared in relation to numerous licensing matters including a number of recent cases in relation to the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act. He has advised on Licensing policy under the 2005 Act and in relation to Taxi and Entertainment licenses. He has appeared before Licensing Boards. Douglas has advised on Rating and Valuation matters. He has advised on Core Path Plans and access rights and has appeared in the Lands Tribunal and the Land Court. Douglas has advised numerous local authorities and interested parties on Administrative, Local Government and Election law. Douglas regularly advises on Public Law Matters. He appears at Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He has also appeared and advised on Regulatory Crime matters.
“Involved in most of the major planning cases in Scotland. He is excellent to deal with.” “An excellent QC. He is in a small group of exceptional planning silks in Scotland.”
Chambers UK 2020
“An excellent advocate who knows his stuff inside out.”
Legal 500 2020
“Very good on his feet and very hard working”; “He has a strong grasp of the intricacies of a case.”
Chambers UK 2019
“Highly respected for his work across a range of planning matters...he is praised by sources for his broad planning knowledge.” “One of Scotland's leading planning seniors. He builds a good rapport with clients, is thorough and accurate in his analysis, and is widely respected by his peers.”
Chambers UK 2018
Highly respected for his work across a range of planning matters and has a particular expertise in matters relating to renewable energy and large-scale infrastructure projects, particularly those concerning highways and road bridges. He is praised by sources for his broad planning knowledge. “He is very approachable and excellent in consultations with clients.” “One of Scotland’s leading planning seniors. He builds a good rapport with clients, is thorough and accurate in his analysis, and is widely respected by his peers.”
Chambers UK 2017
“He has excellent oral advocacy skills.”
Legal 500 2017
Handles many of the most high-profile matters and is particularly expert in renewable energy, large scale infrastructure and retail developments. He is recommended by instructing solicitors for his approach to complex contaminated land matters and for his reassuring manner. “He is very experienced and able to present complex planning arguments to the court in a structured and understandable way. He has an outstanding knowledge of all the case law.”
Chambers UK 2016
Acclaimed for his expertise in heavyweight matters across the infrastructure and energy fields. Sources note his impressive background in the environmental aspects of major developments. “He thinks very strategically - there's always a game plan - and he gives very pragmatic, sensible advice.” “He very quickly becomes part of the team. He’s approachable, an excellent communicator and pretty damn brilliant on his feet.”
Chambers UK 2015
A highly experienced silk whose practice is principally focused on planning, environmental and property work. He receives regular instructions from a broad range of clients, including planning authorities, special interest groups and developers. “His thoroughness in preparation is reflected by his eloquence on his feet.”
Chambers UK 2014
Persimmon Homes Limited v Scottish Ministers (2019) CSIH 30 - planning appeal.
Apprentice Boys of Derry v Glasgow City Council (2019) SC GLA 80, 1 October 2019 - public procession case.
Roddam Home and Another v City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 24 April 2019, statutory interpretation of the Edinburgh District Council Order Confirmation Act 1991 - statutory notices (case reference No A411/18)
Windy Standard III Wind Farm Inquiry (DPEA Reference WIN-170-2003)
Golden v Scottish Ministers and City of Edinburgh Council (Court of Session Ref XA53/18 - statutory appeal - short term lets)
Gladman Developments Limited v Scottish Ministers (2018) CSIH17 (challenge to Clydeplan) Jordanhill Community Council v Glasgow City Council and CALA  CSOH11 (Judicial Review of Local Authority Decision)
Simon Byrom v City of Edinburgh Council  CSIH 3 (Inner House opinion), and 4th January 2018, Statement of Reasons on PEO.
Patton v East Renfrewshire Council and Taylor Wimpey  CSOH 158 (Judicial Review)
RSPB v Scottish Ministers and Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Limited (19th July 2017), Inner House Decision on application to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Simon Byrom v City of Edinburgh Council  CSOH 135 (Judicial Review - listed building and air quality issues)
Fife Council v Royal Sun Alliance Insurance  CSOH 15 (commercial action - proof)
RSPB v Scottish Ministers and Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Limited (2017) CSIH 31 (Reclaiming Motion Judicial Review)
Fife Council v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (2017) CSOH 28 (Commercial Action - Section 75 Agreement)
Glasgow Queen Street Station. Transport and Works Order Inquiry (for lead objector).
ASDA v Dundee City Council (Judicial Review) (2017)
Taylor Wimpey v Scottish Ministers (Statutory Appeal)  CSIH 94
Hamcap v NorthLanarkshire Council (unreported 24 November 2016) (permission to proceed in Judicial Review)
Co-Operative Group Ltd v Glasgow City Council 2016 CSOH 88 (Judicial Review)
Stranoch Wind Farm, Section 36 Consent, 8 July 2016: Reference WIN-170-2000
Gibson v Scottish Ministers and Scottish Power Renewables (2016) CSIH 31 (expenses)
Corlic Hill Wind Turbine Appeal, Planning Appeal Ref: PPA-280-2022 (17 May 2016)
St Andrews Environmental Protections Association Limited v Fife Council (2016) CSIH 22
Harestanes, Section 36 wind farm, decision of the Scottish Ministers (Case Reference WIN-170-2001)
Scarborough Muir Group Limited v Scottish Ministers (2016) CSIH 5 (Forth Bridge Crossing case)
Gibson v Scottish Ministers and Scottish Power Renewables (2016) CSIH 10 (PEO decision)
Clean Power Properties Limited v South Lanarkshire Council Planning Appeal (PPA-380-2049), decision dated 14 August 2015 - energy from waste proposal.
Gibson, re Judicial Review (2015) CSOH 41
Grange Estates and Others v Network Rail, Lands tribunal Scotland, compensation claim for Borders Railway (2015)
Central Radio Taxis (Tolcross) Limited v City of Edinburgh Council (Sheriff Court 24 March 2015)
St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Limited v Fife Council  CSOH 27
Vice-Chairman, Terra Firma Chambers, 2008-2012
Member of various ad hoc committees of the Faculty of Advocates
Member of various ad hoc committees of the Faculty of Advocates
LL.B (Hons) (1986), University of Aberdeen
Dip.L.P. (1987), University of Aberdeen
Practising member of English Bar since 1999, No5 Chambers, London, Birmingham and Bristol.