Howard Leithead

Viewing: Planning and Environment for Howard Leithead

Howard is a specialist planning and environmental barrister. He is experienced in dealing with appeals to the Secretary of State (drafting written representations and appearing in hearings and inquiries) and in representing clients in cases in courts and tribunals from the magistrates’ court to the Court of Appeal.
He acts for and advises clients of all types, including developers, local authorities, campaign groups, local residents, and private individuals.
Howard accepts instructions both from professional clients and on a public access basis.
Enforcement
The enforcement work in which Howard is engaged broadly falls into three main areas: (1) appeals to the Secretary of State against enforcement notices and other enforcement actions; (2) High Court work, such as s.289 appeals and applications for injunctions; and (3) criminal prosecutions (such as for breach of an enforcement notice, or for harm to a heritage asset) and other court work (such as s.215 notices and advertising control).
Howard is skilled at providing clear advice and advocacy and is focused particularly on helping clients to find practical solutions in an area where the law can be particularly complex.
Appeals:
- Land at Unit 33, Lordswood Industrial Estate, Chatham, Kent APP/U2235/C/20/3247757, represented the developer in an appeal against an enforcement notice concerned with a car park within an industrial estate
- Land at Flat 5, 28 Harrington Gardens, London, APP/K5600/C/18/3195807 (808), represented the developer in an appeal against an enforcement notice concerned with a terrace on a residential property, which was eventually withdrawn after reaching agreement with the local planning authority
- Land at Elgar Coaches, Lightwood Lane, Cotheridge, APP/J1860/C/17/3187661 (665), represented the local planning authority in an appeal against enforcement notices concerned with unauthorized operational development on a commercial site
- Land at Watercress Farm, Bristol Road, Wraxhall, APP/D0121/C/18/3194965 (994/995), represented the developer in an appeal against an enforcement notices which were concerned with the material change of use of land to a mixed use that included residential use
Notable case:
- Ball v Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government (High Court, ongoing), representing the appellant in a s.289 appeal against an appeal decision of the Secretary of State
Development
Howard is involved in a variety of development work. Much of his work is focused on helping clients to obtain or oppose grants of planning permission, including at the planning application stage, in appeals to the Secretary of State, and in challenges in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
He is experienced in dealing with all the main issues that arise in this context, such as heritage impact, Green Belt, interpretation of policy, landscape and visual impact, appropriateness of location and sustainable travel, five years housing land supply, highways, air quality, ecology, viability, affordable housing, and the public sector equality duty.
Other development issues that he deals with include disputes over the interpretation of planning permissions and listed building consents, section 106 agreements, lawful development certificates, applicability of permitted development rights (such as in relation to domestic projects, agricultural buildings and barn conversions), use class disputes, implications of the granting of planning permissions by mistake, and issues that arise in the context of mineral permissions.
Howard also has a particular interest in compulsory purchase disputes and has represented the Secretary of State for Transport in valuation references to the Upper Tribunal concerning properties compulsorily purchased to facilitate the development of the new HS2 Euston Station.
Appeals:
- Land off Melton Road, Burton on the Wolds, Leicestershire, APP/X2410/W/20/3264488, represented the local planning authority in an appeal against its refusal to grant planning permission for a proposed housing development (appropriateness of location, affordable housing, impact of an emerging neighbourhood plan)
- Land at Former Poultry Processing Plant, Haughley Park, Haughley, Stowmarket, APP/W3520/W/20/3258516, led by Richard Kimblin QC, represented the developer in an appeal against the refusal of the local planning authority to grant planning permission for a housing development adjacent to a Grade I listed building (heritage, appropriateness of location, commercial impact, noise, highway)
- Land at Barn, Back Lane, Darley Moor, Matlock, APP/P1045/X/19/3223796, represented the local planning authority in an appeal against its refusal to grant a lawful development certificate (time limits for enforcement action and permitted development rights)
- Land to the east of Reading Road, Lower Shiplake, Oxfordshire, APP/Q3115/W/19/3220425, led by Christopher Young QC, represented the developer in an appeal concerning the proposed redevelopment of a retirement village, (accommodation for the elderly, highways, landscape and visual impact, five years housing land supply, affordable housing)
- Land at Oakhurst Rise, Charlton Kings Cheltenham, APP/B1065/W/19/3227293, led by Satnam Choongh, represented the developer in an appeal against the local planning authority’s refusal to grant planning permission for housing development appeal housing development (heritage, arboricultural, ecology, affordable housing)
- Land at Clack Hill, Kettering Road, Market Harborough, APP/F2415/W/17/3190327, acted for the local planning authority and secured a costs award against the appellant after it withdrew its appeal shortly before the inquiry was scheduled to take place (landscape and visual impact, five years housing land supply)
- William Sutton Estate, Cale Street, London, APP/K5600/W/17/3177810 (Secretary of State decision), represented Save the Sutton Estate, a Rule 6 Party, which opposed the proposed demolition and redevelopment of the Sutton Estate (heritage, design, effect on character and appearance of the area, viability)
- Land south of High Street, Tetsworth, Oxfordshire, APP/Q3115/W17/3182192, led by Jeremy Cahill QC, acted for the developer in an appeal against the local planning authority’s refusal to grant planning permission for a housing development (landscape and visual impact, sustainable travel, highways, educational provision)
- Land at Foxley Lane, Binfield, Berkshire, APP/R0335/W/17/3177088, led by Christopher Young QC, represented the developer in an appeal against the local planning authority’s refusal to grant planning permission for a housing development (landscape and visual impact, objectively assessed housing need, five years housing land supply, affordable housing, heritage, agricultural land, highways, sustainability, air quality and impact on a Special Protection Area (SPA))
- Mythe Bridge House, Tewkesbury, Worcestershire, APP/J1860/X/3171996, represented the local planning authority in an appeal against a refusal to grant a lawful development certificate (permitted development rights, interpretation of pre-commencement conditions)
- Land to the north of Oaks Road, Great Glen, Leicester, APP/F2415/W/17/3167654, represented the local planning authority, which did not give evidence in the appeal (landscape and visual impact, five years housing land supply, sustainable travel, drainage and flooding)
- Land at Daw Mill Colliery, Arley, North Warwickshire, APP/R3705/W/16/3149827 (Secretary of State decision), led by Christopher Young QC, represented the local planning authority, which opposed a proposed development on a former mining site (Green Belt, landscape and visual impact, ecology, noise, tranquility, restoration plan, employment land)
- Land south east of Warwick Road, Kibworth Beauchamp, APP/F2415/W/16/3152485, represented the local planning authority, which did not give evidence in the appeal (educational provision, sustainable travel)
Notable cases:
- County of Herefordshire District Council v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (High Court, ongoing), representing the local planning authority claimant in s.288 statutory review concerning a residential development where the Secretary of State and the interested parties have indicated that they will consent to judgment
- Miah v Secretary of State for Transport; Diamond and Diamond v Secretary of State for Transport (Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), 2020), represented the Secretary of State in valuation references relating to properties compulsorily purchased as part of the HS2 project
- R (Besser) v Brighton and Hove County Council (Court of Appeal, 2020), led by Christopher Young QC, represented the developers of a proposed development that included a new synagogue in opposing a judicial review claim in the High Court (unled) and the Court of Appeal
- Retirement Villages Development Ltd v Oxfordshire County Council (High Court, 2020), led by Christopher Young QC, judicial review claim linked to a planning appeal concerning Land to the east of Reading Road (see above) regarding the speed limit on a stretch of road adjacent to the appeal site, which was discontinued after the Secretary of State granted planning permission
- Lucy Developments Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (High Court, 2019), led by Richard Kimblin QC, challenged an appeal decision in a section 288 review concerning a residential development where the Secretary of State consented to judgment
- R (Mencke) v London Borough of Islington (High Court, 2019), acted for a local resident opposing a controversial development near her property
Environmental
Howard undertakes a range of environmental work, both within the context of planning disputes and separately.
This includes: appeals to the Secretary of State, statutory nuisance, judicial review claims, and criminal prosecutions (including those relating to waste disposal).
Appeal:
- Nine Mile Point Industrial Estate, Cwmfelinfach, Caerphilly, ENV/3172985, represented local campaign group who opposed an application for an environmental permit for the operation of a waste recycling facility to produce solid recovered fuel and waste derived fuel (air quality)
Other
- Opposed application to discharge extended civil restraint order in the High Court in Bozeat v Hannington Parish Council and Swindon Borough Council [2019] EWHC 2894
Further Experience
Howard regularly writes articles and speaks about planning and environmental issues. He provides expert analysis articles for LexisPSL, appears on No5 Planning Podcasts, takes part in webinars, and gives papers at seminars and conferences. He has also contributed to several specialist publications, including the NAPE Planning Enforcement Handbook.
He is committed to education and training and is involved in training professional witnesses for planning inquiries, coaching law students, and judging mooting competitions.
Awards
Major Scholarship, Inner Temple
Exhibition Award, Inner Temple
Lightfoot Prize, University of Cambridge
Senior Scholarship and Tripos Prize, Trinity College, Cambridge
Memberships
Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA)
United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA)
Inner Temple
Qualifications
GDL and BPTC, City University, London
MPhil, Trinity College, Cambridge (Distinction)
BA (Hons), Trinity College, Cambridge (First Class)

Latest News & Publications

Greenpeace Limited (“Greenpeace”) appealed to the Court of Session (Inner House, First Division) against decisions made by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy...

Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2021
Planning analysis: The Supreme Court considered a costs challenge concerning a planning statutory review...

Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2021
It has been widely reported in the media that hundreds of drivers who have been convicted of drug driving offences could see their convictions being overturned...

Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2021