Leanne is a specialist Planning and Housing practitioner. She has been previously recognised in Planning Magazine’s Guide to Planning Lawyers and Law Survey as one of the top planning juniors under 35. She was also included in the Women of Influence 2018 list in the RTPI’s The Planner magazine.
Leanne regularly advises and represents developers, Local Planning Authorities and Rule 6 Parties at all stages of the process on a broad range of planning matters including large residential developments, changes of use, stationing of mobile homes and caravans, development within residential curtilages and “granny annexes”, the interpretation and application of the Use Classes Order, Lawful Development Certificates, Assets of Community Value (ACVs), highways and Rights of Way. She has also advised on planning policy making and interpretation of policy.
Leanne’s dual expertise as both a planning and housing barrister, and her previous broad general civil litigation background, gives her a strong understanding of the litigation process which is particularly helpful in the context of injunctive proceedings in the County and High Court.
Planning Inquiries and Hearings
Leanne is regularly instructed to act for developers, Local Planning Authorities and Rule 6 Parties at inquiry and hearing covering a wide range of planning issues. She is an experienced advocate having appeared at more than 30 inquiries and hearings, both led and in her own right, since she started practising in planning law.
The main focus of Leanne’s work is on residential development projects, large and small. Recent work has included:
Land North West of Goring Station, Goring-by-Sea, Worthing [APP/A5270/W/21/3275781]
Outline application for a mixed-use development including up to 475 residential dwellings, station parking and a local centre. 2-week inquiry with issues including landscape, highways, heritage, prematurity and housing need. Represented the Appellant, led by Paul Cairnes Q.C.
54-58 Stanley Gardens, Acton, London [APP/A5270/W/21/3275781]
Demolition and redevelopment to provide 72 residential units and commercial (class E) uses 1,116m2. 2-week inquiry with issues including vacant building credit, viability, employment land use and housing need. Represented the Appellant, led by Charles Banner Q.C.
Land at Little Sparrows, Sonning Common, Oxfordshire [APP/Q3115/W/20/3265861]
Hybrid application for full planning permission in respect of 73 assisted living units within a village core building with ancillary facilities together with outline permission for up to 60 assisted living units with ancillary community space. 2-week inquiry with issues including need and policy on extra care, AONB (exceptional circumstances), landscape, design and 5YHLS. Represented the Appellant, led by Christopher Young Q.C.
Footzie Social Club, Station Approach, Lower Sydenham [APP/G5180/W/20/3257010]
Demolition and redevelopment for four to eleven storey development comprising 254 residential units. 2-week called-in inquiry with issues including Metropolitan Open Land (VSC), character and appearance, living conditions and affordable housing. Represented the Appellant, led by Christopher Young Q.C.
Land North of Viaduct, Ledbury [APP/W1850/W/20/3244410]
Outline application for a mixed-use development including up to 625 residential dwellings, up to 2.9ha of B1 employment land, and a canal corridor. 2-week called-in inquiry with issues including highways, infrastructure, AONB, heritage and flooding. Represented the Appellant, led by Christopher Young Q.C.
Site of the former Hazeldens Nursery, London Road, Albourne, West Sussex [APP/D3830/W/19/3241644]
Outline application for an extra care development of up to 84 units including associated communal facilities. 2-week called-in inquiry with issues including the need for extra care, landscape, BMV land, Heritage and accessibility. Represented the Appellant, led by Christopher Young Q.C.
Land to the rear of the former Dylon International Premises, Station Approach, Lower Sydenham, London [APP/G5180/W/18/3206569]
Demolition and redevelopment for four to eight storey development comprising 151 residential units and an estate road. 2-week called-in inquiry with issues including Metropolitan Open Land (VSC), character and appearance, living conditions and 5YHLS. Represented the Appellant, led by Christopher Young Q.C.
Leanne has acted, both led and in her own right, at inquiries relating to motorway service area development and public rights of way. Recent work has included:
Land between Junctions 16 and 17 of the M25, near Chalfont St Peter [APP/X0415/W/21/3272171]
Outline application for the erection of a motorway service area including a facilities building, fuel filling station and up to 100-bedroom hotel. 2-week inquiry with issues including metropolitan Green Belt (VSC), landscape, BMV land, veteran trees and ancient woodland, biodiversity, and aviation safety. Represented the Appellant, led by Satnam Choongh.
Gloucestershire County Council Public Footpath CHL 6, Parish of Leckhampton [ROW/3249302]
2-day inquiry in respect of the proposed stopping up of public right of way.
Leanne is regularly instructed to act in respect of matters relating to planning enforcement.
In addition to representing parties at enforcement inquiries, Leanne also has experience advising and providing representation at Court for local authorities and Defendants in respect of:
- Injunctive action pursuant to section 187B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972.
- Advising with regard to Direct Action and Stop Notices.
- Committals following breach of injunctions.
Given the importance of early action, Leanne is frequently instructed to advise in writing and in conference.
Statutory appeals and Judicial Review
Leanne has experience acting and advising on both judicial review and statutory appeals to the High Court and above. Early advice can be invaluable and Leanne’s advice is comprehensive and accessible.
Leanne regularly delivers seminars and training across a broad range of planning topics. As a qualified trainer, she is able to produce more bespoke packages for local authorities, businesses and other organisations.
In addition to her instructions, as past Chair of the South Coast Young Planners Network Leanne remains an active member of the RTPI. She has been invited to speak at seminars and to judge awards.
Encouraging access to the profession is extremely important to Leanne and she frequently speaks at schools as well as to students. She has previously filmed a segment for the RTPI’s project with Fun Kidz Radio “Agent Plan-IT” to encourage school aged children to engage with planning. Leanne is also an active mentor.
“Her cross-examination gets results.” “She is thorough and meticulous, shows good attention to detail and is a good advocate.”
Chambers UK 2020
R. (on the application of Hollings) v Bath and North East Somerset Council  5 WLUK 375
Successfully represented the Claimant in judicial review proceedings challenging a controversial grant of planning permission and listed building consent for development within the Bath World Heritage Site on heritage and other grounds.
Kestrel Hydro v. Secretary of State CLG and Spelthorne Borough Council  EWCA Civ 784
Successful defence on appeal of the Local Planning Authority’s pursuit of enforcement action; the juridical basis for Murfitt and Somak Travel; the extent of Bowring and also compliance of ground (F) appeals with Article 1 Protocol 1. Led by Scott Stemp.
Past Chair of the RTPI South Coast Young Planners Network Steering Group
LLB (Hons) Bristol
MSc FPC (Open)
BVC, Bristol Institute of Legal Practice
Civil and Commercial Mediator, ADR Group