Peter Goatley KC

Viewing: Planning and Environment for Peter Goatley KC

Peter Goatley KC was called to the Bar in 1992 having previously been a partner in a medium sized commercial solicitors practice.
He acts for a wide range of clients including developers, retailers, construction companies, community groups, house builders, local authorities and government agencies. He specialises in planning and environmental work and has significant expertise in both public inquiries and High Court litigation including judicial review and statutory challenges.
He is joint head of the Planning Group at No5 Chambers and is a regular contributor to its conference and seminar programme. He also provides in-house training on planning and environmental matters to Planning Consultancies, Solicitors, local authorities and professional bodies.
Public Inquiries
Peter Goatley regularly appears at public inquiries throughout England and Wales. In respect of housing, often this includes the detailed examination of objectively assessed need, housing land supply and affordable housing provision. Peter is also presently promoting three Garden Villages.
Among his recent notable public inquiries are:
- Thorpe Road, Station Road, Earls Barton decision (APP/H2835/A/14/2221102) – successfully persuaded the Secretary of State to grant planning permission (post Woodcock) notwithstanding the advanced stage of a neighbourhood development plan,
- Leonard Stanley decision (APP/C1625/A/13/2207324) resulted in the successful promotion of 150 new dwellings despite an argument that the development would involve a “valued landscape”. This was resolved in the Stroud High Court case (see below),
- The successful promotion of up to 215 dwellings including access at Middlegate Road West, Frampton, Kirton, Boston (PINS Ref: APP/Z2505/W/17/3170198),
- The successful promotion of up to 85 dwellings, associated access, parking, landscaping, public open space and associated works at land north of Ross Road, Newent (PINS Ref: APP/P1615/A/14/2228822). This also satisfactorily resolved the NPPF paragraph 134 issue in the Forest of Dean case (see below),
- The successful promotion of 95 dwellings at Olney Road, Lavendon, Milton Keynes (PINS Ref APP/Y0435/W/17/3182048),
- The successful promotion of a site at Marlborough Road, Wroughton for 103 dwellings, despite the then very recently issued Written Ministerial Statement on Housing and Neighbourhood Development Plans (PINS Ref: APP/U3935/W/16/3147902),
- The successful promotion of the land at New Yatt Road, North Leigh, Oxfordshire, for development of up to 76 dwellings (PINS Ref: APP/D3125/W/15/3136376),
- The successful promotion of Marriage Hill Nurseries Bidford on Avon for 75 dwellings (PINS Ref: APP/J3720/W/15/3010653),
- Successfully persuading the Secretary of State to grant planning permission for 270 dwellings at Burford Road, Witney, West Oxfordshire (PINS Ref: APP/D31225/W/15/3005737),
- The successful promotion of an extension to provide additional class A1 retail floorspace at Waterton Retail Park, Waterton, Bridgend, CF31 3TN (PINS Ref: APP/F6915/A/17/3167313),
- Crematoria development in Staffordshire and Hertfordshire,
- Renewable energy - including windfarms and turbines (at Coleford, Bottesford, Haversham and Asfordby) biomass (including Barton power station), solar (South Gloucestershire and Tewkesbury) and anaerobic digestion (Atherstone),
- Highways - including A500 Pathfinder Scheme and Temple Sowerby bypass,
- Motorway Service Areas – including those on the M42, M5, M6 and A1/M1,
- Odour and noise impact related developments.
Local Plan Examinations
Peter has been involved in many Local Plan examinations including, recently:
- The West Oxfordshire Local Plan
- North Hertfordshire Local Plan
- Melton Mowbray Local Plan
- Luton Local Plan
“Peter is really detail-orientated and forensic, with an eye for the detail.”
Chambers UK 2023
“Peter is really easy and approachable. He provides pragmatic and sensible advice that the clients can understand easily.”
Legal 500 2023
“Peter has an amazing ability to assimilate information and present his case in a first-class manner.” “A star performer in terms of commercial ability and advice.”
Chambers UK 2022
“He is very easy to work with, really good with the clients, ‘user friendly’ as well as having a firm grasp of the issues and being a really good advocate. He’s got it all really.”
Legal 500 2022
“He is extremely knowledgeable and commercial in his approach to planning cases.” “An excellent advocate in all situations. He gives great commercial advice and is a reliable tactician.”
Chambers UK 2021
“His communication skills are excellent: he is able to avoid technical jargon, and puts clients at ease. He readily understands complex technical data and arguments.” “He gives very commercial advice and is very aware of clients’ needs: he gives a very balanced and realistic view of the merits of a certain course of action.”
Chambers UK
Receives praise for his impressive range of experience and his track record in large-scale renewable and infrastructure work. Sources highlight his advocacy and his detail-oriented approach. “He’s accessible, user-friendly, quick-thinking and generous with his time.” “I’ve been impressed with him in inquiries. He conducts himself very well and has a very good manner.”
Chambers UK
“His attention to detail and his arguments were completely sound, and in court he was well prepared and well presented.”
Chambers UK
Vastly experienced junior Peter Goatley operates extensively out of all three of No5 Chambers’ offices. He wins extensive client praise, particularly for his appellate work as “he always achieves a good working relationship with the team and provides practical guidance. He is able to assimilate extensive amounts of information and is always thoroughly prepared for the case. In addition to pure legal advice, he is willing to give pragmatic and tactical advice. He has extensive experience and detailed knowledge of the various technical areas connected with planning, such as noise and highways, and he is very effective in cross-examination, having a firm, measured, but non-aggressive approach to cross-examining witnesses. Planning inspectors greatly appreciate his approach and contributions.”
Chambers UK
Peter Goatley is ‘a go-to barrister for planning and judicial review’.
Legal 500
Notable Cases
Stroud DC v SoS [2015] EWHC 488 (Admin)
Leading decision upon what constitutes a “valued landscape” pursuant to paragraph 109 of the NPPF. Peter successfully argued that this required a site to have “demonstrable physical attributes”.
R(Crematorium Management) v Welwyn Hatfield DC [2018] EWHC 382 (Admin)
Successfully quashed a grant of planning permission for a new crematorium where the officer’s report significantly misled members as to the extent of available crematorium capacity in the locality
Codex Land Promotion Ltd v SoSCLG and Wychavon DC
Successfully argued (on behalf of the LPA) that the Appellant was required to comply with a Grampian condition requiring a link to the adjacent site. This was also the subject of subsequent litigation in CO/6516/2016 in which the Planning Court also upheld the local authority’s argument.
Forest of Dean District Council v SOSCLG and Anor [2016] EWHC 2429 (Admin)
This upheld and followed the Stroud case on valued landscapes.
Forest of Dean District Council v SoSCLG and Anor [2016] EWHC 421 (Admin)
04 March 2016
The first leading case on the operation of the tilted balance involving designated heritage assets and paragraph 134 of the NPPF. At the subsequent redetermination appeal (see earlier above) successfully demonstrated development complied with that test.
Stroud DC v SoS [2015] EWHC 488 (Admin)
Leading decision upon what constitutes a “valued landscape” pursuant to paragraph 109 of the NPPF. Peter successfully argued that this required a site to have “demonstrable physical attributes”.
Fox Land and Property Ltd v SoSCLG [2015] EWHC Civ 298
03 March 2015
Leading case on the considering the green belt status to land where the principal green belt policy had been revoked.
Trafford Borough Council v SoSCLG and Anor [2014] EWHC 424 (Admin)
Successfully defended the grant of planning permission (following public inquiry) by the Secretary of State for the Barton Power Station Biomass proposal.
Cotswold District Council v SoSCLG and Anor [2013] EWHC 3719 (Admin)
Appeared for successful Appellant who had received permission following an earlier inquiry. The case raised a multiplicity of points including the definition of “persistent under-delivery of housing”. Peter’s clients prevailed, and the permission was upheld.
Lawson Builders Ltd and Ors v SoSCLG and Anor [2013] EWHC 3368 (Admin)
Leading case on the interrelationship between section 73 and section 73A of the Ton and Country Planning Act 1990 in respect of retrospective applications for permission.
Welcome Break Group Ltd and Ors, R (on the application of) v Stroud District Council and Anor [2012] EWHC 140 (Admin)
Leading case on the operation of CIL regulation 122 and whether the planning obligation provided by the site developer was necessary, directly related to the development, fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development proposed.
Hinde v Rugby Borough Council and Ors [2011] EWHR 3684 (Admin)
The leading case on the (then) change in the timeframe for bringing a challenge to the adoption of a development plan document. Peter acted for the Interested Party who successfully argued that the claim was one day out of time.
Gavin, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Haringey and Anor [2003] EWHC 2591 (Admin)
Successfully defended the grant of planning permission. which was being challenged for a number of errors made by the local planning authority in processing the application.
R (on the application of Holding and Barnes plc and Alconbury Developments Limited) v SoSETR[2001] UKHL 23; [2003] 2 AC 295; [2001] 2 WLR 1389; [2001] 2 All ER 929
The application of the Human Rights Act 1998 to the planning system.
Varey v United Kingdom (2000) 30 EHRR CD39
Successful pursuit of a claim for compensation against the UK Government for the breach of a gypsy’s human rights by reason of two unwarranted refusals of planning permission made by the Secretary of State.
Staffordshire County Council v Riley and others [2001] EWCA Civ 257; [2002] PLCR 5
Leading case on the irrelevance of intention in respect of the implementation of planning permission.
Stirk and Ors v Bridgnorth District Council [1996] EWCA Civ 701
Important case establishing the need for conscientious examination of an objector’s case to a local plan inquiry particularly where the local authority was both proposer and decision maker and thereby under an enhanced obligation to deal thoroughly, conscientiously and fairly with any objection.
Peter is a member of the Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA)
MA (Oxon)

Latest News & Publications

Peter Goatley QC and Christian Hawley have succeeded in obtaining planning permission for Miller Developments and TJ Morris for over 2.2 million square feet of B2 and B8 distribution space in the green belt to the east of St Helens....

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2021
Horizon Cremation have succeeded in obtaining planning permission for a new crematorium at Oxted following a public inquiry...

Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2021
Peter Goatley QC and Christian Hawley have succeeded in obtaining planning permission for up to 373 dwellings together with strategic landscaping and other infrastructure in Torbay....

Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2021