Richard Humphreys KC

Viewing: Planning and Environment for Richard Humphreys KC

Richard has extensive experience in planning, environment, highways, compulsory purchase and local government law, practising in courts at all levels, at public inquiries and related advisory work.
He joined No5 in 2014 having previously practised at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, London for 20 years and Francis Taylor Building, London for 6 years.
Planning practice includes extensive experience in substantial regeneration and infrastructure projects, including highways and aviation, development plan preparation, SA/SEA/HRA and EIA, residential, industrial/office, retail, heritage, leisure, agriculture, minerals and waste development, certificates of lawfulness and enforcement notices.
Development Plans
Richard has been instructed to advise upon and appear at a number of Development plans and has considerable experience of promoting and opposing plans as well as representing clients in Legal Challenges to adopted Local Plans.
Recent instructions have related to Wiltshire Core Strategy, Lichfield Local Plan, Mendip Local Plan Part 1, West Lancashire Local Plan, Stafford Local Plan Parts 1 and 2, Hartlepool Local Plan, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Gloucester Plans, Harrogate Local Plan, North Essex Part 1 Local Plans and, currently, St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, Carlisle.
Richard has advised and/or represented a large number of developers (including Bellway Homes, Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson, Redrow Homes, Barratts/BDW, Linden Homes, Orbit Homes and Orchard Homes) and Local Authorities at many public inquiries and through subsequent Legal Challenges. Richard therefore has a very good working knowledge of OAN, 5 year supply, employment, viability, Green Belt, heritage, landscape and EIA and Habitats Regulations issues. He recently secured a planning permission for residential development for North Warwickshire and Hinckley College.
He is currently representing the Appellant in the Court of Appeal in Corbett v. Cornwall County Council (interpretation of policy).
Richard has represented large retailers including Asda, Tesco, Aldi, Safeway, the Co-op and B and Q as well as retail park operators and Local Authorities. Richard has extensive experience of convenience and comparison goods retailing, retail warehousing, warehouse clubs, and applications for certificates of lawful use in respect thereof. Recent examples include out of town retail developments in Sunderland and proposed new stores for Aldi at Fletton Close, Leicester and Great Barr, Birmingham.
Richard has advised and /or represented numerous clients in relation to a wide range of such proposals, from Europe’s largest bottle making and filling factory, office development in the grounds of a listed building, a multisports complex, holiday park development and a crematorium. He has also advised Tritax Symmetry Ltd (and related companies) on a wide range of logistics sites (see, too, under “Highways” below).
Richard has many years’ experience of projects which potentially affect heritage assets (both designated and non-designated). Examples include Nutfield, West Sussex enabling development, works affecting listed buildings, Dunstable and Eaton Bray, Harlestone, Northants enforcement inquiry, St John’s Wood, London Robert Adam residential development, Extension of listed building, St John’s WoodWater Research Company office redevelopment, Medmenham, West Walls of Carlisle/Tesco retail inquiry, Milton Keynes Council – Tesco, Wolverton redevelopment , Weston Lane, Shavington, Cheshire, inquiries at Melksham and Semington, Wiltshire, Ticehurst, East Sussex and Calne, Wiltshire.
Richard has been involved in some of the largest schemes considered at inquiry. He has experience of the DCO process under the Planning Act 2008, as well as substantial infrastructure development pursuant to the Town and County Planning Act 1990, the Transport and Works Act 1992, the Electricity Act 1989 and other infrastructure related legislation. Examples include the Thames Gateway Bridge, the City of London heliport, Redhill Aerodrome, Manchester Second Runway, Heathrow Terminal 5, London Gateway (Shellhaven) container port development, Carlisle Airport freight development, London Oxford Airport, telecommunication mast cases, wind turbine inquiries inquiries and proposed solar farms. Richard has advised and acted for the CAA in respect of numerous airports including Manchester, Stansted, Cardiff, Southampton and City Airport, London.
Richard has wide-ranging experience in agricultural development, from poultry processing to pig and cattle farming, to large scale greenhouse production and agricultural land classification.
Minerals and Waste
Richard has been involved in numerous cases involving mineral extraction (from tin to limestone to sand and gravel to gypsum to fullers earth; as well as waste development. He has represented some of the largest Quarry and Waste operators in the country , including Tarmac and Aggregate Industries. He has particular expertise in relation to issues concerning interpretation of permissions and conditions, review of minerals permissions, permitted development rights, environmental impact assessments requirements, viability of extraction, compatibility with residential development, sterilisation of minerals, assessment of reserves and resources, the sale of mineral product, the meaning of waste, waste delivery and the interpretation of supply agreements.
More recent case examples include Former Fullers’ Earth site, Bath; Cornelly Quarries near Bridgend and Mepal Quarry, Cambridgeshire.
Richard has advised and/or represented numerous clients in relation to Highways matter. Experience includes road improvement schemes, bypass inquiries, Motorway Service Areas, Toll Roads, road bridges and footbridges, stopping up/ diversion of highways orders, and rights of way. He is currently representing DB Symmetry Ltd in the Supreme Court (Swindon BC v. DB Symmetry Ltd and Secretary of State (whether a planning condition does and can require a landowner to dedicate a right of way to the public).
Richard successfully argued the still leading case of R v Wicks in the House of Lords (the scope for a Defendant to challenge the validity of an enforcement notice when prosecuted for non-compliance). He has appeared at numerous enforcement inquiries and has in-depth knowledge of enforcement law.
Recent instructions have included those from Wycombe DC (Babs Park, Bourne End), and from Nick Hood (Brush Garage, Walsall).
Environmental work has included numerous advices and/or representation in respect of statutory and public/private nuisances, , environmental protection (prescribed processes, substances and waste) regulations, and hazardous substances regulations, including in relation to Buncefield depot, Hemel Hempstead. Recent instructions include representing Cank Farm, Tanworth-in-Arden (nuisance case) in the High Court.
Compulsory Purchase and Regeneration
Compulsory purchase work includes section 17 inquiries (certificates of appropriate alternative development), section 226 TCPA 1990 inquiries/compulsory acquisition for development/planning purposes, compensation, section 84 Law of Property Act 1925 applications (restrictive covenants), and Lands Tribunal(Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal) work.
Recent CPO work include the Network Rail (London to Corby)(Land acquisition, level crossing and bridge works) Order (Bovis Homes Ltd) , and the promotion of the Manchester City (Brunswick) CPO.
Local Government
Local government work includes advising on the scope of statutory powers (including financial), State Aid, governance, the constitution of committees (including political balance), election law, Code of Conduct issues, freedom of information, the acquisition, appropriation and disposal of land, emergency planning, urgent works notices, the provision of affordable housing, the establishment, diversion, extinguishment and protection of public rights of way, town and village greens, common land, charter and statutory markets and fairs, hackney carriage licensing, caravan site licensing and duties in relation to travellers.
He is currently representing Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council in a High Court case brought by Cumbria County Council challenging the decision of the Secretary of State to create 2 rather new unitary authorities rather than a single authority for Cumbria.
He is also currently representing DB Symmetry Ltd in the Supreme Court (Swindon BC v. DB Symmetry Ltd and Secretary of State - whether a planning condition does and can require a landowner to dedicate a right of way to the public).
Ranked as a leading silk in Planning and Environment.
Legal 500 2023
“I find Richard an extremely approachable individual who is open to discuss both the positives and negatives of arguing potential points upon which might have an influence on the outcome. Richard’s wide range of instantly recallable planning knowledge is extremely helpful and he communicates this complex knowledge in clear language which is easy for all to understand.”
Legal 500 2022 - Planning and Environment (Midlands)
Ranked as a leading silk in Planning and Environment.
Legal 500 2022 - Planning and Environment (London)
“I am most grateful for the time and immense care you have taken to review this case.”
Planning consultant, 2018
“Many thanks Richard: a thoroughly thorough opinion! Your advice, options and recommendation/s are understood and appreciated.”
Planning consultant, 2018
Bencher, Inner Temple
LLB (Nottingham),
LLM (Cambridge)
Other information
Richard has contributed to the following publications:
Contributor, Halsbury’s Laws (Local Government) (2001);
A former editor of Crown Office Digest;
Contributor to Anti-Social Behaviour Law (publ. Jordans);
Contributor to RICS online guidance.
Articles published in Journal of Planning Law include:
“Interpreting planning permissions after Stevenage - the primacy of the plans?” (2011);
“Material Change in use - what’s character got to do with it?” (2011);
“20 years of the 10 year period for enforcement: time for reform?” (2011);
“Integrity in the planning system in England: lacunas but lessons from a British Isle?” (2015); and
“Sustainable development: does the NPPF paragraph 14 ensure that future generations can meet their own needs?” (2016).
Richard was elected a Governor and Trustee of the English Speaking Union (a charity which promotes oracy) in 2021.

Latest News & Publications

No5's Richard Humphreys KC has successfully acted for DB Symmetry Ltd in the case 'DB Symmetry Ltd and another (Respondents) v. Swindon Borough Council (Appellant) [2022] UKSC 33'....

Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2022
On Monday 3rd October, The Planning and Environment Group presented a webinar on 'Case Law Update....

Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2022
Case Law Update from Richard Humphreys QC from the Planning and Environment Group's Local Planning Webinar 2020....

Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2020