Satnam Choongh

Viewing: Planning and Environment for Satnam Choongh

Satnam Choongh was called to the Bar in 1994 and is a member of Lincoln’s Inn, where he was a Hardwicke Scholar and held the Sir Thomas More Bursary. He specialises in planning and environmental law, acting for developers, local authorities and government agencies. He has worked as in-house counsel, and has a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the planning process, as well as experience of advising upon the commercial aspects of land development (to include negotiating and drafting s.106 agreements, option and promotion agreements, overage agreements and allied contracts).
Satnam holds a First Class Honours degree, a D.Phil from Trinity College, Oxford and has held Professorial posts at Birmingham University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Satnam features regularly in the Chambers UK Directory, which has described him as “very sharp”, “extraordinarily bright” and someone “who gets the answers he needs from cross-examination”. Planning Magazine has placed him amongst the top planning juniors in the country.
Satnam has considerable depth and breadth of experience, acting for both appellants and planning authorities in applications for judicial review and statutory challenges in the High Court. He has appeared in many of the most important recent cases interpreting key provisions of the NPPF, as well as cases relevant to other important concepts in the administration of the planning system. Two of Satnam’s latest high-profile High Court and Court of Appeal cases were the Barwood case (examining the meaning and extent of the presumption in favour of sustainable development) and the Heathrow Airport case (a challenge to the Secretary of State’ decision to designate the Airports National Policy Statement).
Satnam has been appearing at planning inquiries for upwards of 25 years, and has during that time dealt with the whole range of issues that arise in the field of planning and environmental law, including matters related to listed buildings, Conservation Areas, Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, major infrastructure projects under the Transport and Works Act 2000, out of and edge of centre retail stores, Enforcement, Stop, Breach of Condition and Completion Notices, Compulsory Purchase Orders, Advertisement Control, minerals, and matters related to waste disposal and management.
Satnam has appeared in a host of large scale, complex and varied planning cases, including promoting a 3.5 million square feet rail-freight interchange in the Green Belt, successfully securing planning permission for a waste incinerator in Halifax, opposing an application for a 58 hectare resource recovery park and 95MW RDF Incinerator under the Electricity Act, representing an LPA at the first ever LDF examination, opposing the expansion of Coventry Airport in a 6 month enforcement inquiry followed by a 3 month s.76 Inquiry, appearing at Waste Local Plan inquiries, representing the Highways Agency at a six month multi-party planning inquiry for MSA development, representing the HSE in an inquiry into de-commissioning a nuclear power station in the Snowdonia National Park, and drafting and seeing through to public inquiry a Side Roads Order and CPO to provide a town centre ring road.
Satnam has in the recent past advised and represented at inquiry clients such as Persimmon Homes, KFC, ASDA, Gallagher Developments, Richborough Estates, the Rosconn Group, St. Modwen Developments and Gladman Developments. Inquiries have included promoting edge of centre retail development in Bridgnorth, opposing open cast coalmining in Derbyshire and Windfarms in Warwickshire, and appearing at a whole host of large scale residential and mixed-use inquiries in support of developer clients.
Satnam regularly advises and appears at development plan examinations, often promoting large scale or new settlement type developments. Examples include the Mayfield New Settlement in the Mid-Sussex Local plan, a sustainable urban extension (including circa. 3,000 homes) in the Chelmsford Local Plan and a 2,500 home SUE at Bristol in the South West Joint Spatial Plan.
Further Experience
- Legal Research Fellow Warwick University
- In-house advocate, Eversheds Solicitors, Birmingham
- Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Professor and Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Education at Birmingham University
“He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and a thorough understanding of its practical application.” “He is very good with clients.”
Chambers UK 2021
“Incisive in cross-examination, thorough and persuasive when making closing submissions at planning inquiries.”
Legal 500 2021
“He has a firm grasp of the key issues and cross-examines decisively.” “Provides excellent advice and is very accessible.”
Chambers UK 2020
“A safe pair of hands who fights the client’s corner.”
Legal 500 2020
“Approachable, considered and exceptionally clever.” “Extremely bright, responsive and a pleasure to work with.”
Chambers UK 2019
“His keen eye sees right through to the heart of a matter.”
Legal 500 2019
“A very experienced and trusted barrister with a keen intellect and a detailed knowledge of the planning system. He is thorough in his preparation, robust in his advocacy and good at thinking on his feet. He is also friendly, approachable and always happy to help.” “Highly regarded and very intelligent. He cuts to the chase and has a good manner. A straight-talking, to-the-point solicitor.”
Chambers UK 2018
“A robust advocate.”
Legal 500 2018
“He has a very keen mind. He produces very well-reasoned opinions and material which addresses the issues. He’s an extremely friendly and approachable person and I think he strikes a great affinity with clients - they have always been impressed with his work.” “Satnam is excellent in all areas, and his production of written material is particularly compelling.”
Chambers UK, 2016
Notable Cases
R (on the application of Heathrow Hub Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport [2019] WHC 1070 (Admin) and [2020] EWCA Civ 213-27
(role of legitimate expectation in designating national planning policy statement; parliamentary privilege)
R (on the application of Finnegan) v Southampton City Council [2020] EWHC 286 (Admin)
(extent of LPA’s powers to decline to determine a planning application under s.70C TCPA 1990)
South Gloucestershire Council v Burge and Burge [2017] EWCA 1313
(extent of compensatory regime for losses arising from refusal of TPO consent)
East Staffs BC v SSCLG and Barwood Strategic Land Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 893
(ambit of the NPPF presumption in favour of sustainable development)
Woodfield v JJ Gallagher Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 1007
(irrationality in adoption of local plan and extent of court’s powers to order adoption of a particular policy)
IMI Properties v Lichfield DC [2015] EWHC 2077 (Admin)
(and see [2014] EWHC 240 (Admin)) (correct procedure for challenging development plans, releasing GB through the plan process)
Mackman v SoSE [2015] EWCA Civ 716 (EIA and screening opinions)
Bloor Homes v SoSCLG [2014] EWHC 754 (Admin)
(correct approach to 5 year housing land supply, meaning of plans being silent or absent etc)
Hopkins v SoSE [2014] EWCA Civ 470
(procedural fairness at planning inquiries)
JB Trustees v SoSCLG [2013] EWHC 3555 (Admin)
(locus in statutory challenges)
William Davis v SoSCLG [2013] EWHC 3058 (Admin)
(how to apply the NPPF para.14 presumption)
Telford and Wrekin v SoSCLG [2013] EWHC 1638 (Admin) and [2014] EWCA Civ 507
(application of the retail sequential test and correct interpretation of CIL)
R (on the application of Telford Trustee No.1 /No.2) v Telford and Wreakin Council and Asda Stores Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 896
(the duty to give reasons for planning permission)
R (on the application of Welcome group Limited and others) v Stroud District Council and another (2012) EWHCA 140 (admin)
(meaning of the CIL regulations)
Herefordshire District Council v White
(a Lands Tribunal case that helped clarify the Purchase Notice provisions of the 1990 Act)
Norris v SOSE and Stoke on Trent City Council [2006] EWCA Civ.12
(developed the law on the important subject of development in breach of condition precedent)
Attorney- General’s Ref. No.5 of 2000 ([2002] Env.LR 5 at 139)
(Court of Appeal case on the complex matter of defining “waste” in European Union Law)
Micro Designs Ltd v Barratt Homes Limited
(High Court and Court of Appeal case on the interpretation of overage provisions)
Planning and Environmental Bar Association
LLB (Hons) (First Class) Warwick
D.Phil (Oxon) 1994
The Element of Planning Discretion in the Context of an Up to Date Plan: the implications of the Barwood case (2018) Journal of Planning Law
Planning units, New Chapters in Planning History and Inconsistent Permissions (2009) Journal of Planning Law
Development in Breach of Conditions Precedent (2007) Journal of Planning Law
The Meaning of Waste in EU Law (2006) Journal of Planning Law

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