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Planning Law

Our planning law barristers have considerable expertise in domestic and international planning law. Members of the team are recommended for planning in the Chambers UK Bar Guide and the Legal 500 rankings.

To contact the Planning Law Clerks, please email publiclawclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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Chambers UK Bar 2022: Top Ranked
Legal 500 2022: Top Tier Set

Our planning law barristers have considerable expertise in domestic and international planning law. Our practice team is led by Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, Marc Willers QC.

Members of the team are recommended for planning law in the Chambers UK Bar Guide and the Legal 500 Bar rankings. We are particularly noted for bringing a wealth of experience in complementary areas such as housing law and policy, environmental law, equality and discrimination law and human rights.

Areas of Expertise

  • Fossil fuel extraction sites
  • Major infrastructure projects such as airports and rail schemes
  • Commercial planning schemes
  • Community challenges to local and central government planning decisions
  • Environmental matters
  • Compulsory purchase
  • Representing Gypsies and Travellers
  • Regulatory challenges
  • Planning enforcement cases
  • Nature conservation
  • Low-impact development

representing campaigners

Garden Court often represents individuals and groups seeking to pursue Judicial Review of planning decisions taken by public bodies. 

We represent community and interest groups concerned with environmental and heritage protection and also objectors to development plans.

Our expert counsel have appeared in many high-profile cases and inquiries, including:

  • Supreme Court challenge to Cuadrilla’s fracking site in Lancashire
  • Successful interim injunction halting all construction on Barbuda International Airport
  • Stationing of high velocity missiles on top of a residential tower block in East London. These missiles were planned as part of security measures for the 2012 Olympics
  • Compulsory purchase order made in relation to the London Olympics site
  • Grant of planning permission to QPR FC for the development of Warren Farm in West London
  • Redevelopment of Woodford aerodrome into a large housing scheme

Team members regularly undertake planning and enforcement notice appeals before the Planning Inspectorate, as well as those relating to compulsory purchase orders. 

Members have considerable experience of defending clients facing enforcement proceedings in both criminal and civil courts and in challenging planning and enforcement appeal decisions in the Planning Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.


representing gypsies and travellers

Our barristers are renowned for their expertise in representing Gypsies and Travellers seeking planning permission for caravan sites and we regularly defend and challenge enforcement action taken against them. 

We represented the Irish Travellers living on Dale Farm in their high-profile judicial review challenge of the decision taken by Basildon Borough Council to use its direct action powers to evict them from their homes.


Representing developers

Garden Court barristers have represented developers seeking permission for a wide range of developments including:

  • Housing
  • Equestrian centres
  • Marinas
  • Markets
  • Waste management sites
  • Garden centres
  • Agricultural development
  • Mobile home parks


funding your case

Given some of the difficulties in obtaining legal aid for these cases, we do our best to work with other funding arrangements, including ‘no win, no fee’ agreements where appropriate, fixed fees for some matters and crowd funding.


Recent notable cases and news

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020.

17 October 2019

Wales scraps £1.6 billion plan to build Gwent Levels M4 Relief road in south Wales

Grace Brown and Irena Sabic, both of Garden Court, represented Gwent Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and the Campaign for Protection of Rural Wales at the public inquiry.

5 June 2019

High Court rules that Mineral Planning Authorities are not bound by statutory definition of fracking and can apply their own wider definitions

Marc Willers QC represented Councillor Paul Andrews, Mayor of Malton, North Yorkshire. He led his colleague Tim Baldwin, and was instructed by Ricardo Gama of Town Legal LLP.

6 November 2018

Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal to hear new arguments in Barbudans’ legal action against “unlawful” development of international airport

Leslie Thomas QC, Marc Willers QC, Thalia Maragh and Tihomir Mak are instructed in this case. 

11 September 2018

The Mayor of Malton takes legal action against planned government changes to how fracking applications are handled

Marc Willers QC has been instructed to represent Paul Andrews, the Mayor of Malton in North Yorkshire, in the legal challenge.

23 August 2018

Work on Barbuda international airport halted by interim injunction

Leslie Thomas QC, Marc Willers QC, Thalia Maragh and Tihomir Mak of Garden Court Chambers are instructed on this case.

3 August 2018

Barbudans take legal action against Government of Antigua and Barbuda for unlawful development of an international airport

Legal action seeks injunction to immediately halt development; reveals government continued construction despite knowledge of major ecological, archaeological risks and damage to island

2 August 2018

Barbudans call on Commonwealth leaders to address human rights injustices, failing democracy in wake of Hurricane Irma

Leslie Thomas QC, Marc Willers QC, Thalia Maragh and Tihomir Mak are representing Barbudans in this case.

17 April 2018

'We believe areas of community open space in London need to be protected from development'

Marc Willers QC and Justine Compton were instructed by Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law for the appellant. 

27 March 2018

High Court quashes decision to grant planning permission for a holiday park in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The claimant was represented by Marc Willers QC and Richard Reynolds of Garden Court Chambers’ Environmental Team.

16 February 2018

Anti-fracking campaigner pursues Supreme Court challenge in bid to overturn Government decision to approve fracking in Lancashire

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers is seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

12 January 2018

Barbudans file injunction to expose unlawful introduction of land act changes

Leslie Thomas QC, Marc Willers QC, Thalia Maragh and Tihomir Mak are acting for the group of Barbudans.

20 December 2017

Appeal to Save Warren Farm as open space for the Community

Marc Willers QC and Justine Compton are appealing the ruling to the Court of Appeal in December.

27 November 2017

Greenpeace Anti-Fracking Activists Not Guilty

All 10 activists were represented by Owen Greenhall of the Garden Court Crime Team.

7 November 2017

Anti-fracking campaigner takes challenge to Court of Appeal seeking to overturn Government decision to approve fracking in Lancashire

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers is representing environmental campaigner, Gayzer Frackman

29 August 2017

Campaigner loses High Court planning challenge against fracking in Lancashire

Mr Gayzer Frackman was represented by Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers.

12 April 2017

Marc Willers QC represents campaigners in High Court challenge against Lancashire fracking plans

Environmental and planning law barrister, Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers represents local campaigner, Gayzer Frackman.

21 March 2017

High Court challenge launched over Lancashire fracking site on climate change grounds

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers is representing the claimant, anti-fracking campaigner Gayzer Frackman, in the High Court challenge.

18 January 2017

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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