Oxfordshire Director of Legal

How to (lawfully) rename streets and remove statues

Ruchi Parekh highlights the relevant legal framework and some of the issues that councils will need to consider before amending their street names or removing statues. Read more
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Jun 22, 2020

Ministry urges councils to shy away from enforcement action that would unnecessarily restrict outdoor stalls

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has called on local authorities not to undertake enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting outdoor stalls.
Jun 17, 2020

Decision to disqualify bidders from rail franchise procurements was lawful: High Court

A Department for Transport decision to disqualify three bidders from procurement competitions for the South Eastern, East Midlands and West Coast Partnership passenger rail franchises was lawful, a High Court judge has ruled.
Jun 15, 2020

Blackpool Borough Council awarded £1.1m in tram depot construction claim

A High Court judge has awarded Blackpool Borough Council £1.1m in damages in a claim for alleged breaches of contract in relation to the design and construction of a new tram depot.
Jun 03, 2020

High speed rail operator names four firms to multi-million pound legal services framework

HS1, which has the 30-year concession to own and operate High Speed 1, the UK’s first section of high speed rail, has appointed four firms to a legal services framework.
Jun 02, 2020

Council loses Court of Appeal battle over personal injury claim following tree root trip in park

The Court of Appeal has found that a council was liable for an injury suffered by a claimant when she tripped on a tree root on a path constructed in a park by one of its predecessor authorities.
May 29, 2020

Residents fail in legal bid to stop demolition of flyover as part of Commonwealth Games works

A group of residents has failed to win permission for a judicial review challenge over a decision by Birmingham City Council to demolish the A34 Perry Barr flyover.
May 11, 2020

Council refused permission to bring judicial review challenge over approval by neighbouring authority of new link road

A High Court judge has refused Luton Council permission to bring a judicial review of Central Bedfordshire Council’s decision to approve an application for a major new link road.
May 07, 2020

Supreme Court to hear appeal on Heathrow Airport expansion and climate change commitments

The Supreme Court has granted the operator of Heathrow Airport and a hotels group permission to appeal over whether the government’s failure to take account of the UK’s climate change commitments, as represented in the Paris Agreement, when deciding whether or not to build a new runway rendered the decision unlawful.
May 07, 2020

High Court judge orders involvement of Attorney-General in dispute between council and community trust over sale of old bus depot

A High Court judge has intervened in a property dispute involving the London Borough of Brent after concluding “something has gone wrong in these proceedings” involving the Attorney General.
Apr 27, 2020

Sharpe Pritchard advises county on s106 agreement delivering transport improvements ahead of SnOasis development

Sharpe Pritchard has advised Suffolk County Council on the completed section 106 agreement relating to the proposed SnOasis development near Stowmarket.


June 12, 2020

Varying a s106 obligation

In the first in a series of articles to be published by a group of Landmark barristers over the coming weeks, Kate Olley looks at the variation and enforcement of s106 obligations.
June 12, 2020

The End of PFI or… a new dawn for local authority infrastructure investment?

Rob Hann assesses new guidance from the National Audit Office for public bodies as PFI contracts start coming to an end, and looks at what the future holds for local authority investment.
June 05, 2020

Decision time

Shivaji Shiva looks at government initiatives, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to reshape our towns and cities for safer travel.
June 04, 2020

Gulliksen dead and McGeown fatally wounded?

Matthew White looks at the key points for highways authorities and claimants from an important Court of Appeal ruling this week.
June 01, 2020

Compulsory purchase in the time of coronavirus

Simon Randle, Vivienne Sedgley and Katharine Elliott analyse recent government guidance on compulsory purchase orders during the pandemic.
March 06, 2020

The role of judicial review applications in the CIL regime

A recent decision of Mr Justice Swift in the Planning Court will have a significant impact on the manner in which a Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”) is challenged and the stance taken by authorities in rebutting such challenges, writes Christopher Cant.
March 06, 2020

Heathrow Airport expansion and climate change policy

The Court of Appeal has declared the Heathrow expansion decision unlawful on climate change grounds. David Hart QC explains why.
December 13, 2019

Accidents arising from street furniture

A council has been fined £1.4m after a child suffered a life-changing head injury on a street bollard. Ridwaan Omar examines the lessons to be learned.


Care Act 2014 Easements in the Coronavirus Act 2020

Burges SalmonSection 15 and Schedule 12 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 sets out significant amendments to a local authority's duties under the Care Act 2014. In this free-to-view, on-demand webinar, Cornerstone Barristers discuss the implications of the Coronavirus Act 2020 for local authorities.

Garden Cities, Regeneration and Compulsory Purchase Orders

Burges SalmonThis on-demand webinar, led by planning specialists Sarah Sutherland and Gary Soloman, covers key cases on consenting hurdles, the 2020 focus on standards including net gain and Living with Beauty and utilising CPO for garden cities and regeneration projects.

Homes Fitness for Human Habitation Act

Burges Salmon

Alice Richardson and Tom Tyson present a free on-demand webinar looking at the practical implications of the Homes Fitness for Human Habitation Act, including in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Virtual Meetings are the new reality for local authorities

In this Burges Salmonfree-to-view on-demand webinar, Cornerstone Barristers discuss the implications of the new Regulations which empower local authorities to hold meetings remotely (including by telephone conference, video conference, or live webcast).


Apr 21, 2020

Campaign group mounts legal bid to have £27bn road investment strategy scrapped

A campaign group has threatened the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England with a legal challenge to the £27bn Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2), which was launched alongside the Budget earlier this year.
Apr 21, 2020

DfT issues guidance on advertising traffic regulation orders during COVID-19

The Department for Transport has issued guidance on advertising traffic regulation orders (TRO) in England during the coronavirus outbreak.
Apr 14, 2020

Chris Packham to seek permission to appeal dismissal of HS2 challenge

Broadcaster Chris Packham is to seek permission to appeal a Divisional Court ruling that dismissed his review challenge over the Transport Secretary’s decision to continue with the HS2 rail project.
Apr 06, 2020

Divisional Court rejects legal challenge by Chris Packham over HS2 and clearance works

The Divisional Court has dismissed a judicial review challenge brought by broadcaster and environmental campaigner Chris Packham over the Transport Secretary’s decision to continue with the HS2 rail project.
Mar 23, 2020

Landowner loses Upper Tribunal appeal over certificate of appropriate alternative development for site acquired for link road

The owner of a field that was compulsorily acquired to provide land for the construction of a link road has lost his appeal over the certificate of appropriate alternative development he was given.
Mar 19, 2020

High Court gives green light to challenge over refusal by national park authority to pursue traffic regulation order

The High Court has recently granted Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement (“GLEAM”) permission to pursue a claim for judicial review against the Lake District National Park Authority over its refusal to pursue a traffic regulation order (“TRO”) to prohibit or reduce traffic from motorised vehicles, particularly four wheel drives, on two unsealed roads in the Lake District National Park.
Mar 11, 2020

Claimant ordered to pay £13k in legal costs to council over pothole injury claim

Sunderland City Council has secured a £13,000 costs order against a claimant who said he had suffered a knee injury when he hit a pothole on his motorbike.
Mar 06, 2020

Highways England to appoint single supplier to £3m advocacy and litigation services contract

Highways England is to let a £3m contract for advocacy and litigation services covering the support and litigation of network claims (‘Green Claims’) where the organisation will be the legal claimant.
Mar 03, 2020

Broadcaster Chris Packham launches judicial review challenge over decision to proceed with HS2

Broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham is to challenge the decision of the Prime Minister to give the go-ahead to HS2, claiming that the review central to the mandate to proceed was “seriously flawed in its methods”.
Feb 27, 2020

Councils and environmental groups win appeal over third runway at Heathrow

Local authorities, the Mayor of London and environmental campaigners have won an appeal over the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport by the addition of a third runway under the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS).
Feb 17, 2020

Luton Council pursues judicial review of neighbouring council’s link road approval

Luton Council is to bring a judicial review of Central Bedfordshire Council’s decision to approve an application for a new link road after it says local plan examination inspectors’ letters calling the plan into question were not properly considered.
Feb 17, 2020

Claimant who sued over pothole injury given suspended sentence after evidence of extreme sports participation

Walsall Council has successfully prosecuted a man who falsely claimed significant compensation following an injury when falling in a pothole.
Feb 10, 2020

High Court rejects challenge over decision that development at Stansted Airport was not a nationally significant infrastructure project

A Planning Court judge has dismissed a judicial review challenge over the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision to decline to accept that development proposed in a planning application for Stansted Airport was a nationally significant infrastructure project.
Feb 10, 2020

Crown Commercial Service to set up £50m, pan government rail legal services panel

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has unveiled plans to put in place a pan government collaborative agreement for the provision of rail legal services worth an estimated £50m over six years.
Jan 30, 2020

Council puts arms-length bus company into liquidation after financial woes

One of the few remaining local authority-owned bus operators has ceased trading and been put into liquidation.
Jan 23, 2020

Resident wins permission for judicial review challenge over HS2 tunnel design near Euston station

A resident who lives near the planned route of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line has won the right to bring a judicial review against its tunnel design under London’s Euston station.
Jan 03, 2020

Timetable set for new inquest into ‘air quality’ death of child

A new inquest into the death of 9 year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah will be held November or December this year, following the ordering of a new inquest by the high court last year.
Jan 03, 2020

London borough fails in Planning Court challenge to ministerial approval for works on HS2 ecological mitigation site

The London Borough of Hillingdon has lost a judicial review challenge over a decision by government ministers to allow High Speed Two’s appeal over the council’s refusal to grant approval for proposed works for the creation of an ecological mitigation area.
Dec 18, 2019

Park authority facing legal challenge over decision not to use traffic regulation orders to stop use of green lanes by 4x4s and motorbikes

A campaign group is to mount a legal challenge over the Lake District National Park Authority’s decision not to use traffic regulation orders to stop recreational 4x4 and motorbike use of two lanes in the Langdale area.
Dec 18, 2019

Ex-council officer convicted of making false air quality readings

A former Waverley Borough Council officer has been convicted of making false air quality readings.
Dec 17, 2019

Injured cyclists bring claim against county council after crashing on ford “more slippery than ice”

Three cyclists are bringing a claim against Leicestershire County Council after they crashed on a ford on a road that they say the council failed to keep safe for cyclists.
Dec 05, 2019

Council fined £1.4m after child suffers life-changing head injury in “easily preventable” incident

Hampshire County Council has been fined £1.4m after a six-year-old girl playing on an unsecured street bollard suffered a life-changing head injury.
Dec 03, 2019

Local authority defeats High Court statutory challenge over traffic regulation order

Cumbria County Council has defeated a statutory challenge to a traffic regulation order (“TRO”) made in respect of an unadopted highway in Carlisle city centre.
Dec 02, 2019

Campaigners secure funds for potential judicial review of new Bedford to Cambridge rail route

A campaign group has said it has successfully raised sufficient funds to pursue a judicial review against East West Rail (EWR) should a route announcement for the new Bedford to Cambridge rail line be by way of Bassingbourn or neighbouring villages.
Nov 28, 2019

London borough defeats housebuilders in dispute over adoption of roads

A district judge has ruled that two roads are of so little use to the public that the London Borough of Barnet need not adopt them.


November 22, 2019

Traffic management orders and equalities impacts

The High Court has dismissed an equalities challenge brought by the trustees of the Central Gurdwara over the impact of a traffic management order on the Sikh Temple. Charles Streeten explains why.
November 08, 2019

Recovering costs after the lifting of automatic suspensions

Melanie Pears and Tim Care examine a case where a claimant bidder argued that the defendant contracting authority should not have all the costs of its successful application to lift an automatic suspension.
October 11, 2019

Procuring bike share schemes

Colin Murray and Bradley Martin set out how public bodies can procure bike share schemes - without reinventing the wheel.
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October 04, 2019

Abandoning a procurement exercise - when can a contracting authority extinguish a challenge?

Lucy James looks at the legal effect of a decision to abandon a procurement exercise and whether it extinguishes an accrued cause of action a bidder may have against a contracting authority for breaches of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 SI 2015/102 (PCR 2015).
September 20, 2019

CIL Pools and the latest changes (in England)

Rachel Sykes analyses the impact on local authorities of the latest changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy regime that came into force at the beginning of September.
September 06, 2019

Cleaning up the air we breathe

Rob Hann looks at the pressures on local authorities to push forwards at pace with their clean air initiatives.
July 12, 2019

Construction of a highway

If a highway authority built a highway, it is highway maintainable at public expense. Matthew White reports on a significant High Court ruling for local authorities.
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May 10, 2019

Airports NPS challenges: the result

A Divisional Court has rejected the legal challenge brought by a group of councils and other claimants over the endorsement of a third runway at Heathrow. Angus Walker looks at the judges' findings.
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April 26, 2019

Local authorities and traffic light controlled junctions

A city council has successfully defended a claim brought by a motorcyclist over the phasing of a traffic light-controlled junction. Nicola Hyam and David Williams explain how.
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April 18, 2019

Between Blackpool rock and a highway hard place

Had a claimant who tripped on a kerb been successful in a recent case, it could have led to Blackpool Council having to consider redesigning its popular new promenade area at very considerable cost. Paul Murphy explains how the authority successfully defended the claim.
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April 12, 2019

Problems with service of CIL documents

Christopher Cant examines the challenges that arise when seeking to comply with the Community Infrastructure Levy regime.
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March 15, 2019

Proving the size of highway defects

A recent High Court ruling in a claim against a highways authority over a pothole demonstrates why measurements of length, width and depth are crucial, writes Dominique Smith.
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December 21, 2018

Transferring interests in highways

The Supreme Court has handed down a ruling in a dispute between two London councils and Transport for London on the extent of the transfer of a 'highway'. David Elvin QC explains the outcome.
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October 26, 2018

Enforcing s106 agreements

What can you do if in relation to s.106 agreements things don’t work out as planned? Gary Soloman explains.
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September 07, 2018

Contractual interpretation: the Amey dispute

Deborah Down considers how a contractor’s rigid approach to what a highways maintenance contract said, led to unintended consequences for the authority.
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August 24, 2018

Tripped up

A borough council in the West Midlands recently secured a finding of fundamental dishonesty in a highways tripping case. Matthew Harpin sets out how.
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July 20, 2018

Highways and inspection systems

A council’s annual inspection system was recently found by a court to be adequate for the purposes of S.58 of the Highways Act 1980 (the Act) when determining liability. Lucie Evans and Suzanne Milne report.
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May 25, 2018

Impaired lines of sight and motor accidents

Should a landowner or highways authority face liability for obstructed sightlines? John Goodman analyses a recent Court of Appeal ruling that wil be a useful case for highway authorities and other landowners.
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April 20, 2018

CPO and compensation: key changes

Gary Soloman looks at a number of provisions relevant to compulsory acquisition in the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 and Housing and Planning Act 2016 that come into force on 6 April 2018.
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April 06, 2018

Ports and good governance

Local authorities that manage municipal ports need to consider and implement the government's new Ports Good Governance Guidance, writes Lara Moore and Ione McGregor.