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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question

Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10174
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am looking at a Judicial Review to try any overturn a planning

Customer Question

I am looking at a Judicial Review to try any overturn a planning decision for construction of a private dwelling in South Oxon which is located in a flood zone in an area which has flooded regularly. I have been advised that it could cost up to £40k to prepare and present the case using a solicitor/counsel which I cannot afford. Would it be possible to present the case myself as an unqualified private citizen? My argument is quite simple.
many thanks, ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. Dear Martyn, it would be perfectly feasible for you to present the case in court yourself, thereby avoiding the high legal fees associated with employing solicitor and barrister. Be aware additionally, that it would be possible for you to use a barrister by direct professional access and have the barrister prepare the case papers but for you to present the case in court. In this way, you would have the benefit of professional preparation without the ruinous expense of paying two lawyers in court. However, I would certainly say to present the case yourself. The main requirement is to have a simple straightforward argument and you seem to have one.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Could you give me some idea of the likely costs for a barrister to prepare our case? Simply the planning decision was approved on the development site being in Flood Zone 1 as per the current EA flood maps. The flood maps are incorrect and the Council have known this for some time as the correct data for flood modelling was lost when responsibility passed to the Environment Agency some years ago. A group of residents commissioned a report by independent drainage experts using the national modelling and surveying tool which shows the area to be in Flood Zone 2 (as a minimum) which reflects the true picture of flooding in the area over many years and would mean that the drainage solution proposed for the site is in appropriate and that the Sequential test should be applied under the NPPF and the development moved elsewhere. The new flood maps will be ratified by the EA on 4 Sept 2015. The Council chose to ignore this information in making the decision relying wholly on the current flood maps which are incorrect!

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. So basically, your case is that the Council acted upon incorrect and inaccurate information in making their decision on planning. To get a barrister to prepare the case would cost approximately £1,500. This would include a consultation, reading the brief and preparing the application for judicial review. It would then be up to you to file the papers. The papers may or may not include an Opinion as to the case. Try and ensure that it does, as this will provide a roadmap to guide you in making submissions in court. A barrister will have a clear idea of the law and the legal cases which are relevant and it would be helpful if you could get this information off the barrister. It would make the presentation of the case in court much easier.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Buachill

A final question - would you be able to prepare our case or recommend someone who could? I will then run this past the group of residents fighting the development.

Regards, Martyn

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. I no longer live and work in the UK, so I would not be able to prepare your case. I would recommend someone who does planning law in London. Landmark &*****are the two pre eminent planning law chambers in London. I would advise you to use a junior junior in their early years of practice to draft the papers. They will be quite willing to do so. However, none of these people I know personally, so I would suggest you take further advice or speak to the clerk in chambers.

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