John Barrett | 4-5 Gray's inn square

Practice Summary

John acts for many of the UK’s leading developers and house builders. Over the two years he has secured planning permission for well in excess of 1,700 homes.

He acts for most of the major house builders including Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Redrow, Wainhomes, Seddon Homes, McCarthy & Stone and Tensi Homes and Heritage Homes. He acts for national developers including Gladman Developments and Fox Strategic Land and Property.

John has recently acted for the developer in housing appeals at Kirkham in Lancashire, Malpas and Northwich in Cheshire West; Wistaston, Holmes Chapel, Sandbach and Alsager in Cheshire East, Faringdon in Oxfordshire; Bozeat in Wellingborough and 3 appeals all in Hambleton District.

He acted for the developers at recent examination in public of the Cheshire East Local Plan and the Stratford on Avon Local Plan.

John regularly advises on judicial and statutory reviews of Planning Decisions and Local Plan adoption.

Areas of Experience (Select to add to the CV download)

Administrative & Public Law and Local Government

John advises developers and local authorities on a range of administrative and public law matters including: judicial review, highways, public rights of way, village greens and governance issues.

He recently acted for Yorkshire Water in respect of a statutory challenge to the grant of planning permission that involved detailed consideration of the Reservoirs Act 1975

John has acted for individuals, companies, developers and local authorities in relation to issues concerning local authorities rights, powers and duties. He is regularly instructed in compulsory purchase matters. He recently promoted the Lancashire County Council Broughton Bypass CPO. He is also regularly involved in minerals, renewable and waste matters.

He acted for North Lincolnshire Council in successfully resisting two on shore windfarm proposals.

Planning & Environment

John acts for developers and local authorities in relation to all aspects of Town and Country Planning matters. He is especially experienced in housing, retail and environmental planning matters


Chambers UK 2017

“He has an excellent rapport with clients and is very empathetic.” “He is a solid performer.”

“He is phenomenally knowledgeable, extremely personable and easy to work with. He is firm but fair and is very clever at addressing weak points in the case.” “He is exceptional.”

Chambers UK 2016

“An excellent practitioner.”

“Excellent: he is very experienced in all areas of planning and environmental law and fights hard for his clients, offering a highly skilled service.”

Chambers UK 2015

“He is an excellent advocate – very confident, assertive and good at cross-examination.”

“He is always very efficient and effective. He has a calm manner, and is particularly good at defending difficult positions.” Chambers UK 2015

Chambers UK 2013

“John Barrett does a significant amount of work in relation to waste disposal and management, and recently appeared in Environment Agency v Stephen Dale, a case brought against a private individual for the improper disposal of waste on agricultural land.”

“According to one solicitor, senior junior John Barrett “has a great deal of experience that proves very useful.” “Cool and collected,” he is much respected by solicitors who say that “if you need to get an injunction he’s like a Jack Russell.” Barrett recently acted in an appeal relating to a large housing development intended for the former site of Leeds Girls High School.”

Chambers UK 2012

“John Barrett impresses solicitors with his firm grasp of the law and his strong “technical abilities.” His practice encompasses a variety of areas, but he is closely associated with waste issues.His recent work has included acting on retail and residential developments and their environmental impacts.”

“John Barrett represented Lancashire County Council on a £700 million retail investment in Preston. He has extensive experience of highways concerns, minerals planning, housing and commercial developments.

Chambers UK 2011:

“John Barrett is widely praised for his experience of complex waste management assignments”

“John Barrett combines a thriving environmental practice with his much sought-after town and country planning work, and handles cases concerning a number of different areas, including waste disposal, minerals, highways and housing.”

Legal 500 2017:

‘A real professional.’

Legal 500 2015:

“He has a good grasp of strategic issues”

Legal 500 2014:

“Cuts to the essential issues in a case”.

Legal 500 2012:

John Barrett has “significant planning practices”.


He is a member of the Planning and Environmental Bar Association. He has lectured throughout the UK at RTPI, housing and in-house events on variety of subjects.


He was formerly the editor of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Health (Sweet and Maxwell)


John was appointed a Recorder in 2003


BA (hons) MMU Grays Inn


“4-5 Gray's Inn Square is "a great presence on regulatory matters,”

Chambers UK