Simon specialises at the Planning and Environmental Bar, which has brought him into contact with all aspects of development control, including planning enforcement, the use of Injunctions as well as appeals to the High Court and also the Appellate Courts. He has tremendous experience of the planning system and has advised in respect of many major development schemes and appeared at numerous planning inquiries
His experience is such that he has appeared on behalf of promoters and supporters of major development proposals as well as on behalf of objectors, most notably Local Planning Authorities. That has given Simon the advantage of being able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual cases from both sides.
The areas covered have included major residential and commercial schemes, the provision of leisure and recreational uses as well as major transportation proposals.
As a result of his experience Simon has developed a keen interest in and knowledge of transportation matters. As part of that he has not only advised on the strategic approach to be taken in respect of individual applications but also on the day to day conduct of individual cases.
The Inquiry into the Fifth Terminal at London Heathrow. SR initially advised the Highways Agency in respect of the access roads required to service the new terminal building and was instructed to appear at the Public Inquiry to represent the Highways Agency alone. That instruction was extended, following the dismissal of the Counsel acting for the Department of Transport, to act on behalf of the Government generally in respect of all and any part of the Governments input into that and the related applications. Accordingly SR was instructed to appear on behalf of both the Department of Transport and the Highways Agency and also to advise the Department in respect of the policy approach. He attended all 525 days of the Public Inquiry where he was responsible for advising and presenting the evidence, for cross examining opposing evidence and preparing the final remarks. At the inquiry two junior Barristers assisted him.
The Inquiry into the application to promote an extension to the use of Redhill Aerodrome and to advise on the potential to challenge the subsequent decision.
Advising the London Borough of Bromley in respect of both the aviation aspects of plans to develop and extend the use of Biggin Hill airfield in Kent and also advising on the commercial activities of the use of land in association with the airfield.
Advising North Wiltshire District Council as well as appearing at the public inquiry into the use of Oaksey Airfield near Cirencester as a general aviation airfield.
Between 1985 and 1989 Simon appeared on behalf of the Department of Transport and latterly the Highways Agency in respect of every Inquiry into proposals to develop Motorway Service Areas in England.
Between 1989 and 1997 Simon promoted approximately 30 major road schemes on behalf of the Highways Agency covering motorway widening and extensions as well as trunk road schemes.
Simon advised in respect of the provision of a new Rail Freight Terminal in Birmingham, now constructed, and advised the Local Planning Authority in opposing another one near to Heathrow.
Simon has advised and appeared at inquiry to oppose the provision of Park and Ride schemes in Swindon and Bournemouth where the proposal was contrary to stated Government policy and was not adequately justified.