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7. What’s Law Got to Do With It? The Future of Landscape Led Planning Under the NPPF


Where previous speakers have focussed on the practical application of the NPPF, this session will look at the legal principles which underpin the new NPPF, and the ways in which they are likely to impact on the traditional role of the landscape architect.  Using recent case law, it will highlight the ways in which different aspects of national policy such as the Green Belt, valued landscapes, the setting of heritage assets and concepts such as “Net Gain”, are now raising subtly different questions to conventional landscape impact assessment, providing new challenges and new opportunities for the both landscape-led planning and the assessment of projects. 

At the end of this session, delegates will have a wider understanding of: 
  • the way law interacts with policy to shape our understanding of the NPPF; 
  • key case law on what those parts of national policy which affect landscape-led planning ; 
  • the different approaches this may require to the planning and assessment of new development; 
  • some of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the profession.   

Paul Brown QC

Paul Brown QC’s practice covers planning and environmental, public and local government law. He has extensive experience in the High Court and Court of Appeal, as well as at Public Inquiries. 

Paul was called to the Bar in 1991. Before taking silk in 2009, he was a member of the Treasury “A” Panel, where he acted for a wide range of government departments including CLG, DEFRA, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Education. In 2014 he was the legal adviser to Committee on the Review of Planning Guidance, led by Lord Taylor. 

As a specialist in town and country planning, Paul acts for developers, local planning authorities and third-party interest groups at all stages of the planning process.  His experience covers most areas of planning law, including residential and retail development, minerals and waste, airports, windfarms, highways, compulsory purchase and enforcement.  Paul’s wider public law practice has given him a particular expertise in statutory challenges and applications for judicial review, where he has acted for claimants, defendants and interested parties. 

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The session will focus on the seeds of planning once again being seen as a force for good in managing land and resources in a coherent fashion whilst enabling growth.

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