The man with the golden disc: Meet the top silks battling over Arun's future

Fighting residents' corner to gaining gold disks for helping MTV, legal eagles battling it out over major plans for Fontwell have vast experience.

Friday, 4th November 2016, 1:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:16 pm
Chris Katkowski QC SUS-160411-134502003

Plans for up to 400 homes on Fontwell Meadows have been subject to a three-day planning inquiry. Click here for the latest coverage.

The outcome of the inquiry, however, represents far more than the fate of the green space, providing the latest case law on how important resident-crafted neighbourhood plans are.

Top barristers posed points for and against the plans.

Landowners Fontwell Estates were represented by QC Christopher Katkowski, described in his profile as ‘one of the foremost leaders in planning and environment work in the country’.

Away from Fontwell, he led the charge for developers at an inquiry into The Shard, in London, helped Tottenham Hotspur secure permission for its new stadium and advising on plans for Battersea Power Station.

But it was his work in assisting MTV in gaining permission for a new studio which gained him a unique trophy.

His profile stated: “He must be the only planning QC to have been awarded a gold disc (by MTV to celebrate the successful planning appeal for a new studio).”

On the opposite side, Arun residents may be familiar with Eastergate Parish Council’s barrister, Dr Ashley Bowes.

Dr Bowes represented the Villages Action Group at last year’s public examination into Arun District Council’s local plan.

He was critical of the council’s approach at the time, stating: “There are a number of opportunities throughout where potential alternatives have not been assessed because of a lack of evidence on its part. That is simply not good enough.”

Dr Bowes was called to the bar in 2013, specialising in ‘all aspects of planning, property, licensing and local government law’.

His profile added: “He is the general editor of Sweet and Maxwell’s Journal of Planning & Environment Law, a contributing editor to Oxford University Press’ ‘A Practical Approach to Planning Law’, and an author of the planning law commentary for Westlaw’s Insight service.

“His opinion on planning law and practice is frequently sought by the industry press, and recently by the Daily Telegraph on application of the national Green Belt policy.”

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