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Poonam Pattni

Planning and Land

BSB Barristers’ Register

Poonam has dealt with a broad range of planning related matters and is experienced in advising from the early stages through to inquiry and enforcement.

She has advised and represented both developers and Local Planning Authorities at planning inquiries. She has advised on injunctive relief, lawful uses of land and special controls under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Poonam is a contributor to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) online publication on Planning Conditions and Obligations. Poonam regularly advises planning consultants and other specialists in the field under the Licensed Access Scheme. Please contact the 12CP clerks for further information.

In the field of planning enforcement, Poonam regularly appears in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. She has prosecuted and defended companies and individuals charged with offences including non-compliance with enforcement notices, breach of condition notices, advertisement offences, breach of tree preservation regulations/orders (TPO’s) and related environmental offences. Poonam has also assisted local planning authorities in responding to unauthorised encampments.

Poonam is very familiar with managing the often-competing interests involved in planning and clients welcome her commercially pragmatic approach to litigation. She has advised commercial developers, medical trusts and individuals in matter concerning land/property acquisition and development. Poonam also has experience of dealing with highway boundary disputes, she has advised and acted on behalf of highways authorities dealing with claims in trespass and disputes over rights of way, easements and verges.

Poonam offers training on planning related matters. Please contact the 12CP Clerks for more information.

Cases Of Interest

  • Advised on HMO licensing obligations and the relationship with planning permission.
  • Obtained an urgent out of hours emergency planning injunction against ‘persons unknown’ from the High Court under sections 214A and section 187 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to prevent unauthorised tree felling on national park land. Retained to deal with the prosecution of known offenders.
  • Advised on appeal to the High Court under section 288 and section 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to have a planning inspectors’ decision quashed.
  • Sole counsel in a three-day planning inquiry concerning an operational development on conservation land, the case involved listed building considerations.
  • Successfully defended a claim for damages in the county court made against a local planning authority, the case concerned the jurisdiction of the county court in dealing with such matters.
  • Sole counsel for a highway’s authority in a two-day multi-track trial concerning the legal status of a verge.
  • Acted for the Council in a case concerning the correct ‘start’ date for the prosecution period for non-compliance with an enforcement notice, distinguishing R v Kuxhaus. The court made a confiscation order of £45,000.00, press coveragehere.
  • Prosecuted a supermarket chain and sub-contractor accused of breaching a tree preservation order.
  • Prosecuted a developer for uprooting and destroying trees located in a Conservation Area, secured fines of £15,000.00, reported here.
  • Secured the withdrawal of a prosecution for breach of a condition notice on behalf of a theatre company.
  • Obtained planning permission for residential development relying on under-enforcement provisions following a two-day planning inquiry.
  • Advised private landowners on compulsory purchase and compensation arising from redevelopment of an ancient highway.
  • Successful application to strike out a collateral challenge to a traffic regulation order and dismissal of a claim in trespass.
  • Advised a multinational company charged with advertising offences, the prosecution was subsequently withdrawn.
  • Second prosecution of a local village pub which had been converted into residential use without prior planning permission, press coveragehere.
  • Junior counsel in a call-in inquiry concerning an LPA’s five-year housing land supply.
  • Prosecution for non-compliance with a planning enforcement notice resulting in a £20,000 fine, press coveragehere.
  • Successful legal argument concerning the interpretation and enforceability of the terms of a stop notice.


Regulatory and Local Government

Poonam has experience of dealing with a broad range of local government and regulatory matters. She is particularly adept at dealing with complex and overlapping areas of law and presenting them in an accessible manner.

She has experience in dealing with matters involving Health & Safety Regulations, Housing Standards, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), Trading Standards, Animal Welfare, Anti-Social Behaviour, Building Regulations and all areas of Licencing.

Cases Of Interest

  • Sole counsel instructed in ‘Operation Bluebell’ and Operation Carnation’, cases concerning landlords running multiple unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) issued with civil financial penalty notices, the cases were heard in the First Tier Property Tribunal
  • Represented a local authority in the First Tier Property Tribunal where a civil financial penalty notice was issued for non-compliance with an improvement notice
  • Sole counsel for the local authority inWoking Borough Council v Johnson [2017] EWHC 2547, the High Court gave guidance on calculating the number of qualifying storeys for a licensable House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).  
  • Represented a Licensing Authority in opposing an appeal against the revocation of a Hackney Carriage Licence where A faced historical allegations of sexual abuse, appeal was dismissed.
  • Represented a local authority at the First Tier Property Tribunal on an appeal against an improvement notice, appeal dismissed.
  • Represented a Licensing Authority in an appeal against the revocation of a Premises Licence instigated by the Home Office in a case involving the employment of illegal workers. 
  • Advised billing authority in a complex dispute over liability for non-domestic rates, the site was a multi-tenant aviation site which had been sub-divided by the VOA.
  • Obtained a money judgment against four care companies arising from waste management liabilities.
  • Successfully resisted an application to set aside a liability order for non-domestic rates (NDR) where it was argued that substantial prejudice had been caused to the ratepayers.


Property and Social Housing

Poonam accepts instructions on all areas of social housing and property on behalf of Landlords and Tenants.

She has experience of dealing with homelessness reviews and appeals, contested possession proceedings, social housing, committal proceedings, anti-social behaviour including injunctions and matters engaging the Equality Act 2010. 

Cases Of Interest

  • Represented a local authority in two-day trial for breach of an anti-social behaviour injunction order where there were 89 allegations
  • Represented a social landlord in obtaining a decanting injunction order against a vulnerable tenant with hoarding tendencies
  • Succeeded on appeal against the making of a suspended possession order over an introductory tenancy on grounds that the order was unlawful.
  • Represented local authority in a contested closure order application where a property was being used for buying and selling drugs, full closure order obtained.
  • Represented a local authority in a s.204 appeal where the sole ground of appeal based on the Equality Act 2010, appeal dismissed.

Obtained an anti-social behaviour injunction order for gang related violence against three youths