Kings Chambers

Alan Evans

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Practice Areas

Alan specialises in (1) planning (2) town and village greens/commons and (3) highways, public rights of way and road traffic regulation. He has extensive experience across these areas and his practice embraces the full range of inquiry and hearing processes, includes a significant judicial review component and extends to acting as an inspector in town and village greens/commons cases. In addition to advocacy, Alan also has a wide-ranging advisory practice in his specialist fields. Alan acts for both the public and private sector and accepts licensed access work.


Alan has a wide-ranging planning practice both as advocate and in an advisory capacity. He has been involved in numerous significant planning inquiries for all kinds of development and has recently built up an expertise in minerals cases. He represented Lancashire County Council in important, controversial and high-profile shale gas fracking inquiries in 2016 and 2018, North Lincolnshire Council in an inquiry into onshore oil production in 2017 and is currently advising Cumbria County Council in relation to a proposal for a new deep coal mine. Alan has considerable experience of the full range of planning procedures including section 78 appeals (both inquiries and hearings), called-in applications, enforcement appeals, local plan examinations and judicial review. He acts for developers and local authorities.

Recent Significant Reported Cases:

Thornton Hall Hotel Limited v Thornton Holdings Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 737 (Court of Appeal): time limits for judicial review in planning cases.

Kebbell Developments v Leeds City Council [2018] EWCA Civ 450 (Court of Appeal): local planning authorities’ post-examination powers of modification of neighbourhood plans.

Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) v Selby DC [2015] EWCA Civ 1107 (Court of Appeal): whether the plan-making duty to co-operate applies after submission of a plan for examination.

Larkfleet v Rutland County Council [2015] EWCA Civ 597 (Court of Appeal): whether neighhourhood plans can make allocations.

(2)Town and village greens/commons

Alan has great experience of town and village green applications as well as undertaking commons work. In addition to his advocacy and advisory practice, Alan often acts for registration authorities in the role of an independent inspector holding non-statutory inquiries into applications for new greens followed by the production of careful and thorough reports with clear recommendations. In 2018 Alan acted as an inspector for Cumbria County Council in relation to an extremely contentious and vigorously opposed proposal by the Ministry of Defence to de-register extensive areas of common in the North Pennines forming the Warcop Training Area.

Recent Significant Reported Cases:

Naylor v Essex CC [2014] EWHC 2560 (Admin): whether use can be “as of right” where privately owned land is managed by a local authority.

Norbrook Laboratories Ltd v Carlisle CC [2013] EWHC 1113 (Admin): whether public rights of access to common land survive the extinction of rights of common.

(3)Highways, public rights of way and road traffic regulation

Alan has a broad expertise across the totality of these related areas. His wide experience here has included the promotion of road schemes for both the Highways Agency (as was) and local authorities at inquiry. He has appeared in definitive map modification order inquiries (both promoting and objecting), stopping up cases (both inquiries and magistrates’ court hearings) and inquiries into road traffic regulation orders. Alan has an extensive advisory practice in this specialist field.

Recent Significant Reported Cases:

Roxlena Limited v Cumbria County Council [2019] EWCA Civ 1639 (Court of Appeal): precision required of definitive map modification order applications; scope of investigative duty of surveying authority; when evidence is “discovered” and scope of authority’s free-standing duty to modify; and standard of proof in making orders.


Education: MA, LLB (Cantab) (both first class); Lecturer in Law at Manchester University (1978-1985); Junior Counsel to the Crown (Provincial Panel) (2000-2013).

Professional Memberships

Planning and Environmental Bar Association;

Administrative Law Bar Association.