Barrister profile for UK Bar 2022
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Licensing - Northern/North Eastern (Bar)
Constanze Bell regularly appears before the courts and licensing committees on behalf of local authorities. She is particularly well versed in taxi licensing issues.
Strengths: "She is very good on the law, up-to-date and has a very good manner with clients. She has the complete pack of skills you need as a barrister."
Recent work: Acted for Blackpool Borough Council in an appeal against the decision to revoke four vehicle licences due to defects found at inspection.
Planning - Northern/North Eastern (Bar)
Constanze Bell is a well-regarded junior with a broad practice spanning all aspects of planning law. She is frequently instructed by local authorities to act in planning appeals and judicial reviews.
Strengths: "One of the best young juniors in practice. She is hard-working and knowledgeable." "She is exceptionally bright and a very safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Represented Liverpool City Council and successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal that no misinterpretation of 'Green Wedge' policy had been made when planning permission was granted for a residential housing scheme.
This content is provided by Constanze Bell
Planning & Environment, Public Law, Local Government & Licensing
Constanze practices in all areas of town and country planning law, including in the specialist areas of compulsory purchase and highways. Her clients include developers, local planning authorities and local action groups. She regularly appears in inquiries as an advocate and is instructed to both bring and defend statutory challenges in the High Court. She has a busy advisory practice and regularly assists with complex enforcement cases, submissions for local plan consultations and advice regarding prospects of success on appeal. Constanze is one of the 'Highest Rated Planning Juniors under 35' (2020 & 2019 Planning Resource Planning Law survey).
She was appointed to the Attorney General’s Regional Panel (C Panel) in April 2018 and to the Panel of Special Advocates for Health & Safety and Environmental Law (C Panel) in March 2019.
She is Assistant Editor of the third edition of Patterson and Karim on Judicial Review. She is also a member of the Kings Chambers author team who write for and produce the quarterly bulletin for the Encyclopaedia of Local Government Law.
Constanze is a member of the Environmental Law Foundation and is willing to consider acting pro bono when instructed by ELF in appropriate cases. Pro bono work has included advising a local action group (‘Power without Pylons’) on their consultation response to the final public National Grid consultation on major infrastructure proposals to join up Moorside power station to the grid (‘the North West Connections Project’).
Constanze is a founding member and committee member of the ‘Women in Planning’ network’s Yorkshire branch. She was recognised as a ‘Woman of Influence’ in The Planner magazine’s 2019 survey.
PEBA (Planning & Environmental Bar Association)
ELF (Environmental Law Foundation)
Women in Planning
Northern Circuit/ North Eastern Circuit
Lowrison Bell, C. Practice and Procedure. In: Karim QC, S. and Lowrison Bell, C. eds. Patterson & Karim on Judicial Review. Third Edition, London: Jordan Publishing.
‘Local Authorities’ Investigative Powers in Trading Standards’, (November 2019) Encyclopaedia of Local Government Law Bulletin, Sweet & Maxwell
‘Civil Restraint Orders in Law and Practice’, (August 2019) Encyclopaedia of Local Government Law Bulletin, Sweet & Maxwell
‘R. (oao Hollow) v Surrey CC  EWHC 618 (Admin): Case Comment’, (March 2019) Encyclopaedia of Local Government Law Bulletin, Sweet & Maxwell
Legal Landscape, ‘Communities & Decision Making’, (May 2019), The Planner magazine, (republished by The Consultation Institute in their digital newsletter, June 2019)
Bell, C., Sustainable Development in English Planning Policy: A Lawyer’s Perspective, WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Volume 217, WIT Press, 2018, ISSN 1743-3541 (presented as a paper at the 10th International Conference on Sustainable Development & Planning at the University of Siena, Italy)
Before coming to the bar Constanze worked in the NGO sector. She was part of the legal team for ‘Control Arms’, a coalition of NGOs working to secure a human-rights orientated Arms Trade Treaty and attended the July 2012 Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference and negotiations at the UN in New York.
Constanze retains an active interest in human rights law and, in particular, in planning, regulatory and environmental cases involving human rights issues.
Recent inquiry work includes: successfully representing Denbighshire County Council in an appeal against refusal of a Lawful Development Certificate by arguing that a material change of use by way of intensification had occurred; and successfully representing Lancashire County Council in the Preston Western Distributor and East West Link Road CPO Inquiry (junior to John Barrett).
Recent court cases include: appearing for Liverpool City Council (junior to Paul Tucker QC) in a judicial review brought by a local action group (R (LOGS) v Liverpool CC & Redrow Homes Ltd  EWHC 55 (Admin)), concerning the interpretation of Liverpool’s ‘green wedge’ policies; and appearing for the Claimant in Preston, R (On the Application Of) v Cumbria County Council  EWHC 1362 (junior to John Hunter), concerning whether development was Schedule 2 development under the EIA regulations.
Constanze’s recent speaking engagements include speaking at the 2019 PEBA Conference on recent developments in viability assessments under NPPF and NPPG.
Awarded a Pegasus Scholarship (deferred because of the Covid-19 pandemic)
Woman of Influence
The Planner Magazine
Awarded an International Professional & Legal Development Grant to present a paper at a paper at the 10th International Conference on Sustainable Development & Planning at the University of Siena, Italy