‘A Practical Guide to Planning Law and Rights of Way in National Parks, the Broads and AONBs’ by James Maurici KC, James Neill et al


Paperback: 978-1-913715-22-9
Published: October 2020
Read a FREE sample online now

Purchase from ourselves by adding to cart below, or purchase with optional Prime delivery from Amazon, here.


We are extremely fortunate in this country to enjoy some truly magnificent landscapes, ranging from towering peaks to lowland fens. We are, rightly, proud of these landscapes, such that their protection, and our rights to roam in them, are of the utmost import.

The system that has developed for their protection depends on the designation of those landscapes as a National Parks, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (“AONB”), or as part of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.  At present, approximately 24.5% of England is currently covered by National Parks, the Broads, or AONBs. This book looks at the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This book outlines the legislative history of National Parks, AONBs and the Broads, looking at their statutory underpinning, government guidance, and potential for re-form.  It examines, in detail, their role in the planning system (chapters 2-3), looking at the application of national policy and guidance (chapter 4), wildlife and biodiversity issues (chapter 5), and water issues (chapter 6). The book also looks at the various rights of way and access rights granted to members of the public (chapters 7 and 8).


James Maurici KC is a barrister at Landmark Chambers. He has particular expertise in advising and acting in respect of development affecting National Parks and AONBs and in relation to habitats and air quality issues. He is the author of the so-called Maurici opinions on the meaning of “major development” in National Parks. He promoted the South Downs National Park Local Plan with James Neill.

James Neill is planning barrister of over 14 years’ experience, with particular expertise in the regulatory framework affecting development in National Parks, SSSIs and AONBs.

Stephen Morgan has specialised in planning and related fields of law, having graduated in both law and planning. His experience, both as adviser and advocate, covers the range of planning and related topics, including major infrastructure projects and in particular waste and energy facilities; his work covers the regulatory aspects (under the various regimes and Directives) as well as the planning issues. This also includes extensive experience of highways and development generally but also in the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Stephen Whale has over 20 years of experience in planning law, rights of way, commons, forestry and village greens.  In July 2020 the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs appointed Stephen as a Member of the South Downs National Park Authority.

Kate Olley is a specialist planning and public law with over 20 years’ experience, advising in relation to development affecting AONBs and in all areas of planning and infrastructure.

Jacqueline Lean has a cross-discipline practice, encompassing property, planning and public law, as well as environmental law matters related to those areas of practice.  She has particular experience in infrastructure projects within, or affecting, National Parks and AONBs, and public rights of way.

Matthew Dale-Harris grew up in the South Downs (partly before became an NP) with cousins on Exmoor and has a longstanding affection for all things National Park. Since being called to the bar in 2012 he has focused on planning, property and environmental law and has particular expertise in dealing with habitats issues and the SSSI regime.

Nick Grant was called to the Bar in 2016, and practises in in planning, property, and environmental law. He specialises in sectors and issues which touch on all three disciplines, as National Parks, AONBs, the Broads, and their associated rights and requirements.


  1. An introduction to National Parks, the Broads and AONBs
  2. The role of National Park Authorities and the Broads Authority in the planning system
  3. AONBs and the planning system
  4. The Application of National Policy and Guidance in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  5. Wildlife and biodiversity issues in National Parks and the Broads
  6. Water
  7. Rights of way
  8. Other Access Rights