Ben is an experienced planning law specialist who advises developers and landowners on a broad range of planning, highways and compulsory purchase matters. His sector focus includes housing and commercial development, motorway service areas, care homes, rural development, and telecoms. As well as this, Ben runs a busy practise litigating disputes in the Planning Court.
I have dealt with Ben Garbett at Keystone Law for more than two years I have found him to be honest, knowledgeable and inventive in his approach in that he will always assess a case well and will only take it on if he thinks that you his client can win, more than that he is always there for you, late at night and even weekends.
Sutton Springs Trout Farm
Would just like to thank you for the awesome job you did again for us. Once again getting everything spot on. The way you work is methodical and precise. You have always answered your phone even when I called you on your day off (sorry) I was in a state of panic! Someone once said to me "The most expensive thing you can buy is a cheap solicitor" how true that is.
Ben is extremely efficient and highly effective when fighting unsuitable developments. His dedication and commitment to his work stands out above others. Ben's wide knowledge of planning law is exceptional and he is my first choice as a Planning Solicitor.
Chairman Harrogate District, CPRE
- Planning applications and appeals
- Planning / infrastructure agreements (s106, s278, etc.)
- Judicial review and other Planning Court litigation
- Advocacy at planning committees, hearings and public inquiries
- Compulsory purchase orders
- Certificates of lawful development
- Interpretation of planning conditions and consents
- Specialist ‘GPDO’ advice (permitted development)
- Planning enforcement
- Listed buildings and heritage assets
- Rights of way
- Appeared as advocate at a public inquiry on behalf of the private owner of a leading hotel in Monmouthshire, successfully resisting plans for s major housing development by a leading national housebuilder on a site close to the hotel, in the Green Belt, which had threatened the client’s business.
- Advised a private owner in respect of the initial development plans for the creation of an award-winning luxury spa hotel in the UK (Calcot Manor Hotel situated in the Cotswolds). This included advising on listed building controls, planning procedures and legal agreements.
- Advised a hotel owner on successfully resisting a judicial review challenge brought by neighbouring landowners to the grant of planning permission relating to a planned major expansion of the existing hotel premises and business operation.
- Advised a long-standing client (a UK operator of motorway service areas) in relation to its proposed acquisition of a greenfield site for the construction of a major new motorway service area on the M25 motorway, to include petrol filling station, retail, amenity areas and establishment of a new hotel.
- Advised a long-standing client (a UK operator of motorway service areas) in relation to the proposed expansion of a leading motorway service area on the M5 motorway. The development proposals involve the construction of a new hotel and associated expansion of existing car parking spaces on the southbound site.
Motorway service areas: R (on the application of Welcome Break Group Ltd) v Stroud DC  EWHC 140 (Admin)
- Telecomms network development on behalf of licensed Code operators: R (oao Orange PCS Ltd) v Islington LBC  EWCA Civ 157; St Leger-Davey v First Secretary of State  EWCA Civ 1612
- Advising on commercial-scale solar development
- Housing applications and appeals for PLC housebuilders
- Obtaining lawful development certificates, e.g. to ‘regularise’ unauthorised dwellings in the Green Belt; implementation of overlapping planning consents
- Planning, enforcement and LDC appeals related to Heritage assets, e.g. preservation of WW2 radio wave research building in the National Park; B8 storage use of former Cold War military base
- Compulsory purchase and compensation advice for landowners, e.g. Hinkley Project C; M25 Jct 10/A3 Wisley interchange
- Specialist ‘GPDO’ advice:
- ‘Implied’ planning conditions (purporting to remove permitted development rights): Dunnett Investments Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWCA Civ 192; Baker v SSCLG and Three Rivers District Council 
- Telecomms: Development of new electronic communications networks (Part 16)
- Offices: Planning appeals for ‘office to residential’ change of use schemes
- Dwellings: Planning Court litigation on the scope of permitted development rights for enlargement of dwellings: Patel v SSCLG and London Borough of Sutton 
- Agricultural buildings: to dwellings at planning appeal and litigation in the Planning Court: R(oao) Guy Townsend v Harrogate Borough Council ; R(oao) Guy Townsend v Harrogate Borough Council ; Upton Historic Parkland Conservation Group v SSCLG and Baldwin 
- Demolition under ‘GPDO’ Part 11
Other Planning Court litigation:
- Enforcement against ‘concealed’ development: Jackson v SSCLG; Bonsall v SSCLG  EWCA Civ 1246
- ‘Enabling development’ for renovation of listed Grade II cinema: R(oao) Fells v Bristol CC and Everyman Media Group 
- Odour and noise nuisance, e.g. re-development of shooting grounds: R (on the application of Flint) v South Gloucestershire Council  EWHC 2180 (Admin); Dog kennels in the Green Belt (Richardson and Billington v Fylde District Council)
- ‘Correction’ of an Inspector’s decision letter: Laxman v SSCLG and London Borough of Southwark 
- Mistake of fact: Shafi v SSCLG 
- Unauthorised development in the AONB: R (oao) Hatcher v Monmouthshire County Council  EWHC 2914 (Admin)
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised by the Legal 500 2020 for Planning
“Ben Garbett works indefatigably and relentlessly to achieve results for his clients.” Legal 500 2020
“Ben Garbett is excellent at communicating complex legal concepts to clients.” Legal 500 2020
Recognised by the Legal 500 2018 for Planning
“Very knowledgable and passionate about planning law” Legal 500 2018
Ben Garbett is recognised by the Legal 500 2017. “Good technical knowhow and commercial savvy”
Ben is recommended by the Legal 500 UK 2015
“At ‘client-driven firm’ Keystone Law, Ben Garbett deals with planning, highways, and compulsory purchase matters and is a ‘very astute tactician'” Legal 500 UK 2014
Ben qualified as a solicitor in 1999. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2009, he worked at the following firms:
- Charles Russell Speechlys
- Burges Salmon
- Clarke Willmott