Trevor Ward

  • Call: 1991
Trevor Ward

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Practice Overview

Trevor has in excess of 25 years’ experience specialising in Planning and Local Government work and for many years he has practised exclusively in the areas of planning, highways, public rights of way and certain issues relating to town and village green matters. Trevor practises in most aspects of town and country planning and within the field of highway law he has particular interest in matters concerning public rights of way. Trevor is regularly instructed in judicial review proceedings and statutory appeals to the High Court within the areas of his practice.

Trevor is a former lecturer in law and has been in practice at the Bar on the south coast since 1991. He has organised and given seminars and provides training on a wide range of planning and highway law topics for local authority officers and members. In addition Trevor regularly delivers papers at various conferences including those provided by Central Law Training.

Local Government

Highways & Public Rights of Way

Trevor has a keen interest in all aspects of highways matters and especially public rights of way. Within this area, he has vast experience of acting for Order Making Authorities, order supporters and objectors in respect of the proposed changes to the Definitive Map and Statement and he has appeared in numerous rights of way inquiries. Inquiry work has included proposed orders to upgrade and add public rights of way of all types, based upon claims of both statutory and common law deemed dedication whether founded on detailed historic documentary evidence and/or user evidence. In addition he has dealt with applications to stop up and divert rights of way, both by the Inquiry and the Magistrates’ Court procedures. These proceedings have raised both the usual issues, as well as sometimes, more unusual issues, such as the impact of War Time closures on the continuity of user evidence, routes crossing watercourses and coastal routes, as well as issues of loss of rights of way by annihilation of the subject matter.

Trevor also deals with issues of obstructions and duties and responsibilities under the Highways Act and other legislation and he appeared on behalf of the highway authority in the leading case of Herrick v Kidner and Somerset County Council [2010] EWHC 269 (Admin) as to the interpretation of section 130A-D of the Highways Act 1980.

In addition, Trevor has also appeared in a number of inquiries into Traffic Regulation Orders on a wide range of issues including, more recently, the Stonehenge inquiries.

Town and Village Greens

Trevor is able to deal with certain aspects of town and village green matters especially where these involve considerations of areas of law which overlap with public rights of way/planning matters eg whether user is “as of right” rather than “by right” or whether planning related trigger events in section 15 and Schedule 1A to the 2006 Act are satisfied. He has acted as a non-statutory Inspector in determining a dispute, on the basis of written representations, as to the registration of land as a village green.

Notable Reported Cases:

  • Herrick v Kidner and Somerset County Council [2010] EWHC 269 (Admin) – Successfully acted on behalf of the highway authority in an appeal by case stated against the decision of the Crown Court concerning the removal of obstructions from the highway. The case considered a number of issues relating to the obstruction of the highway and the interpretation of statutory provisions under the 1980 Act. The decision is now the leading case as to the interpretation of section 130A-D of the Highways Act 1980
  • Wall and others v. Winchester City Council [2015] EWCA Civ 563 – Successfully acting on behalf of the local planning authority in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal in applications under sections 288 and 289 of the TCPA against an Inspector’s decision to allow an appeal against an enforcement notice in respect of the unauthorised use of a travelling show person’s site. Detailed consideration of the scope and application of the decision in the I’m Your Man case in determining the extent of the use allowed by a description on the grant of planning permission. The case is now a very important recent decision as to whether the use can be controlled by the description itself or is a limitation of a use and requires a planning condition

Major Infrastructure Inquiries:

  • Portland Harbour Revision Order Inquiry – Acting for a national commercial organisation to represent its interests in this major inquiry, to deal with the scope and extent of transfer of powers from the military port to create a new civilian Harbour Authority
  • Western Solent Harbour Revision Order Inquiry – Acting for a Local Authority objector concerning a range of jurisdictional and environmental issues in respect of proposals to increase the geographical scope of the Harbour Authorities powers
  • Dibden Bay Southampton Container Port Inquiries – Major public inquiry combining a number of planning, transport, harbour revision and compulsory purchase inquiries to build a substantial container port on reclaimed land on the west banks of Southampton water. Objector’s issues were on a wide range of topics including environmental concerns, nature conservation issues, landscape impacts for the New Forest and the proposed National Park, navigational safety and conflicts with recreation
  • Stonehenge Tunnel and Bypass inquiry – Roads inquiry into appropriate route and means to provide a scheme to alleviate the impacts of a major trunk road on the Stonehenge World Heritage Site including the consideration of the interrelationship of European legislation with Central Government planning policy
  • Scarweather Sands Offshore Windfarm Inquiry – First public inquiry to be held into objections to one of the UK’s first offshore windfarms. Acting for a national Association on various issues including the need for the windfarm, windfarm technology concerns, decommissioning problems, navigational conflict and safety implications
  • Stonehenge Highway Stopping Up Orders Inquiries – Major Inquiries into proposed stopping up and traffic regulation orders in respect of a number of rights of way and an important A class road. The orders were promoted to facilitate both the provision of the new visitor centre and arrangements for Stonehenge as well as improving its setting and that of the wider World Heritage Site

Other illustrative examples of Work:

A summary of some of Trevor’s more recent notable/interesting cases includes the following:


  • Shoreham Cement Works – 3 week public inquiry concerning redevelopment of former cement works and quarry within the sensitive landscape of the proposed South Downs National Park. Major redevelopment scheme of the business, housing and leisure uses. Issues of planning policy, environmental and nature conservation impacts, appropriate remedial works and extent of enabling development required contrary to policy.
  • St John’s House Inquiry Oxfordshire – An inquiry into the special architectural merits justification for a large new house in the countryside as an exception to policy. Detailed consideration of architectural and landscape design of an unusual and modern construction as well as very in depth analysis of wider landscape appraisal and assessment
  • Whitehouse Road, Newport, Isle of Wight – Enforcement notice appeal involving detailed consideration of the law concerning the correct identification of the planning unit and the description of its lawful use. Exceptionally unusual circumstances of mixed residential/agricultural use of an agricultural workshop and surrounding land with no identifiable separate units
  • 115 Ramley Road, Pennington, Lymington – Enforcement notice appeal against use of agricultural land and large building for commercial use in connection with sale and storage of motor vehicles. Issue as to whether 4 year or 10 year rule applied to the works of operational development involving detailed consideration of case law. Inspector rejected LPA’s argument, relying upon Murfitt v SSE & Another, that 10 year rule applied. Consideration of whether the operation development was part and parcel of the unauthorised use. Murfitt Case distinguished by the Inspector and cases of Somak Travel v SSE and Independent Pensions Mangement Ltd v SSC and Kent CC also considered

Highways/Rights of Way:

  • SPH Groundworks v West Berkshire District Council – Successful opposition to a claim for judicial review of the highway authority’s decision to take action against vehicular use of a footpath running along a private vehicular access. Issues considered by the Court included: a) What is vested in the highway authority and its ability to grant a vehicular right as owner of the surface of the highway? (b) The authority’s power to grant lawful authority for the use under S.34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. (c) Rights of owner of subsoil to retrain trespass
  • Stonehenge Inquiries – Major Inquiry into proposed stopping up and traffic regulation orders in respect of a number of rights of way and an important A class road. The orders were promoted to facilitate both the provision of the new visitor centre and arrangements for Stonehenge as well as improving its setting and that of the wider World Heritage Site
  • Ludgershall 30 and Chute 32, 34, 36 TRO – Traffic Regulation Order inquiry involving detailed consideration of conflicting expert evidence on a number of issues including ecological impacts, archaeological evidence of surfacing of ancient highways, and engineering evidence as to the preservation of the surfacing
  • East Street Horsham – Inquiry into proposed Traffic Regulation Orders excluding vehicular traffic from important streets within the town centre. Various matters considered including implications for town centre trade and viability and disability discrimination impacts arising from location of parking provision and accessibility to town centre shops
  • Bridleway 610 and Footpath 26 Guildford – Modification Order Inquiry based upon user and historical documentary evidence. The evidence had previously been considered at an inquiry in 2007 on the basis of the decision in the Godmanchester Case in the Court of Appeal which did not confirm the order. Important decision by the Inspector at this inquiry that the House of Lords ruling in that case constituted new evidence enabling a fresh order to be made and confirmed
  • Windlesham Restricted Byway 188 – In considering whether an application for a modification order was Schedule 14 compliant, the Inspector considered and applied Maroudas v SSEFRA in concluding that evidence sent in before the application form itself was submitted could form part of the application such that it became schedule 14 compliant
  • Ebbsbourne Wake Restricted Byway 24 – Modification Order Inquiry based purely upon historical documentary evidence. Important consideration as to the validity of the relevant Inclosure Award with potential consequences for others within the authority’s area. Also consideration of expert geophysical/aerial topography interpretation evidence
  • Purton 104 – Inquiry into diversion of a bridleway which had not been used for many years and required extensive and costly clearing drainage works as well as on-going maintenance costs which would be considerably higher than for the diversion. Although the order was not confirmed, Inspector concluded that the costs of the remedial and maintenance works were relevant factors in deciding expediency of making the diversion in the public interest. Consideration as to ability to make upgrade and diversion orders simultaneously
  • White Waltham Footpath 25 – Modification Order inquiry involving consideration of detailed historical documentary evidence and user evidence to support claims at common law and under section 31. The inquiry ran for 5 days and a successful application for costs was made on behalf of the authority
  • Keevil 23 and Seend Head 57 Restricted Byways – Four day Inquiry into a modification order involving extensive and detailed consideration of historic documentary evidence

Planning and Environment

Town & Country Planning

Trevor has extensive experience in acting for applicants, local planning authorities and third parties in the full range of work within the field of Town and Country Planning including section 78 and enforcement proceedings (including listed building control) and injunction and committal proceedings within both the County and High Court. He regularly deals with High Court challenges of planning decisions and was instructed on behalf of the local planning authority in the Court of Appeal decision of Wall and others v. Winchester City Council [2015] EWCA Civ 563. He also provides opinions in support of applications for certificates of lawfulness which often result in a successful outcome for the applicant.

Trevor has undertaken and appeared in a number of major infrastructure inquiries for roads, wind farms and ports. He has also advised on and acted in a wide range of public inquiries including matters related to agricultural development and redevelopment, tourism, housing, commercial and historic and listed buildings as well as numerous enforcement and smaller inquiries.

Trevor also undertakes other planning related work including more specialist inquiry work such as Transport and Harbour Inquiries proceedings and has represented clients at several inquiries into Harbour Revision Orders including, Southampton Port (Dibden Bay) and Portland Port.

Trevor has a special interest in planning and environmental issues within the coastal zone and marine environment and he is able to accept instructions on a Licensed Access basis and also via the Planning and Environment Bar Free Representation Unit.