Ashley's recent advisory work 



  • Advising a group of Surrey authorities on their ability to require affordable housing contributions for developments of 10 or fewer units following the Court of Appeal's decision in West Berkshire Council v SSCLG [2016] EWCA Civ. 441, [2016] 1 WLR 3923. His advice led to one of the first affordable housing obligations being upheld at appeal on a scheme of fewer than 10 units, following the re-introduction of the exemption policy by the Secretary of State in May 2016 (APP/K3605/W/16/3146699).
  • Appearing in a test case on the meaning of "previously developed land" or "brownfield" land within the NPPF: Dartford Borough Council v SSCLG [2016] EWHC 635 (Admin.). He subsequently secured permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal,  to be heard in March 2017.
  • Successfully appearing for a neighbouring landowner in the High Court to quash a grant of planning permission for a gypsy and travller site, in which the Inspector had mistakenly thought the highways authority witness was present on the site visit giving highways evidence: Rees v SSCLG  (CO/2735/2016)
  • Successfully appearing for Dartford Borough Council in the High Court to quash a town-centre residential scheme which failed to provide for a suitable mix of housing in accordance with the development plan: Dartford BC v SSCLG (CO/4454/2015)
  • Successfully appearing for South Cambridgeshire DC in the High Court to resist a challenge judicial review to a refusal to determine a planning application: HC (Builders) Ltd v South Cambridgeshire DC (CO/1058/2016).
  • Successfully appearing for Brent LBC in the High Court to quash a residential extension scheme: Brent LBC v SSCLG  (CO/1292/2016).
  • Advising Danish magic-circle law firm Plesner on the first high-volume hydraulic fracturing application in Denmark by Total.


  • Successfully appeared for Newark & Sherwood District Council to resist an appeal against a rare immediate revocation of a taxi and private license.
  • Successfully appeared for a night-club owner to obtain the first sex entertainment venue license in Guildford in Surrey.
  • Successfully appeared for the Security Industry Authority resisting appeals against revocation and refusal.
  • Successfully represented the Guildford Hackney Carriage Association to persuade Guildford Borough Council not to alter its fare calculator.


  • Advising a London authority on obtaining possession of land, and resisting an adverse possession application.
  • Advising a developer on access issues to land by utilising implied easements and easements created by prescription.
  • Successfully represented a landowner resist an attempt to vary the common boundary. The variation would have had the effect of creating a new vehicular access to serve a 100+ unit housing scheme.
  • Successfully appearing for a residents' group in Leatherhead to register Leach Grove Woods a new village green following a contested public inquiry. 
  • Successfully acting for a local inhabitant to scure the removal of roping excluding him and others from engaging in lawful sports and pastimes over a registered village green.
  • Successfully appearing for a residents' group in Buckinghamshire to register Bryant's Bottom Fields as a new village green following a contested public inquiry.






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