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Oliver Spencer Oliver Spencer

Oliver Spencer

Senior Associate

Profile

Services

Oliver specialises in infrastructure planning and environmental law. He advises project promoters, affected parties and statutory bodies on all aspects of developments promoted under the Planning Act 2008, Transport and Works Act 1992 and Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as well as by way of hybrid bill.

He has extensive experience of advising landowners, businesses and other bodies affected by the High Speed Two railway project, including petitioning against hybrid bills, securing additional provisions to protect clients’ interests and negotiating complex agreements.

He also advises promoters and landowners on blight and compensation matters arising from major infrastructure proposals, including proceedings in the Upper Tribunal.

Much of his work concerns compulsory purchase and temporary possession powers, often involving special types of land such as common land and statutory undertakers’ land. He has experience of securing compulsory purchase powers for project promoters to enable them to implement major infrastructure projects.

Oliver also has a keen interest in environmental assessment law and is experienced in advising clients on the requirements of the EIA and SEA regulations.

He has particular experience in advising clients on the requirements of the Habitats Regulations in relation to development proposals, including advising on the ‘imperative reasons of overriding public interest’ (IROPI) derogation.

He is a co-convenor of the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) environmental litigation working party. He is also a member of the UKELA working group on environmental assessment and the Compulsory Purchase Association working party on blight.

Career highlights

  • Acting for Highways England on the promotion of a development consent order for a major junction improvement project located in a special protection area.
  • Advising the successful claimants in proceedings in the Upper Tribunal to establish the validity of a blight notice served in respect of a substantial residential property affected by the HS2 project (Craddock and another v Secretary of State for Transport [2021] UKUT 0002 (LC)).
  • Advising a Premier League football club on a multi-million pound agreement in relation to the relocation of the club’s training facility, which was affected by the HS2 project.
  • Acting for a leading healthcare and education services provider on an extensive agreement to secure the relocation, in advance of construction works, of a specialist facility for children with learning disabilities affected by the HS2 project.
  • Advising a promoter on serving a counter-notice in respect of a blight notice concerning land required for a nationally significant infrastructure project, and subsequently acting in related Upper Tribunal proceedings, resulting in the withdrawal of the blight notice by the claimant.
  • Advising a harbour authority with responsibility for a large inland waterway on a significant asset protection agreement arising from a compulsory purchase order promoted by a water undertaker under the Water Industry Act 1991 relating to a wastewater treatment works.

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Reading
The Anchorage, 34 Bridge Street
Reading RG1 2LU

Southampton
Grosvenor House, Grosvenor Square
Southampton SO15 2BE

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