Simon Bell

As a Planning and Public Law Barrister and Litigation Specialist, Simon is passionate about good, fair decision making in public life. Called to the Bar in 2003, he has worked in many legal areas including criminal law, before specialising in planning and public law. Simon is a skilled litigator with experience of acting in all levels of courts in England and Wales.

My work

  • Assisting with (or objecting to) planning applications
  • Appearing at planning hearings, inquires, statutory appeals or judicial reviews
  • Infrastructure and major planning projects
  • Traffic Regulation Orders and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Local and Neighbourhood Plans
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders
  • Development Consent Orders
  • Investigations and enforcement actions brought by, Local Planning Authorities, the Environment Agency or Natural England

Recent cases
Acting for the "Save Capel" residents association and Capel Parish Council in the 2022 examination of the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan Review

Acting for Lenham and then Harrietsham Parish Councils in the 2022 examination of the Maidstone Local Plan Review

Acting for a client concerning the responsibility of a Highway Authority for a private bridge over which a public highway passes

Acting for the Claimant in the first successful judicial review concerning a General Vesting Declaration issued by Birmingham City Council following the confrmation of a Compulsory Purchase Order - R(Dawes) v  Birmingham City Council [2001] EWHC 1676

Acting for a group of 11 objectors in the City of Westminister (Ebury Birgde Estate) CPO 2022 - successfully assisting all 11 to reach agreements to voluntarily sell their property to the Council.

About me

During his legal career, Simon has been involved in advising on many high-profile projects including HS2, the expansion of the UK’s airport capacity and the effects of Brexit on the UK. Over the course of these projects, he developed his interest in planning and public law, infrastructure litigation, judicial reviews, resolving regulatory law issues, compulsory purchase and land use work.

What my clients say

"Simon took on our case at short notice. He offered invaluable legal advice and dealt with our case in a swift and brilliant way. His professionalism, attention to detail, sincerity and empathy reassured us that we made a superb choice. We could not have asked for a better Barrister to represent us!"

"I cannot put into words just how much Simon helped us. How genuine and kind he has been and how he's held our hands through all the things we were completely clueless on how to deal with. Simon spent so much time on our case. Nothing was ever too much. He even worked during his holiday and on weekends, which I felt so bad about but also so extremely grateful. Because it was a very critical window we were working to. He is the only person we have dealt with in all of this that was true to his word and in fact did more for us than we could have ever expected. Simon, thank you for being so diligent, so fantastic at what you do and for just being all round amazing!"

"Simon was absolutely amazing at helping us with our case against the council. It has been such a long and hard battle and we were beginning to lose faith. We only wish that we had instructed Simon sooner as all his help and advice was invaluable! The leaps that Simon made in such a short space of time were phenomenal. Thank you for all your help, support and knowledge. We could not have gotten where we are without you."

Professional & academic


  • Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA)
  • Compulsory Purchase Association (CPA)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
  • Agricultural Law Association (ALA)
  • Kent Law Society