Guildford 01483 539131
London 0207 1526050

Dr Ashley Bowes

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Called to Bar:
2013 Gray’s Inn (Prince of Wales Scholar)

Practice Areas


University of Surrey, PhD (Employment Law)
University of Surrey, LLB (2:1 Hons)
BPP, BPTC (“Very Competent”)

Planning and Local Government

Ashley is the Assistant Editor of Sweet & Maxwell’s Journal of Planning & Environment Law, and is a contributor to the 13th edition of Moore & Purdue’s A Practical Approach to Planning Law, published by Oxford University Press. He was previously visiting tutor in property law at the University of Surrey and is also the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Licensing at Woking Borough Council, having previously served four years as Chairman of the Planning Committee. Further, he recently gave the 2013 case law update to the Royal Town Planning Institute (East of England) Conference.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Ashley ran a planning consultancy representing clients in planning, village green, common land and rights of way inquiries. He has been described by Barrister Inspectors as “covering everything of importance [for his client]” (Rydens Way, 2011), “very effective” (Sawpit Green, 2012) and “an experienced advocate” (Ash Meadows, 2013).

“It was very comforting for us to have someone with such in-depth knowledge in this specialised area of planning helping and advising us. At the Inquiry itself our excellent choice of barrister was readily apparent. We were all very impressed with Ashley’s presence, the way he supported our witnesses, and his approach in dealing with any arguments raised by the objectors’ barrister”  – Allan Jones, Founder member and a Director of Bryants Bottom Community Trust CIC.

His recent work includes:

  • Ash Meadows (2013) – Three week village green inquiry
  • Cade Street Path (2013) – Two week rights of way inquiry
  • Ash Lodge Drive (2013) – One day adverse possession mediation
  • Chobham Common (2012) – Week long common land inquiry
  • Sawpit Green (2012) – Two week village green inquiry
  • Rydens Way (2011) – Week long village inquiry on preliminary matter (reported in full at [2012] 4 JPL 510)
  • St Dunstan’s Church (2011) – Two day planning inquiry: tower scheme
  • Rydens Way (2010) – Two day planning inquiry: 44 residential units

Public Sector – Employment

Ashley holds a PhD in Employment Law from the University of Surrey and has written and delivered academic papers on a range of employment law issues. He has a wide experience in all aspects of employment litigation and his recent work includes:

  • (2013) Successfully representing a sixth form college teacher in a constructive unfair dismissal and age discrimination claim
  • (2012) Successfully representing a receptionist in holiday pay claim
  • (2012) Successfully representing a ferry steward at one day judicial mediation
  • (2012) Successfully representing a facilities manager in flexible working/sex discrimination claim
  • (2012) Successfully representing manager in disciplinary appeal following a remark on Facebook.

Public Sector – Education

Ashley has experience in education appeals. He recently successfully represented a mature student in claim to the OIA (concerning a distance learning Masters course) resulting in financial compensation.

Public Sector – Licensing

Ashley has a broad experience of licensing law having chaired a number of licensing sub-committees which have considered, premises licenses, licensing reviews and taxi licenses.


  • ‘Determining a neighbourhood area’ [2013] 8 JPL 926-930′
  • “As of Right” the current conceptual crisis in the public law of prescription post Barkas‘ [2013] 5 JPL 495
  • ‘Delivering Housing Need: an assessment of the NPPF’ [2012] 10 JPL 1174
  • ‘The Uncertain Prescriptive Underpinnings of the Town and Village Green Regime’ [2012] 7 JPL 789
  • ‘The Registration of Town or Village Greens and the Res Judicata Myth’ [2012] 1 JPL 10-19
  • ‘The Rise of the Neighbourhood Triffids’ [2011] 4 JPL 386–391
  • ‘A Bright Future for BSF?’ [2011] 16(2) Judicial Review 156-162
  • ‘Revocation of Regional Strategies, a State Frontier Rolled Back too Soon?’ [2011] 2 JPL 137–142
  • ‘To Consider or not to Consider? – the Materiality of off-site Benefits in Compulsory Purchase Law’ [2011] 16(1) Judicial Review 60-65
  • ‘Can Religion be Racially Discriminatory?’ (2009) 10(3) International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 149–160

Further Information

Ashley enjoys playing the piano and organ, and walks with his dog, Boris.