Planning and environment in North

Ward Hadaway

Ward Hadaway fields a ‘confident and capable’ planning team which provides the full scope of contentious and non-contentious planning-related services. The group’s offering is additionally bolstered by the in-house cooperation between teams of planning lawyers, chartered town planners and planning technicians, with particular strength in the commercial, public, development and heritage sectors. Robin Atkin has expertise in village green and highways matters, and shares the leadership of the department with Kamran Hyder, who handles issues pertaining to highways and compulsory purchase law. Clients recommend the expertise of ‘enthusiastic and very professional’ associate Nick Gholkar, who has a dual specialism in planning and property development.

Practice head(s):

Robin Atkin; Kamran Hyder


Ward Hadaway’s team understands our commercial pressures and requirements with minimal briefing and is quick to clarify risks and strategies.

Very strong, commercial team with lots of experience. Confident and capable. We always get a response on the same day which is very helpful. All solicitors I have met are great to work with.

All lawyers are very responsive, when speed is often being required. Their advice is robust and to the point.

I mainly worked with associate Nick Gholkar, who stands out because he is enthusiastic and very professional, and provides same-day responses.

Key clients

Barratt Homes

Northumberland Estates (Duke of Northumberland’s Operating Company)

David Wilson Homes

Keepmoat Homes

Banks Group

Strata Homes

Darlington Borough Council

West Cumbria Mining

Kirklees Council

Newcastle International Airport

Galliford Try

Thirteen Homes

Karbon Homes

Hartlepool Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for West Cumbria Mining in relation to a planning application for the development of an existing surface mine entrance for a new metallurgical coal mine.
  • Assisted Coolmore Land with an innovative Garden Village proposal in Seaham concerning a £175m development project intended to deliver 1,500 new homes.
  • Assisted BDW Trading with all legal planning aspects of the development of a large site in Lancashire.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The environment, health and safety department at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP places a particular emphasis on contentious environmental matters. While the team's recent work testifies to its strength in handling investigations by the Environment Agency, the practice has extensive experience acting on the sides of both prosecution and defence. Led by Tim Hill, the Newcastle-based team forms part of the single national group, and often collaborates with its Manchester-based counterpart (with Jane Southworth in particular) on non-contentious environmental matters.

Practice head(s):

Tim Hill

Key clients

National Grid

Nuclear Decommissioning Agency

Severn Trent Water

Thames Water Utilities

Work highlights

  • Assisting Thames Water with a wide-ranging portfolio of environmental matters.
  • Assisting Thames Water in its communication with the Environment Agency relating to a 2016 overflow of the client’s sewage treatment works.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP brings together specialists in both environment and planning, with Stuart Wardlaw and managing associate Stephen Dagg leading the respective teams. The planning team acts on significant infrastructure projects, regeneration and re-development schemes, and contentious planning issues, among others. Its sector-specific expertise includes energy, transport, housing and the public sector. In the environmental space, the group stands out for its strength in compliance matters, liability management, and environmental enforcement and prosecution. Associate Antonia Murillo has expertise in planning litigation.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Wardlaw; Stephen Dagg


The team always makes itself available to deliberate and strategise over projects and specific issues, providing pragmatic and honest advice. You feel safe and firmly supported in making key decisions, knowing that this extensively experienced team has a handle on all issues and at all times during the project.

Associate Antonia Murillo is extremely competent, playing a full part in the cases in which she is involved. Antonia is very approachable and prepared to go that extra distance to resolve issues promptly and efficiently.

Key clients

Vauxhall Motors (Groupe PSA)



Sembcorp Utilities

Chemoxy International

Vertellus Specialities UK

Banks Group


Northern Powergrid

Intu Properties

Bellway Homes

Three Rivers District Council

Persimmon Homes


Akelius Residential Property AB

B & Q

Standard Life UK

Work highlights

  • Advised NHS Property Services on the merits of a challenge to the Supreme Court.
  • Successfully acting for Network Rail Infrastructure in complex litigation initiated to secure the closure of a level crossing in Appleby.
  • Providing strategic and bespoke advice to Bellway Homes in respect of rights of way and, in particular, a right of way which needed to be diverted to enable development.