Planning and environment in North

Ward Hadaway LLP

Ward Hadaway houses a first-class practice consisting of legal specialists, chartered town planners and technicians, all of whom undertake a full scope of planning work for clients based in the North East. While the practice is highly experienced in both public and private sector matters, its strength lies in the residential development space, where it acts for large housebuilder clients. Robin Atkin and Kamran Hyder share leadership of the department; the duo has significant credentials in highways-related issues, among others. Nick Gholkar is a go-to adviser for transactions with a planning element.

Practice head(s):

Robin Atkin; Kamran Hyder

Other key lawyers:

Nick Gholkar; Frank Orr

Key clients

West Cumbria Mining

Coolmore Land Limited

BDW Trading Limited

Karbon Homes

Newcastle International Airport

Quayside West

Kirklees Council

Darlington Borough Council

Banks Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for West Cumbria Mining on a significant planning application for a new metallurgical coal mine.
  • Advising BDW Trading on all legal planning aspects of the development of a large site in Lancashire.
  • Assisting Karbon Homes with its strategy to step up its build programme and develop at least 2,500 new homes across the North East and Yorkshire over the next five years.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has extensive experience of handling contentious environmental and planning matters, such as issues relating to planning permits, waste offences and pollution-related violations. Tim Hill heads up the department and often takes the lead on mandates handled in collaboration with the firm’s office in Manchester.

Practice head(s):

Tim Hill

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s ‘most open and collaborative legal team’ provides a wide range of services across sectors such as energy, transport and housing; it is a destination preferred by clients for high-value infrastructure projects and regeneration schemes. Managing associate Stephen Dagg leads the planning group and specialises in transport sector projects. Associate Kate Ashworth is also singled out by clients. Regulatory and environment group head Stuart Wardlaw left to join Addleshaw Goddard in Manchester in summer 2021.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Dagg

Other key lawyers:

Kate Ashworth; Francesca Hodgson; Rachel Sykes;


‘Womble Bond Dickinson’s team have assisted us across a range of complex projects and have provided a consistently high standard of advice alongside a responsive and personable attitude and approach.’

‘Kate Ashworth is extremely knowledgeable, highly responsive, diligent and personable. Kate has provided consistently sound strategic advice across a range of complex projects that we have worked on together. I frequently recommend Kate and her team to others.’

‘WBD’s team are the most open and collaborative legal team I have worked with. They embody a ‘project team’ ethos which is unique. Many law professionals can be intimidating to the non-legal members of the team, but WBD work to ensure a balanced and open working environment, which ultimately leads to more collaborative experience and better outcomes for the client.’

‘Working with Kate Ashworth has been a pleasure. She actively promotes the team ethos and is always available and happy to assist with any issues that arise. Her technical knowledge is second to none, yet she remains humble and not intimidating. I look forward to working with Kate on more projects in the future.’

‘This would be the go-to team for legal planning advice. The strength of experience within the team sets them apart from others.’

‘I worked with Stephen Dagg and Kate Ashworth. Stephen has built up a wealth of knowledge which is abundantly clear through the sound advice he provides. Kate is extremely diligent and her personality brings a bit of sparkle to the (sometimes staid) subject. Her command of the subject is such that she conducts training to non-legal professionals which is delivered in a very friendly manner.’

Key clients

Vauxhall Motors


Havant Borough Council

Chemoxy International

Vertellus Specialities UK

Banks Group

Augean plc

Northern Powergrid

Copeland Borough Council

Intu Properties Limited

Bellway Homes Limited

Three Rivers District Council

Persimmon Homes

Akelius Residential Property AB

B & Q Plc

Standard Life UK

Work highlights

  • Advising Bellway Homes on several matters relating to right of way needed to be diverted to enable property development.
  • Advised Hearthstone Investment Management’s private equity fund on portfolio acquisitions throughout the year including providing bespoke planning reports for each development site.
  • Advising Network Rail on its objection to the Lake Lothing (Lowestoft) Third Crossing Order 2020 in order to secure its standard protective provisions in the development consent order.