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Ward Hadaway

Work 0191 204 4000
Fax 0191 204 4001
Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne

Neil Robson

Work +44 (0)191 204 4124
Ward Hadaway

Work Department



Partner, Head of Property


Neil has been a solicitor for 30 years and is recognised as one of the country’s foremost planning lawyers.

Neil specialises in Planning and Development law on behalf of commercial clients and private individuals.

He is past president of Newcastle Law Society and was voted ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in the North East in 2010.

He sits on the North East Branch of the Country Land and Rural Association.

Neil has acted on numerous occasions in Town Planning and Compulsory Purchase Inquiries on behalf of developers, landowners and public sector organisations.

Clients he has advised include Newcastle Airport, Northumberland National Park, English Heritage, Northumbrian Water, The National Trust, the Duke of Northumberland, Barratt, Royal Navy, and Amec.

He has acted on numerous occasions as Advocate at Planning Inquiries on behalf of developers, landowners and public sector clients.

Neil specialises in planning aspects of Energy Law. Clients include residential and commercial developers, estates, retail operators, manufacturers, minerals operators and heritage bodies.

Neil has been referred to in RICS Guide to Legal Experts and in Planning magazine as one of the country’s leading planning solicitors.

He has been a member of the Law Society’s Planning and Environmental Law Committee.

North: Private client

Agriculture and estates

Within: Leading individuals

Neil Robson - Ward Hadaway

Within: Agriculture and estates

Assisting clients with transactions and planning matters constitutes a key portion of Ward Hadaway‚Äôs workload. The ‚Äėrecommended‚Äô team is led by Neil Robson, who is best known for his experience in advising various estates clients on land use and planning matters; he continues to advise the Northumberland National Park Authority on various issues pertaining to The Sill, a landscape discovery centre situated on the Roman Wall in a world heritage site in Northumberland. This instruction includes transactional advice and assistance with the planning application for the centre. Other key individuals include transactional property expert Alex Cox, rural property and mineral reserves specialist Stefan Bainbridge¬†and main contact for trust and asset protection issues Andrew Facer.

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North: Real estate

Commercial property: Newcastle

Within: Leading individuals

Neil Robson - Ward Hadaway

Within: Commercial property: Newcastle

At Ward Hadaway, public sector property head Karen Andrews acted for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust on the acquisition of a greenfield site for the proposed development of mental health facilities, and Alex Cox advised Northumberland Estates on the acquisition of Quayside House in Newcastle. Simon Errington advised Union Retail Properties on lease and building contracts for a hotel development, and Neil Smith assisted the Foundation of Light with its development of a sports and education facility, which included occupational and infrastructure leases, funding issues and licences. Heather Markham and head of development Lesley Fairclough are other key individuals of Neil Robson’s team. Fairclough assisted various national housebuilders with plot sales and part-exchange acquisitions.

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Within: Environment

Ward Hadaway¬†handles¬†environmental and waste management issues alongside transactional and development instructions concerning opencast, quarry and landfill operations as well as energy-from-waste and effluent treatment works. Recently, the team advised a client on the restoration of a former colliery site by the use of inert waste as infill. ‚ÄėVery good‚Äô team head Neil Robson, who is also rated as being ‚Äėcalm and good with clients‚Äô, acts for various public and private sector clients including waste contractors John Warren (Animal By-Products) and Emerald Biogas, as well as Northumberland National Park and various housebuilders. Other key individuals include head of licensing and regulation Stephen Graham, who handles environmental litigation alongside health and safety and regulatory compliance mandates, planning expert Robin Atkin¬†and commercial partner Colin Hewitt.

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Within: Planning

Ward Hadaway‚Äôs ‚Äėexcellent knowledge and level of service‚Äô translates into a steady of flow of contentious and non-contentious instructions, which frequently play into the team‚Äôs key strength of assisting national housebuilders with residential development matters. Recently, Robin Atkin, who jointly heads the team with Neil Robson, advised the North West division of the Barratt Group and David Wilson Homes on a number of Section 106 agreements and their implications for the planning and development of 2854 homes. Atkin also excels in village green and highway matters, and acted for St Modwen Developments in defence of a village green application concerning the client‚Äôs proposed residential and leisure development. In other work, he advised Story Homes on matters pertaining to a diversion of a public footpath running across a development site in Crawcrook. Associate and commercial and transactional planning law expert Nick Gholkar¬†assisted two landowners with the application for mineral extracting and auger mining at Druridge Bay on the Northumberland coast, and advised Darlington Borough Council - in its capacity as landowner - on a garden village development near Darlington town centre. West Cumbria Mining instructed Kamran Hyder¬†to assist with the planning application for the development of an existing surface mine entrance for a new metallurgical coal mine.

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