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Neil Cameron

Neil Cameron QC


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Neil  has extensive experience in planning, compulsory purchase, parliamentary and environmental work. He was joint head of Landmark Chambers from 2015-2018.

Major planning inquiries include the Cribbs Causeway retail proposals, King’s Lynn incinerator proposal, the Smithfield General Market redevelopment, and Leeds NGT.

Recent court appearances include:

Supreme Court:  Morge v. Hampshire County Council in the Supreme Court (consideration of the Habitats Directive -2011), Dover District Council v. CPRE (the duty on local planning authorities to give reasons - 2017). 

Court of Appeal: Forest of Dean v. Wright (whether payments to a community benefit fund are a material consideration), Peel v. Hyndburn (interpretation of retail planning permissions), Loader v. Rother District Council (interpretation of paragraph 74 in the NPPF, and consultation requirements).

High Court:  LB of Islington v. Secretary of State (challenge to Class J permitted development rights), Westminster and English Heritage v. Secretary of State (challenge to a decision not to call in an application), Orbital Shopping Park v. Swindon Borough Council (whether additional retail floorspace is liable to CIL).

Planning Inquiries and Examinations

Neil has wide experience of section 78 and enforcement notice appeals, and local plan examinations.

He has particular knowledge and experience of major city and town centre developments and heritage issues, and appeared at the 2014 Smithfield General Market inquiry, the 2015 Swiss Cottage tall building inquiry, and the 2015 Farringdon East over site development inquiry.

His housing cases range from local plan examinations (e.g. acting for the Mid Sussex Developer Forum 2016-2017, and for a group of developers at the Guildford local plan examination 2018) city centre and town centre mixed use schemes to, greenfield sites, and sheltered housing (for Churchill Retirement Living).  He has up to date experience of housing land supply issues in different regions.

He has particular knowledge and experience in dealing with viability issues (e.g. the Cribbs Causeway retail inquiry (2017) and the Roden Street Ilford inquiry (2017)).

Retail cases range from discount foodstores (for ALDI) to regional shopping malls (the Cribbs Causeway inquiry 2017).

Heritage Issues

Neil has been involved in many cases involving development proposals which affect heritage assets and their settings, ranging from proposals in the setting of World Heritage Sites to development in conservation areas. He acted for English Heritage and Westminster City Council in their application for judicial review of the failure by the Secretary of State to call in the Elizabeth House scheme which would affect the Westminster WHS, and has advised on many tall buildings in and around the City of London, both for the City Corporation and for developers.

Compulsory Purchase

Neil has promoted a number of town centre, housing and other compulsory purchases orders including the English Partnerships Liverpool Pathfinder CPO, the Arsenal Football Club CPO, housing CPOs in Stockton, town centre CPOs including Blyth, and the 2015 Sugar House Lane CPO (a 9.6 ha site in East London). He also appears in the Lands Chamber on compensation cases.


Neil advised Intergen on section 36 Electricity Act applications and applications to vary section 36 consents to construct and operate 900 MW power stations, and related applications at Spalding and at Coryton including gas and electricity connections and battery storage.

He advised on the Keadby section 36C Electricity Act application.

He has advised on depleted field gas storage and salt cavity gas storage. He appeared at the Holford gas storage planning inquiry.

He has advised on storage of nuclear fuel, on biomass generating stations, and on carbon capture and storage.

Other planning and environmental issues

Neil has experience of advising on a wide range of issues including the steps necessary to engage section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (now section 203 Housing and Planning Act 2016) so as to authorise breaches of covenants and interference with rights to light.

He has particular experience in Habitats and EIA cases. He represented Hampshire County Council the successful party in the Morge litigation in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court. He has also dealt with habitats issues (appropriate assessment) at planning inquiries for residential (RAF Staff College Bracknell), business uses (Aston Down, and Thameside Terminal), and energy from waste (King’s Lynn).

He has appeared in the First Tier Tribunal on a case concerning Assets of Community Value.


Neil has experience of promoting and opposing private and hybrid Bills. He appeared for a number of petitioners on the Crossrail Bill, including five local authorities.

He acted for Staffordshire County Council, the LB of Camden, Euston Estate, Cemex and a number of other petitioners on the HS2 Bill.

He is acting for the promoter of the Middle Level Bill (2018)


Neil acted for the promoters of the Leeds NGT trolley vehicle system at the Transport and Works Act order inquiry in 2014,  for the Wolverhampton tram extension in 2015, and the Birmingham Eastside tram extension in 2017.

He is advising on a highway DCO.

He promoted a scheme for a marshalling yard and wharf side facilities for Red Funnel in the Isle of Wight (2017 inquiry).

Neil is recognised in the leading UK legal directories, including Chambers & Partners Directory and the Legal 500.

“Barristers, solicitors and clients were all enthusiastic about Neil Cameron QC and his work, calling him "very personable, measured, forceful and excellent." In addition to planning he also has significant environment, CPO, parliamentary and major public inquiry experience. He is another at the set who "provides clear, practical advice." “(Chambers and Partners 2013)

“Regularly instructed on a wide range of planning matters, he adroitly handles significant inquiries and court cases. He remains a popular choice amongst commentators due to his commercial approach and excellent advocacy. Expertise: "He provides very systematic analysis and gives very practical advice." "His written advice is among the most precise that you can get and he always makes himself available." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

"He is bright, well prepared and good on detail." (Chambers and Partners 2015)

"He gives very clear, detailed advice and his manner as an advocate is excellent for a fraught inquiry." (Chambers and Partners 2016)

‘Highly knowledgeable and forensic in his analysis.’  (Legal 500 2015)

“Comes highly recommended for his forensic and forthright style. …….

Strengths: "He's very measured, authoritative, calm and likeable. He can understand the private and public perspective as well, and he's also got a very strong specialism in technical areas such as compulsory purchase and appropriation schemes." "He is a very strong black-letter lawyer who has excellent range."  (Chambers and Partners 2017)

“A leading figure for judicial reviews” (Legal 500 2017)

He has been a Recorder (Crime and Civil) since 2002. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court, and Planning Court) (since 2013).

He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb).

He is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn.

View Neil's profile on our International site