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Neil Cameron QC

Call: 1982Silk: 2009
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Practice Summary

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

Neil 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

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.

Energy

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.

Parliamentary

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)

Infrastructure

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).

Qualifications

Neil is a graduate of Durham University.

Neil is a member of PEBA, UKELA and the Parliamentary Bar Mess (Committee Member)

He was appointed a Recorder in 2002, and a Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court) in 2013.

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

Recommendations

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)

Inquiries

Roden Street Ilford planning appeal

17/10/2017

The Secretary of State called in an application for planning permission for a 56,000 sqm expansion of retail floor space at Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre.  Neil Cameron QC acted for Hammerson/Axa.

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Inquiries

Cribbs Causeway planning appeal

05/09/2017

The Secretary of State called in an application for planning permission for a 56,000 sqm expansion of retail floor space at Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre.  Neil Cameron QC acted for Hammerson/Axa.

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Inquiries

Red Funnel East Cowes planning appeal

18/07/2017

An appeal against the Isle of Wight Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for the new marshalling yard and other facilities and East Cowes ferry terminal. Neil Cameron QC acted for the Appellant.

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Inquiries

Mid Sussex Local Plan examination

28/10/2016

Neil Cameron QC acted for the Mid Sussex Developers’ Forum.

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Inquiries

Farringdon East Oversite Development

07/12/2015

An appeal made against the City of London Corporation’s decision to refuse to grant planning permission for an office and retail development above the Farringdon East Crossrail Station. The case concerned the impact of the proposed building on the setting of nearby heritage assets including the Grade II* listed Smithfield East Market Buildings, and Charterhouse Square.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the City of London Corporation.

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Inquiries

Sugar Quay, Lower Thames Street, London

07/10/2015

Appeal made under section 106BC of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The Appellant sought to argue that a planning obligation requiring a payment of £15m towards the provision of affordable housing would render the development unviable. Amongst the issues in dispute was the valuation date. The appeal was dismissed.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the local planning authority.

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Inquiries

100, Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage

14/07/2015

Inquiry into a 24 storey tower at Swiss Cottage. The main issues considered were the impact of the proposed development on the adjacent open space, listed buildings and conservation areas.

Rupert Warren QC acted for the Appellant. Neil Cameron QC acted for the LB of Camden. Kate Olley acted for a group of local residents.

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Inquiries

Wolverhampton Tram Extension

09/06/2015

A Transport and Works Act 1992 inquiry into a proposal to extend the Midland Metro tram to Wolverhampton railway station.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the promoter.

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Inquiries

Waterside Park

06/05/2015

An inquiry into a proposal to develop a business park adjacent to the M20 Motorway.

The appeal was dismissed.

Neil Cameron QC acted for Kent County Council, the Kent Downs AONB Executive and Natural England (who all opposed the proposed development).

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Inquiries

Leeds New Generation Transport (NGT)

08/10/2014

£250m rapid transport scheme, promoted at 18 week Transport & Works Act Order Inquiry from May – October 2014.

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Inquiries

Smithfield General Market and Annex Inquiry

11/02/2014

Inquiry into a proposal to develop the General Market and Annex buildings to provide office and retail floorspace. Significant heritage considerations at issue.

Neil Cameron QC is instructed by the City of London Corporation and the Mayor of London

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Inquiries

King’s Lynn Incinerator Inquiry (February to April 2013)

26/02/2013

Inquiry into an energy from waste plant at King’s Lynn.

Neil Cameron QC acted for Norfolk County Council

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Inquiries

Thameside Terminal inquiry

01/01/2010

Enforcement notice appeal relating to unauthorised development of a trading estate carried out without the required environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment in contravention of the provisions of the EIA and Habitats Directive. The enforcement notices were upheld.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the local planning authority.

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Inquiries

Ram Brewery Inquiry

01/11/2009

Inquiry into proposals to develop the 2.6ha former Ram Brewery site. The proposal includes two towers of 42 and 32-storeys. The scheme would provide 829 new homes, alongside shops and restaurants. Another linked scheme in nearby Buckhold Road is to contain a further 207 apartments. If approved, the developer Minerva would have to contribute £41 million towards improvements to Wandsworth’s traffic system. This is the largest development project in Inner London this year. [Decision awaited]

Neil Cameron QC acted for Wandsworth Council

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Inquiries

Aston Down Airfield Inquiry

01/03/2009

Public inquiry into proposals to re use approximately 65,000 sq m of former airfield buildings for business purposes. Highly controversial scheme on site situated in the Cotswold AONB.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the successful developer.

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Inquiries

RAF Staff College Inquiry

01/02/2009

Public inquiry into Taylor Wimpey’s plans to develop Bracknell’s former RAF Staff College.

The proposal was to develop the land for 1120 dwellings, and included a significant dispute as to the approach to be taken when considering the effects of development on the Thames Basin Heaths SPA when the developer relied (in part) on a “fall back”.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the successful local planning authority.

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Inquiries

Smithfield General and Annex Market, London EC1

13/11/2008

Proposals for the redevelopment of buildings which make a positive contribution to a conservation area. Particular interest lies in design, conservation, and planning issues complicated by engineering issues relating to the requirement to replace the lids covering Thameslink which runs beneath the site. 8 week call in Inquiry (November 07 – January 08). Acting for City of London (Planning Authority and site owner) supporting the proposal. Instructing solicitor Deborah Cluett. Other main parties Thornfield (applicants), English Heritage and SAVE (objecting). No decision yet.

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Inquiries

Smithfields Inquiry

06/11/2007

Acting for developer with Christopher Katkowski QC in call in inquiry for major developer at Smithfield.The case turns on highly technical engineering and viability evidence to justify demolition of the unlisted part of Smithfield market. Other counsel involved included William Hicks QC and Neil Cameron for the City of London and Robert McCracken QC for English Heritage.

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Inquiries

The Heron Tower inquiry

01/10/2001

Six-week inquiry into the £300m, 37-storey Heron Tower. The Government called for the inquiry after English Heritage raised objections to the project designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox. Central to the inquiry was whether the tall building proposal would block the views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Christopher Katkowski QC and Russell Harris QC acted for the developer.

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Inquiries

Roden Street Ilford planning appeal

17/10/2017

The Secretary of State called in an application for planning permission for a 56,000 sqm expansion of retail floor space at Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre.  Neil Cameron QC acted for Hammerson/Axa.

:

Inquiries

Cribbs Causeway planning appeal

05/09/2017

The Secretary of State called in an application for planning permission for a 56,000 sqm expansion of retail floor space at Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre.  Neil Cameron QC acted for Hammerson/Axa.

:

Inquiries

Red Funnel East Cowes planning appeal

18/07/2017

An appeal against the Isle of Wight Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for the new marshalling yard and other facilities and East Cowes ferry terminal. Neil Cameron QC acted for the Appellant.

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Inquiries

Mid Sussex Local Plan examination

28/10/2016

Neil Cameron QC acted for the Mid Sussex Developers’ Forum.

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Inquiries

Farringdon East Oversite Development

07/12/2015

An appeal made against the City of London Corporation’s decision to refuse to grant planning permission for an office and retail development above the Farringdon East Crossrail Station. The case concerned the impact of the proposed building on the setting of nearby heritage assets including the Grade II* listed Smithfield East Market Buildings, and Charterhouse Square.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the City of London Corporation.

:

Inquiries

Sugar Quay, Lower Thames Street, London

07/10/2015

Appeal made under section 106BC of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The Appellant sought to argue that a planning obligation requiring a payment of £15m towards the provision of affordable housing would render the development unviable. Amongst the issues in dispute was the valuation date. The appeal was dismissed.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the local planning authority.

:

Inquiries

100, Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage

14/07/2015

Inquiry into a 24 storey tower at Swiss Cottage. The main issues considered were the impact of the proposed development on the adjacent open space, listed buildings and conservation areas.

Rupert Warren QC acted for the Appellant. Neil Cameron QC acted for the LB of Camden. Kate Olley acted for a group of local residents.

:

Inquiries

Wolverhampton Tram Extension

09/06/2015

A Transport and Works Act 1992 inquiry into a proposal to extend the Midland Metro tram to Wolverhampton railway station.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the promoter.

:

Inquiries

Waterside Park

06/05/2015

An inquiry into a proposal to develop a business park adjacent to the M20 Motorway.

The appeal was dismissed.

Neil Cameron QC acted for Kent County Council, the Kent Downs AONB Executive and Natural England (who all opposed the proposed development).

:

Inquiries

Leeds New Generation Transport (NGT)

08/10/2014

£250m rapid transport scheme, promoted at 18 week Transport & Works Act Order Inquiry from May – October 2014.

:

Inquiries

Smithfield General Market and Annex Inquiry

11/02/2014

Inquiry into a proposal to develop the General Market and Annex buildings to provide office and retail floorspace. Significant heritage considerations at issue.

Neil Cameron QC is instructed by the City of London Corporation and the Mayor of London

:

Inquiries

King’s Lynn Incinerator Inquiry (February to April 2013)

26/02/2013

Inquiry into an energy from waste plant at King’s Lynn.

Neil Cameron QC acted for Norfolk County Council

:

Inquiries

Thameside Terminal inquiry

01/01/2010

Enforcement notice appeal relating to unauthorised development of a trading estate carried out without the required environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment in contravention of the provisions of the EIA and Habitats Directive. The enforcement notices were upheld.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the local planning authority.

:

Inquiries

Ram Brewery Inquiry

01/11/2009

Inquiry into proposals to develop the 2.6ha former Ram Brewery site. The proposal includes two towers of 42 and 32-storeys. The scheme would provide 829 new homes, alongside shops and restaurants. Another linked scheme in nearby Buckhold Road is to contain a further 207 apartments. If approved, the developer Minerva would have to contribute £41 million towards improvements to Wandsworth’s traffic system. This is the largest development project in Inner London this year. [Decision awaited]

Neil Cameron QC acted for Wandsworth Council

:

Inquiries

Aston Down Airfield Inquiry

01/03/2009

Public inquiry into proposals to re use approximately 65,000 sq m of former airfield buildings for business purposes. Highly controversial scheme on site situated in the Cotswold AONB.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the successful developer.

:

Inquiries

RAF Staff College Inquiry

01/02/2009

Public inquiry into Taylor Wimpey’s plans to develop Bracknell’s former RAF Staff College.

The proposal was to develop the land for 1120 dwellings, and included a significant dispute as to the approach to be taken when considering the effects of development on the Thames Basin Heaths SPA when the developer relied (in part) on a “fall back”.

Neil Cameron QC acted for the successful local planning authority.

:

Inquiries

Smithfield General and Annex Market, London EC1

13/11/2008

Proposals for the redevelopment of buildings which make a positive contribution to a conservation area. Particular interest lies in design, conservation, and planning issues complicated by engineering issues relating to the requirement to replace the lids covering Thameslink which runs beneath the site. 8 week call in Inquiry (November 07 – January 08). Acting for City of London (Planning Authority and site owner) supporting the proposal. Instructing solicitor Deborah Cluett. Other main parties Thornfield (applicants), English Heritage and SAVE (objecting). No decision yet.

:

Inquiries

Smithfields Inquiry

06/11/2007

Acting for developer with Christopher Katkowski QC in call in inquiry for major developer at Smithfield.The case turns on highly technical engineering and viability evidence to justify demolition of the unlisted part of Smithfield market. Other counsel involved included William Hicks QC and Neil Cameron for the City of London and Robert McCracken QC for English Heritage.

:

Inquiries

The Heron Tower inquiry

01/10/2001

Six-week inquiry into the £300m, 37-storey Heron Tower. The Government called for the inquiry after English Heritage raised objections to the project designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox. Central to the inquiry was whether the tall building proposal would block the views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Christopher Katkowski QC and Russell Harris QC acted for the developer.

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