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Neil King QC

Call: 1980Silk: 2000
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Practice Summary

Neil King QC was called to the Bar in 1980 and took silk in 2000. He joined 2 Mitre Court Buildings in 1982 and moved to Landmark Chambers in December 2003. He specialises in all aspects of Town and Country Planning, Environmental and Compulsory Purchase and Compensation law.

Neil has appeared at numerous public inquiries, in the Lands Tribunal, the High Court and Court of Appeal. Planning cases include airport and other infrastructure projects; proposals for waste incineration, landfill and quarrying; tall building proposals in London, including London Bridge Tower (the ‘Shards of Glass’), Doon Street tower and at Old Street/City Road; and many retail, warehouse club, hotel and housing schemes. Recent compulsory purchase cases include 10 major retail-led city and town centre redevelopment schemes. He has also advised on a wide range of compensation issues arising from the acquisition of land for regeneration, rail, road and flood relief schemes.

High Court and Court of Appeal cases include R (Al Fayed) v Tandridge DC (telecoms mast development), LB Hillingdon v ARC (limitation/estoppel on compensation claim), R (Lowther) v Durham CC (use of waste as a fuel), R (Hautot) v LB Wandsworth (validity of Battersea Power Station planning permissions), UKRA v Secretary of State (lawfulness of guidance on EPA conditions), and R (Friends of Lake District) v Secretary of State (power to withdraw call-in).

Qualifications

Neil studied Modern History and Economics at New College, Oxford. He is a member of the Planning and Environmental Bar Association.

Recommendations

Neil is ranked as a leading silk in both planning and environmental law in the 2012 edition of Chambers & Partners Guide, where he is described as  “unflappable” and “a class act who masters complex and demanding situations very quickly.”

He is also listed in the Legal 500 2011 and in Legal Experts, and has been consistently ranked amongst the top five planning barristers by the annual Planning Magazine Law Survey.

Inquiries

Agri-tech inquiry opens

14/06/2019

The public inquiry into SmithsonHill Ltd’s proposals for a new Agri-tech park at Hinxton, nr Cambridge opened this week.  The scheme comprises the development of an AgriTech technology park comprising up to 112,000 sqm (gross) employment floorspace, supporting infrastructure, amenities and landscape works including publicly accessible informal open space, vehicle and cycle parking; service areas; bus / cycle interchange on land west of the A1301 / north of A505; and infrastructure works including bridge crossings over A1301 / A505 and the River Cam.

Details of the scheme can be found here: https://www.smithsonhill.co.uk/outline_planning_nov2017/

Neil King QC and Robert Walton QC are acting for SmithsonHill Ltd instructed by Terence O’Rourke Ltd.

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Inquiries

Brentford Community Football Stadium CPO Inquiry

08/09/2015

Today the inquiry into the confirmation of a compulsory purchase order made by the London Borough of Hounslow for the provision of a new, 20,000 seat community football stadium for Brentford Football Club opened. The Club moved to its current stadium in Griffin Park, Brentford in 1904, and has long since outgrown this location. The CPO if confirmed will enable the regeneration of a site that is principally used for unattractive industrial and related uses, between Kew Bridge and the elevated M4 motorway. The redevelopment will include some 910 new homes, which will assist in enabling the development, as well as a hotel and other uses. The Club’s proposals have been lauded as bringing significant inward investment with regenerative benefits into a relatively isolated area of Brentford.

The inquiry is expected to run for two weeks.

James Maurici QC and Andrew Byass are appearing for the London Borough of Hounslow.

Russell Harris QC is acting for the Club.

Neil King QC and Matthew Dale-Harris are appearing for First Industrial Limited, one of the objectors to the CPO.

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Inquiries

The Curve Slough CPO Inquiry

04/01/2012

CPO Inquiry, promoting the acquisition of land in Slough town centre for the construction of a new library and cultural centre in a landmark building, known as “the Curve”, as part of the Heart of Slough Regeneration Project. Graeme was led by Neil King QC. The CPO was confirmed by the Secretary of State in August 2012.

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Inquiries

Inquiry into proposed new neighborhood in Crawley

01/06/2009

6 week Inquiry into the application for around 1,900 homes, 5,000 sq metres of employment space, 2,500 sq metres of retail space, a community centre, primary school and open space and landscaping in the North East sector of Gatwick. Issues concerning noise and efficacy of granting consent for such a large scheme outside the plan led system.

Neil King QC acted on behalf of Gatwick Airport

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Inquiries

Proposals for redevelopment on London’s South Bank

01/04/2009

Important public inquiry into the £1 billion development for P&O on Londons South Bank, which features two office blocks and a residential skyscraper (22, 27 and 39 storeys respectively). English Heritage claim that the proposals, known as the Three Sisters scheme, could ruin the setting of the Palace of Westminster as well as harming views of some of Londons most architecturally and historically significant buildings. The scheme, designed to house more than 100,000m² of office space and nearly 300 apartments, was approved by both Lambeth Council and London Mayor Boris Johnson last year. The plans were called in by Communities secretary Hazel Blears in October claiming the proposals could breach national policy on tall buildings and impinge on strategic views.

Planning permission refused.

Neil King QC appeared on behalf of English Heritage the major objectors.

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Inquiries

Inquiry into 12,540m2 Costco warehouse club on employment land in Coventry

01/03/2009

A two day Inquiry concerning planning permission for the redevelopment of a disused former factory.

On the first appeal in 2006 the secretary of state went against the inspector’s recommendation and refused permission noting concerns over noise and access. Coventry City Council rejected an application last year due to safety concerns at a junction intended to prevent rat-running. During the most recent Inquiry the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, made less than three weeks after the inquiry’s close, brought a successful resolution to Costco’s seven-year bid to redevelop the disused former factory.

Neil King QC acted on behalf of the developer Costco.

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Inquiries

Hartland Park

01/11/2008

Inquiry into proposed development at the former MoD testing facility at Pyestock. A planning application was originally submitted to Hart District Council in 2005 and revised plans were submitted in 2006 to address issues that had arisen during local consultation. A planning appeal was lodged and the Secretary of State approved the plans contrary to Inspector’s recommendation following the inquiry which started in November 2008.

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Inquiries

Regent’s Canal Conservation Area

03/09/2008

On 3 September on appeal for planning permission for the redevelopment of a site in the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area in Hackney was granted. The proposal for the site, owned by a long-established youth club, was for it to be developed into residential above a re-provided club.

Neil King QC appeared for the developer, Countryside Properties.

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Inquiries

Compulsory Purchase Orders for city/town centre redevelopment schemes

27/03/2008

I have promoted the following CPOs, which were all made under section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and are all for major retail-led mixed-use redevelopment schemes in each of the city and town centres listed:

(i) Northern Quarter Redevelopment, Portsmouth.

Clients: Portsmouth City Council and Centros Miller.

(ii) Summer Row, Wolverhampton.

Clients: Wolverhampton City Council and Multi Development UK Ltd.

(iii) Parkway, Newbury.

Clients: West Berkshire Council and Standard Life Investments.

(iv) Friarsgate, Lichfield.

Clients: Lichfield District Council and S Harrison Developments Ltd.

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Inquiries

Doon Street, adjacent to the National Theatre on Upper Ground, London SE1

12/02/2008

The Doon Street scheme is a major mixed development (adjacent to the National Theatre on Upper Ground, London SE1) master-planned by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and set out in three complementary planning applications:

  1. An educational/office building with adjacent town square and direct connection to Waterloo Bridge
  2. Rambert Dance Company’s new headquarters and three dance studios
  3. 329 flats and a public swimming and indoor leisure centre

All three applications were approved by Lambeth Council in August 2007 and by the Mayor of London in September 2007. On 25 September 2007, the Secretary of State announced that Lambeth Council could issue consents for the proposals for the western half of the site (the Waterloo bridge end – applications 1 & 2) but wished the application for the eastern end (application 3) to come to her for decision after being examined at a public inquiry.

The inquiry was held in February/March 2008. William Hicks QC represented the applicants. Major objectors were English Heritage represented by Neil King QC and Royal Parks. The main issues related to views of the residential tower from St. James’ Park and Somerset House, and the Tower’s relationship with the National Theatre and Festival Hall. A decision is expected in August 2008.

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Inquiries

Queen Elizabeth II Barracks, Fleet, Hampshire

07/12/2007

Opposed scheme for 1000+ houses on former barracks site. Client: Hart District Council. Main issue was effect of scheme on Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area and application/interpretation of regulations 48 and 49 of the Habitats Regulations 1994 (appropriate assessment of projects affecting European sites of nature conservation importance).

:

Inquiries

Bristol Street, Birmingham

12/03/2007

Opposed new foodstore proposals by Tesco and Asda. Client: Calthorpe Estates. Calthorpe have planning permission for a redevelopment scheme (including a foodstore) at Five Ways, and argued that either new foodstore proposal would be likely to render their own scheme unviable.

:

Inquiries

South Crofty tin mine, Pool, Cornwall

21/11/2006

Opposed mixed use (mainly housing) scheme on site of old tin mine. Client: South West Regional Development Agency/CPR Regeneration. Sec of State has refused planning permission. I am currently advising on proposed compulsory purchase orders relating to this and other land in the area. Issues include interrelationship between regeneration proposals and mining operations.

:

Inquiries

Renzo Piano’s Shard of Glass Tower at London Bridge

15/04/2003

Planning inquiry into Plans to transform London’s skyline by building Europe’s tallest skyscraper. The futuristic £600m skyscraper, dubbed the “Shard of Glass”, would be 1,016ft high, 216ft taller than Canary Wharf, currently Britain’s tallest building.

:

Inquiries

Agri-tech inquiry opens

14/06/2019

The public inquiry into SmithsonHill Ltd’s proposals for a new Agri-tech park at Hinxton, nr Cambridge opened this week.  The scheme comprises the development of an AgriTech technology park comprising up to 112,000 sqm (gross) employment floorspace, supporting infrastructure, amenities and landscape works including publicly accessible informal open space, vehicle and cycle parking; service areas; bus / cycle interchange on land west of the A1301 / north of A505; and infrastructure works including bridge crossings over A1301 / A505 and the River Cam.

Details of the scheme can be found here: https://www.smithsonhill.co.uk/outline_planning_nov2017/

Neil King QC and Robert Walton QC are acting for SmithsonHill Ltd instructed by Terence O’Rourke Ltd.

:

Inquiries

Brentford Community Football Stadium CPO Inquiry

08/09/2015

Today the inquiry into the confirmation of a compulsory purchase order made by the London Borough of Hounslow for the provision of a new, 20,000 seat community football stadium for Brentford Football Club opened. The Club moved to its current stadium in Griffin Park, Brentford in 1904, and has long since outgrown this location. The CPO if confirmed will enable the regeneration of a site that is principally used for unattractive industrial and related uses, between Kew Bridge and the elevated M4 motorway. The redevelopment will include some 910 new homes, which will assist in enabling the development, as well as a hotel and other uses. The Club’s proposals have been lauded as bringing significant inward investment with regenerative benefits into a relatively isolated area of Brentford.

The inquiry is expected to run for two weeks.

James Maurici QC and Andrew Byass are appearing for the London Borough of Hounslow.

Russell Harris QC is acting for the Club.

Neil King QC and Matthew Dale-Harris are appearing for First Industrial Limited, one of the objectors to the CPO.

:

Inquiries

The Curve Slough CPO Inquiry

04/01/2012

CPO Inquiry, promoting the acquisition of land in Slough town centre for the construction of a new library and cultural centre in a landmark building, known as “the Curve”, as part of the Heart of Slough Regeneration Project. Graeme was led by Neil King QC. The CPO was confirmed by the Secretary of State in August 2012.

:

Inquiries

Inquiry into proposed new neighborhood in Crawley

01/06/2009

6 week Inquiry into the application for around 1,900 homes, 5,000 sq metres of employment space, 2,500 sq metres of retail space, a community centre, primary school and open space and landscaping in the North East sector of Gatwick. Issues concerning noise and efficacy of granting consent for such a large scheme outside the plan led system.

Neil King QC acted on behalf of Gatwick Airport

:

Inquiries

Proposals for redevelopment on London’s South Bank

01/04/2009

Important public inquiry into the £1 billion development for P&O on Londons South Bank, which features two office blocks and a residential skyscraper (22, 27 and 39 storeys respectively). English Heritage claim that the proposals, known as the Three Sisters scheme, could ruin the setting of the Palace of Westminster as well as harming views of some of Londons most architecturally and historically significant buildings. The scheme, designed to house more than 100,000m² of office space and nearly 300 apartments, was approved by both Lambeth Council and London Mayor Boris Johnson last year. The plans were called in by Communities secretary Hazel Blears in October claiming the proposals could breach national policy on tall buildings and impinge on strategic views.

Planning permission refused.

Neil King QC appeared on behalf of English Heritage the major objectors.

:

Inquiries

Inquiry into 12,540m2 Costco warehouse club on employment land in Coventry

01/03/2009

A two day Inquiry concerning planning permission for the redevelopment of a disused former factory.

On the first appeal in 2006 the secretary of state went against the inspector’s recommendation and refused permission noting concerns over noise and access. Coventry City Council rejected an application last year due to safety concerns at a junction intended to prevent rat-running. During the most recent Inquiry the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, made less than three weeks after the inquiry’s close, brought a successful resolution to Costco’s seven-year bid to redevelop the disused former factory.

Neil King QC acted on behalf of the developer Costco.

:

Inquiries

Hartland Park

01/11/2008

Inquiry into proposed development at the former MoD testing facility at Pyestock. A planning application was originally submitted to Hart District Council in 2005 and revised plans were submitted in 2006 to address issues that had arisen during local consultation. A planning appeal was lodged and the Secretary of State approved the plans contrary to Inspector’s recommendation following the inquiry which started in November 2008.

:

Inquiries

Regent’s Canal Conservation Area

03/09/2008

On 3 September on appeal for planning permission for the redevelopment of a site in the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area in Hackney was granted. The proposal for the site, owned by a long-established youth club, was for it to be developed into residential above a re-provided club.

Neil King QC appeared for the developer, Countryside Properties.

:

Inquiries

Compulsory Purchase Orders for city/town centre redevelopment schemes

27/03/2008

I have promoted the following CPOs, which were all made under section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and are all for major retail-led mixed-use redevelopment schemes in each of the city and town centres listed:

(i) Northern Quarter Redevelopment, Portsmouth.

Clients: Portsmouth City Council and Centros Miller.

(ii) Summer Row, Wolverhampton.

Clients: Wolverhampton City Council and Multi Development UK Ltd.

(iii) Parkway, Newbury.

Clients: West Berkshire Council and Standard Life Investments.

(iv) Friarsgate, Lichfield.

Clients: Lichfield District Council and S Harrison Developments Ltd.

:

Inquiries

Doon Street, adjacent to the National Theatre on Upper Ground, London SE1

12/02/2008

The Doon Street scheme is a major mixed development (adjacent to the National Theatre on Upper Ground, London SE1) master-planned by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and set out in three complementary planning applications:

  1. An educational/office building with adjacent town square and direct connection to Waterloo Bridge
  2. Rambert Dance Company’s new headquarters and three dance studios
  3. 329 flats and a public swimming and indoor leisure centre

All three applications were approved by Lambeth Council in August 2007 and by the Mayor of London in September 2007. On 25 September 2007, the Secretary of State announced that Lambeth Council could issue consents for the proposals for the western half of the site (the Waterloo bridge end – applications 1 & 2) but wished the application for the eastern end (application 3) to come to her for decision after being examined at a public inquiry.

The inquiry was held in February/March 2008. William Hicks QC represented the applicants. Major objectors were English Heritage represented by Neil King QC and Royal Parks. The main issues related to views of the residential tower from St. James’ Park and Somerset House, and the Tower’s relationship with the National Theatre and Festival Hall. A decision is expected in August 2008.

:

Inquiries

Queen Elizabeth II Barracks, Fleet, Hampshire

07/12/2007

Opposed scheme for 1000+ houses on former barracks site. Client: Hart District Council. Main issue was effect of scheme on Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area and application/interpretation of regulations 48 and 49 of the Habitats Regulations 1994 (appropriate assessment of projects affecting European sites of nature conservation importance).

:

Inquiries

Bristol Street, Birmingham

12/03/2007

Opposed new foodstore proposals by Tesco and Asda. Client: Calthorpe Estates. Calthorpe have planning permission for a redevelopment scheme (including a foodstore) at Five Ways, and argued that either new foodstore proposal would be likely to render their own scheme unviable.

:

Inquiries

South Crofty tin mine, Pool, Cornwall

21/11/2006

Opposed mixed use (mainly housing) scheme on site of old tin mine. Client: South West Regional Development Agency/CPR Regeneration. Sec of State has refused planning permission. I am currently advising on proposed compulsory purchase orders relating to this and other land in the area. Issues include interrelationship between regeneration proposals and mining operations.

:

Inquiries

Renzo Piano’s Shard of Glass Tower at London Bridge

15/04/2003

Planning inquiry into Plans to transform London’s skyline by building Europe’s tallest skyscraper. The futuristic £600m skyscraper, dubbed the “Shard of Glass”, would be 1,016ft high, 216ft taller than Canary Wharf, currently Britain’s tallest building.

:
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