Neil is a Partner in and head of the Planning and Environment Team. He previously worked in the City of London and joined Clarke Willmott in 1999. He has acted for a number of leading institutions, national housebuilders, including Barratt Homes, Crest Nicholson and Persimmon Homes, regional commercial developers, landowners, industrial and manufacturing concerns including The Scotts Company (UK) Ltd and for a number of public sector bodies.
Neil is ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers Legal Directories for planning and environmental law. Chambers Legal Directory says that he offers “the benefit of his extensive environmental and planning law expertise” and that he is a “pragmatic and robust negotiator”.
Neil is a regular speaker at conferences and has lectured for the University of the West of England on Environmental Impact Assessment.
Planning and highways agreements. Working for a number of national and regional housebuilders and Registered Providers of Affordable Housing to negotiate the terms of complex planning and highways agreements including a site at Commonhead, Swindon, to provide 900 residential units together with business and office use which was completed within a tight timescale in connection with an appeal and which assisted in securing a positive appeal decision from the Secretary of State.
Advice on Environmental Impact Assessments. Advice to a number of developers in connection with contents of Environmental Statements relating to controversial developments where a potential legal challenge was expected including advice on compliance with the EIA Regulations and “legal vetting” of the chapters of Environmental Statements.
Advising in connection with environmental permitting. Advice to industrial operators in connection with the requirement for environmental permits and on appeals against the imposition of conditions relating to such things as clinical waste acceptance and the definition of waste.
Advice to clients on the contaminated land regime including on the apportionment of liability as between the buyer and seller of known contaminated sites including advice on the approach taken by the Environment Agency and the Local Authority as regulators.
Advising on nature conservation designations. Advice to a major peat producer on SSSIs, Special Protection Area and Special Areas of Conservation designation relating to peat reserves and the continued working of the reserves by the operator.
Neil Baker is by far the best planning and environment lawyer out there.