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Ward Hadaway advises on double deal for Land Trust

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has helped the Land Trust to acquire key wildlife and environmental sites after advising on two important deals.

The Land Trust owns and manages over 2,000 hectares of land as quality open space, including land associated with developments, play areas, country parks, wetlands, community woodlands, ecology parks and protected areas for wildlife.

Property lawyers from Ward Hadaway provided legal advice to the Land Trust in relation to a collaboration agreement and the property structure for a site in Essex

The Land Trust have been appointed by developers Countryside and L&Q to manage and maintain 176 acres of parks and open spaces at the Beaulieu development on the outskirts of Chelmsford.

As the development progresses, Beaulieu’s open spaces will be managed by Beaulieu Estate Management Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Land Trust.

They will take care of the estate parkland indefinitely on behalf of, and in partnership with, the Beaulieu residents and wider local community.

Ward Hadaway advised the Land Trust on the collaboration agreement with Countryside and L&Q as well as on the establishment of Beaulieu Estate Management Ltd.

Kevin Weston

Ward Hadaway Property Partner Kevin Weston (pictured left) led the firm’s team advising on Beaulieu with support from Property Associate Laura Potts, Planning Consultant David Hymas and Corporate Associate Catherine Hinchliffe.

Kevin Weston said: “We are delighted to have played our part in the continuing expansion of the great work which the Land Trust does to maintain, manage and enhance open spaces across the country.

“The work they carry out is of crucial importance to the ongoing maintenance of public open spaces and to the regeneration and restoration of land to support biodiversity and natural habitats.

“This project will help to do exactly that and to hopefully provide enjoyment and education to people for many years to come.”

In addition, a team from Ward Hadaway provided legal advice to the Land Trust on an agreement to acquire 130 hectares of land at Canvey Wick Nature Reserve in Canvey Island, Essex from supermarket Morrisons.

The land acquired by the Land Trust is equivalent in size to more than 180 football pitches and as part of the transaction Morrison paid the Land Trust an endowment to boost the environmental quality of the land and provide for its long-term management.

Research has shown Canvey Wick has more biodiversity per square foot than any other site in the UK, and it was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in February 2005 – the first brownfield site to be protected specifically for its invertebrates.

Jonathan Dickson

Ward Hadaway partner Jonathan Dickson (pictured right) led the firm’s team advising on the Canvey Wick acquisition with support from Planning Consultant David Hymas, Tax Partner Paul Christian and Property Solicitor Sarah Stockdale.

Jonathan Dickson said: “It was a privilege to act for the Land Trust on this key strategic acquisition. The transaction threw up a number of significant challenges given that the site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and was a former oil refinery.

“It was very pleasing that these challenges were overcome and that the land is now under the ownership and management of the Land Trust, as Canvey Wick truly is a unique site which greatly enhances the local community.”

Iain Taylor at the Land Trust said: “We are very grateful to Kevin Jonathan and the team at Ward Hadaway for the excellent work which they have put in to secure these two agreements.

“Their knowledge, expertise and understanding of how we operate have been crucial to the successful conclusion of these important agreements which will further enhance and expand the work which the Land Trust does.”

Ward Hadaway was appointed to the Land Trust’s legal panel earlier this year following a keenly contested competitive tender and interview process.

The firm secured a four-year appointment on the legal panel to provide specialist advice on areas including Property, Corporate and Business, Agricultural, Franchise, Intellectual Property, and Copyright and Trademark.

Ward Hadaway had previously advised the Land Trust on a number of strategic sites, including the Land Trust’s management of the giant earth sculpture and country park in Northumberland known as “Northumberlandia” (otherwise known as the “Lady of the North”).

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