Court: Queen's Bench Division (Planning Court)

High Court rules that the Secretary of State had unlawfully decided that planning permission could be granted for site redevelopment without an Environmental Impact Assessment being undertaken first

R (Swire) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government [2020] EWHC 1298 (Admin)

The Claimant sought judicial review of the screening decision made by the Secretary of State that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not required for the proposed development of a site by the developer as it was not EIA development within the meaning of the Town and Country Planning (Environment Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.
During the 1990s, the site was one of four sites in the UK licensed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to dispose of infected cattle. The Claimant lives nearby and objected to the proposed development.

The High Court quashed the decision and held that the Secretary of State had unlawfully decided that planning permission could be granted without first undertaking an Environment Impact Assessment. It was unlawful to assume that effective remediation works could be worked out in the course of the development.

High Court dismisses claim against Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council in parking dispute

Anand & Anor v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [2019] EWHC 2964 (Admin)

The claimants, trustees of the Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London, sought a statutory review of a Traffic Management Order which imposed additional parking restrictions in the area where a Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) was located. The congregation, many of whom are elderly and less mobile, travel long distances by car to the Gurdwara. If they are unable to park, they may no longer attend, thus threatening the viability of the Gurdwara at its present site.

The Court dismissed the claim. It held that the claimants’ submission that the consultation was unlawful at common law because the questions and the information provided to consultees was inadequate. The claimants had failed to establish that the Council made a clear and unambiguous promise to them that it would not extend the controlled parking hours without further consulting the claimants. It held that the Council was not in breach of the public sector equality duty and, though some may disagree with the Council’s approach, it could not be characterised as irrational.

Court dismisses challenge to planning permission concerning Dundonald Recreation Ground

R (Pinto) v London Borough of Merton [2018] EWHC 2027 (Admin)

The claimant brought this judicial review on behalf of the Dundonald Rec Tennis Club. On 2013 the defendant’s planning applications committee granted planning permission for the construction of additional facilities for the school and a multi-use sports area to replace existing tennis courts lost as a result of the construction works. The permission also provided […]

Challenge to cost amendments in environmental disputes

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds & Ors v Secretary of State for Justice & Anor [2017] EWHC 2309 (Admin)

The claimants brought an application for judicial review of the amendments which affected cost arrangements in environmental legal disputes and those that engage the Aarhus Convention. The Court held inter alia, that in relation to cost capping, the practice of the Court would be to expect any disputes in relation to the application of the Aarhus Costs Rules or the level of cost caps to be raised at the point of acknowledging service and resolved at the earliest possible stage.

Application for judicial review of fracking decision denied

Preston New Road Action Group & Ors v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Ors [2017] EWHC 808 (Admin)

Application for judicial review of the decision to approve Cuadrilla drilling for shale gas in Fylde. Although the Court was satisfied that permission should be granted for each of the grounds to be argued, it held that none of the grounds had been made out in substance, and so dismissed the claim.