Need for landfill facility balanced against potential harm


Re: R (Scarisbrick) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWCA Civ 787

Question whether the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) for “nationally significant hazardous waste infrastructure” was properly interpreted and lawfully applied in the making of a development consent order under the Planning Act 2008, s 114. The claimant argued that the NPS could not remove the necessity to assess whether a 150,000 tonnes per year hazardous waste landfill was actually required here or at all, particularly when giving powers of compulsory acquisition of private land or permitting development in the Green Belt. The claim for judicial review was dismissed as neither the Secretary of State or examining authority had misled themselves as to what the policy required. As the National Policy Statement for Hazardous Waste, s 3 required, the Secretary of State had taken into account the national need for hazardous waste landfill capacity and had balanced this against the potential harm it would have to the green belt but without actually needing to consider whether there was a need for this landfill. The Court held that the Secretary of State gave the need considerable weight and did not treat it as the single decisive factor in the assessment.

David Wolfe QC was involved in this case.