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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)

Related Member(s):
David Wolfe QC
Related Practice Area(s):
Environmental Law and Natural Resources, Public Law
Court:

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.

David Wolfe QC was involved in this case.