Case law >> Onus on inspector to demonstrate impact

1st April 2015

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Construction ,
  • Public sector


Janet Anne Langsford

Section 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 requires a decision maker to consider whether a development will affect a listed building or its setting when assessing an application for planning.

The national planning policy framework (NPPF) states: “Where a development proposal would lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of a heritage asset, this harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal.”

In Mordue v Secretary of state for communities and local government [2015], the claimant argued that the inspector had failed to apply the duty imposed by s.66 by neglecting to give “considerable importance and weight” to the acknowledged impact of a wind turbine on the setting of listed buildings.

The court allowed the claimant’s application. The inspector had referred to the impact on listed buildings but, applying the NPPF guidance, concluded that heritage issues were outweighed by the environmental benefits. However, there was no indication of what weight the inspector had given in each case or cumulatively.

The judge felt bound to follow the judgment in East Northamptonshire v Secretary of state for communities and local government [2014], which placed the onus of proof on the secretary of state to demonstrate that considerable importance and weight had been given to the impact on listed buildings, rather than on the claimant to establish that the decision was legally flawed.

In Mordue, therefore, applying the NPPF alone was not sufficient, because it did not demonstrate that the required weight had in fact been given.

Transform articles

A sea change for energy

Ed Walker examines the installation of new electricity transmission infrastructure between Scotland and England

24th November 2022

Read more

The UK's National Drought Group (NDG) has this week agreed measures to manage the current drought and minimise risks for next year, with businesses now facing a “new normal” for water.

25th August 2022

Read more

Investors managing $9.8trn (£8trn) in assets have joined a new campaign urging 72 of the world’s biggest corporate water users and polluters to value and act on water as a financial risk.

17th August 2022

Read more

James Malone reflects on the differences in scope and number of stakeholders between EIA in two industries – marine telecommunications and terrestrial urban development

13th July 2022

Read more

Data centres are expected to see explosive growth in the next few years, but the industry is under fire for its water usage. Huw Morris reports

26th November 2021

Read more

The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted Southern Water for thousands of illegal raw sewage discharges that polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, resulting in a record £90m fine.

23rd September 2021

Read more

In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

30th July 2021

Read more

Thames Water has been fined £4m after untreated sewage escaped from sewers below London into a park and a river.

30th July 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert