Case law >> Planning condition rules out habitats assessment

8th July 2013


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Natural resources ,
  • Local government ,
  • Construction

Author

IEMA

Jen Hawkins and George Hobson, from LexisPSL, describe a High Court ruling that a planning condition can rule out the need for a Habitats Directive assessment

Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, which transpose the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) in England and Wales, a project that could have an adverse effect on a special area of conservation (SAC) must carry out an appropriate assessment of the implications for the site’s conservation objectives.

In Feeney v Secretary of state for transport [2013] All ER (D), the secretary of state made an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992, permitting works to be carried out on an existing railway and for a new length of track to be constructed.

The railway ran close to an SAC, which included a hay meadow habitat considered a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

At inquiry, Natural England argued that further survey work was required to satisfy the requirements of the 2010 Regulations and the Habitats Directive.

A condition was included in the planning consent stating that, before a particular part of the development could start, further assessment of air quality on the relevant parts of the SAC had to be approved.

As a result, any deposition of nitrogen oxide on the SAC would be monitored, and, if necessary, mitigation measures implemented. The purpose of this condition was to assess, and then eliminate, any lingering uncertainty over whether the development would harm the conservation area, though that outcome was considered unlikely.

The uncertainty in the predictive data could not have been eliminated by an assessment before the railway came into operation, said the court, dismissing the application to overturn the granting of consent.


Transform articles

Local authorities could have saved Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.

23rd September 2021

Read more

COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.

23rd September 2021

Read more

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.

1st July 2021

Read more

Renewable energy will account for nearly 40% of the world's power mix by the end of this decade, overtaking coal within the next few years, according to research by GlobalData.

24th June 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