Development next to wildlife area approved despite protests
The High Court has ruled that a housing development next to a protected wildlife area can go ahead despite protests that the correct procedures were not followed.
The developer had received planning permission to build 65 houses, but a local protester claimed the fact that the proposed site was next to an area of special protection for birds had not been taken into account.
She requested that planning permission be withdrawn, and that a new assessment should take place before any work could go ahead.
The case went to the High Court. The judge acknowledged that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is sometimes required before planning permission is granted for building work near Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).
When officials assess a planning application near to an SSSI, they have to decide whether or not an EIA is required.
In this case, the officials decided that an EIA was not required, saying that there was no real possibility that the development would have an appreciable adverse effect on the integrity of the protected site.
The judge rejected the appeal that an EIA should have been carried out. He ruled that the developers and the officials had followed the correct procedure. The court was in no position to step into the inspector's shoes and start exercising its own planning judgement.
The fact that the officials didn’t feel the EIA was required was their decision to make and they had given adequate reasons for the ruling.
Therefore the planning permission for building on the land remained in place.
Please contact Santokh Singh about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of planning and development.