Appeals for outline and detailed consents for residential development on a reserve Greenfield site in close proximity to the Thames Basin Heath SPA

01 Jan 2018

Planning and Environment

Hart DC v (1) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, (2) Luckmore Ltd., (3) Barratt Homes Ltd [2008] EWHC 1204 (Admin)

(Interested parties: Taylor Wimpey Developments Ltd. and Natural England)

The Second and Third Defendants were successfully represented by Mary Cook leading Asitha Ranatunga.

This s. 288 application involved the proper interpretation of the Habitats Directive as applied to the Thames Basins Heaths Special Protection Area. Following the advice of Natural England, the SoS had regard to the provision of mitigation measures (specifically Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) in deciding whether a large residential scheme at Dilly Lane was likely to have a significant effect on the TBH such that an appropriate assessment was required. Hart DC challenged that approach, arguing that mitigation measures could only be considered after an appropriate assessment had been undertaken. In a comprehensive judgment, in which the court also considered the views of the Technical Assessor of the Draft South East Plan, Sullivan J dismissed the application holding that there was no legal requirement that an appropriate assessment must be carried out without regard to proposed mitigation measures.

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