Judical Review on Environmental Assessments in Northern Ireland

01 Jan 2018

Planning and Environment

Judgment was hand down last week. Mary Cook appeared for the applicants.

Subject matter concerned:

[1] These two applications for judicial review concern “environmental assessments” carried out under the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 (“the Regulations”). The Regulations were introduced further to Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (“the Directive”). Mr Lindblom QC, Ms Cook, Mr Jones and Mr Dunlop appeared for the first applicant, Mr Hanna QC and Mr Orbinson QC appeared for the second applicants and Mr McCluskey QC, Professor Wyatt QC and Mr McLaughlin appeared for the respondents in both applications.

[2] The first applicant is a property development company based in Portballintrae, County Antrim. The draft Northern Area Plan 2016 was published on 11 May 2005 covering the four administrative council areas of Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle. Accompanying the draft Plan and described as “Technical Supplement 11” was a document described as a “Strategic Environmental Assessment”.

[3] The second applicants are Magherafelt District Council and five property development companies operating in the Magherafelt area. The draft Magherafelt Area Plan 2015 was published on 28 April 2004 covering the Magherafelt district. A document described as a “Strategic Environmental Assessment” was published in May 2005.

Text of the judgment can be found here.