Tom Cosgrove KC and Ben Du Feu represent Secretary of State in High Court AONB hydrocarbon case

20 Jul 2023

Cornerstone Climate, Public Law and Judicial Review, Planning and Environment

This week Tom Cosgrove KC and Ben Du Feu appeared in the High Court representing the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The case concerned a statutory challenge to the grant of planning permission for temporary hydrocarbon exploration and appraisal in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) utilising an existing well site.

The claim was brought by Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association on six grounds which raised issues including the interpretation of minerals policy, climate change considerations and the scope of a project for the purposes of environmental impact assessment. The case was heard by Lieven J with judgment reserved.

Both Tom and Ben are part of the Cornerstone Climate team, a cross-disciplinary practice group for environmental law, climate change litigation and advice.