QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| STEVEN EVANS||Claimant|
|- and -|
|FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE|
THE LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
THE LONDON BOROUGH OF ISLINGTON
Mr Peter Village QC & Mr James Strachan (instructed by Lawfords, 5 Richbell Place, London WC1N 3LA) for the Second Defendant
Hearing date: 28th February 2003
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Lightman:
"The development proposed, namely demolition of some existing buildings and construction of additional student residential accommodation, falls within the description at paragraph 10b of Schedule 2 to the 1999 Regulations, and exceeds the threshold in column 2 of the table in that schedule, but in [the] opinion of the Secretary of State, having taken into account the criteria in Schedule 3 to the 1999 Regulations, would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue of fact such as its nature, size or location.
Accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by regulations 9(1) and 6(4) of the 1999 Regulations, the Secretary of State hereby directs that the development for which planning permission is sought by application reference number P011089 is not EIA development."
"Taking account of all these matters, especially the design, size, scale and external appearance of the proposed building, I conclude that although it would have a significant effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding area, this would not be an adverse impact. I further conclude the proposed development would not therefore conflict with the purposes of the relevant parts of Policies H12, H19, Ed 9, D1, D3, D4 and D5."
"(1) In determining the appeal in the light of the evidence submitted to the inquiry and the conclusions drawn by him based on that evidence, the First Defendant's Inspector failed to consider whether an environmental impact assessment should be required before granting permission; and/or
(2) In the light of the evidence submitted to the inquiry and the conclusions drawn by him based on that evidence, the First Defendant's Inspector failed to consider whether to exercise his power under regulation 9(2) of the 1999 Regulations; and or
(3) In the light of the evidence submitted to the inquiry and the conclusions drawn by him based on that evidence, the First Defendant's Inspector acted unreasonably and unlawfully in granting planning permission without first requiring an environmental impact assessment of the Development."
"Member States shall adopt all measures necessary to ensure that, before consent is given, projects likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue, inter alia, of their nature, size or location are made subject to a requirement for development consent and an assessment with regard to their effects. These projects are defined in Article 4."
"Prohibition on granting planning permission without consideration of environment information
(1) This regulation applies
(a) to every EIA application received by the authority with whom it is lodged on or after the commencement of these Regulations; and …
(2) The relevant planning authority or the Secretary of State or an inspector shall not grant planning permission pursuant to an application to which this regulation applies unless they have first taken the environmental information into consideration, and they shall state in their decision that they have done so."
"(3) A direction of the Secretary of State shall determine for the purpose of these Regulations whether development is or is not EIA development.
(4) The Secretary of State may direct that particular proposed development is exempted from the application of these Regulations in accordance with Article 2(3) of the Directive (but without prejudice to Article 7 of the Directive)….
(5) Where a local planning authority or the Secretary of State has to decide under these Regulations whether Schedule 2 development is EIA development the authority or Secretary of State shall take into account in making that decision such of the selection criteria set out in Schedule 3 as are relevant to the development.
… (7) The Secretary of State may make a screening direction irrespective of whether he has received a request to do so."
The term "screening direction" is defined in Regulation 2 as a direction by the Secretary of State whether development is EIA development.
"Where an inspector is dealing with an appeal and a question arises as to whether the relevant application is an EIA application and it appears to the inspector that it may be such an application, the inspector shall refer that question to the Secretary of State and shall not determine the appeal, except by refusing planning permission, before he receives a screening direction."
DETERMINATION OF VALIDITY OF GROUNDS OF CHALLENGE