QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF|
|BUGLIFE - THE INVERTEBRATE CONSERVATION TRUST||(CLAIMANT)|
|THURROCK THAMES GATEWAY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION||(DEFENDANT)|
|ROSEMOUND DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED||(INTERESTED PARTY)|
Wordwave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR T D STRAKER QC and MISS CAROLINE BOLTON appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
MR WILLIAM HICKS QC and MR REUBEN TAYLOR appeared on behalf of the INTERESTED PARTY
Crown Copyright ©
"70(1) Where an application is made to a local planning authority for planning permission ...
(2) In dealing with such an application the authority shall have regard to the provisions of the development plan so far as material to the application and to any other material considerations."
"If regard is to be had to the development plan for the purpose of any determination to be made under the Planning Act the determination must be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise."
"... in exercising their functions, to have regard so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity."
"... to promote the taking by others of such steps as appear to the authority to be reasonably practicable to further conservation of the living organisms and types of habitat included in any list published by the authority under this section."
"The aim of planning decisions should be to prevent harm to biodiversity and geological conservation interests where granting planning permission would result in significant harm to those interests. Local planning authorities will need to be satisfied that the development cannot reasonably be located on any alternative sites that would result in less or no harm. In the absence of any such alternatives, local planning authorities should ensure that before planning permission is granted adequate mitigation measures are put in place. Where a planning decision would result in significant harm to biodiversity and geological interests which cannot be prevented or adequately mitigated against, appropriate compensation measures should be sought. If that significant harm cannot be prevented, adequately mitigated against or compensated for, then planning permission should be refused."
"Planning authorities should refuse permission where harm to the species or their habitats would result, unless the need for and benefits of the development clearly outweigh that harm."
"The situation, as I see it, is as follows: first, section 29 lays down what matters are to be regarded as material, and the policy cannot make a matter which is otherwise a material consideration an irrelevant consideration. Secondly, if the policy is a lawful policy, that is to say, if it is not a policy which is defective because it goes beyond the proper role of a policy by seeking to do more than indicate the weight which should be given to relevant considerations, then the body determining an application must have regard to the policy. Thirdly, the fact that a body has to have regard to the policy does not mean that it needs necessarily to follow the policy. However, if it is going to depart from the policy, it must give clear reasons for not doing so in order that the recipient of its decision will know why the decision is being made as an exception to the policy and the grounds upon which the decision is taken. ..."
"(1) The object of an urban development corporation shall be to secure the regeneration of its area.
(2) The object is to be achieved in particular by the following means (or by such of them as seem to the corporation to be appropriate in the case of its area) namely by bringing land and buildings into effective use, encouraging the development of existing and new industry and commerce, creating an attractive environment and ensuring that housing and social facilities are available to encourage people to live and work in the area."
"The relevant planning authority ... 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."
"the environmental statement including any further information and any other information, any representations made by anybody required by these Regulations to be invited to make representations and any representations duly made by any other person about the environmental effects of the development."
"(b) that includes at least the information referred to in Part 2 of Schedule 4."
"(2) A description of the measures envisaged in order to avoid, reduce and, if possible, remedy significant adverse effects."
"... the planning authority ... will have failed to comply with article 4(2) [the precursor to Regulation 3(2)] if they attempt to leave over questions which relate to the significance of the impact on the environment, and the effectiveness of any mitigation."
"We believe the proposals provide an opportunity to secure the long-term conservation and enhancement of this important ecological hub in West Thurrock. Therefore, subject to the proposed amendments to the draft section 106 agreement and the attachment of suitably worded planning conditions, as suggested, Natural England withdraws it objection to these planning applications."
"use the ecology area in any way inconsistent with providing the ecological improvement works from the date of this Deed".
"The over-riding consideration in determining this application must, however, be ecology and nature conservation and whether the proposed development is compatible with it."
"recognised that the site is of prime importance for ecology and nature conservation and that any development permitted on the site must retain the nature conservation value of the site itself and the adjoining Southern Lagoon, which is a designated SSSI."
"29. Prior to the commencement of the development hereby permitted or remediation of the site, a wildlife protection plan for this development, incorporating by not necessarily limited to detailed measures for wildlife protection during all phases of development, including remediation, site preparation, construction activities and service installations shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the local planning authority. The wildlife protection plan for development shall include (a) appropriate plans showing wildlife protection zones where construction activities are restricted and where specific protective measures will be installed, implemented and employed, (b) details of protective measures including both physical measures and sensitive working practices to avoid impacts during construction, (c) line of responsibility and communication including the appointment of a suitably qualified Ecological Clerk of Works to advise on site. Development and remediation works shall be undertaken in strict accordance with the agreed measures.
Reason: In the interests of safeguarding the ecological and nature conservation interests of the application site and adjoining site of special scientific interest. Furthermore, in accordance with ..."
"30. Prior to the commencement of the development or remediation of the site a phasing plan for the whole of the development hereby approved shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The phasing plan shall take account of the need to provide a suitable compensatory habitat. Development and remediation shall be undertaken in strict accordance with the agreed phasing plan.
Reason: To ensure that the development has regard to the need to provide suitable compensatory habitats in the interest of nature conservation."
"Having taken all the material considerations into account, it is considered that, subject to compliance with the attached conditions, the proposal would be in accordance with the development plan and would not cause unacceptable harm to the amenities of the area or prejudice highway safety or convenience."
"The local planning authority has considered and assessed the content of the environmental assessment (EA) submitted with the application, as well as consultation responses received from statutory bodies on particular technical matters. Consideration has also been given to the statutory planning policy framework and the views expressed by third parties. Subject to the mitigation measures identified in the EA being carried out, the conditions of the permission being complied with, and the terms of the planning obligation met, the local planning authority concludes that the proposed development is acceptable in the long term. It is accepted that there may be short term harm to some of the existing wildlife habitat. However, the proposal will result in the long term management of the site which will secure the continued presence of the habitat which is of major conservation value. In addition, the proposal will facilitate the enhancement and continued maintenance of the adjacent nature conservation site of national importance, (SSSI)."
"108. It is for the local planning authority to decide whether it has sufficient information in respect of the material considerations. Its decision is subject to review by the courts, but the courts will defer to the local planning authority's judgment in that matter in all but the most extreme cases.
109. There is no reasons why the adequacy of this information, which includes the sufficiency of information about the site, design and scale of development, should not be determined by the local planning authority."