||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 76 (Apr)
|| EWHC 538 (Admin)
||Martin Kingston QC and David Park (instructed by Bremners) for the claimants.
||Milwyn Jarman QC and Andrew Keyser (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Assembly.
||11 April 2005
Protection of environment - Conservation - Special areas of conservation - Designation - Relevant consideration - Scope of consultation - Application for judicial review - Delay - Amendment to list of candidate sites - Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 - Council Directive (EEC) 92/43.
Although proceedings to challenge the inclusion of an area land on a list of candidate sites for designation as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under Council Directive (EEC)92-43 (as implemented by the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994) had been superseded by the decision to so designate that area, the instant proceedings still served a purpose in that the claimants would seek to rely on findings in European proceedings. Whatever the precise legal basis for submitting an amended list of such sites, the decision to retain the area as a candidate site was amenable to judicial review. The special requirements of the environmental impact assessment regime concerning the provision of information, were of no application in the present context. If a site otherwise met the criteria for inclusion as a candidate SAC, it could not be lawful for a member state to exclude it from the list of candidates on the ground that the habitats or species it contains would or might be affected by implementation of an existing planning permission or licence. Finally, it was a proper approach to include an entire area under single management as a candidate site, apparently using existing boundary features, rather than to seek to draw boundaries more tightly around the areas in which the species sought to be protected was found.
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