Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2013] All ER (D) 13 (May)
Neutral Citation: [2013] EWHC 946 (Admin)
Court: Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court (Bristol)

Mr Justice Kenneth Parker

Representation Jeremy Hyam (instructed by Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law) for the claimant.
  Richard Langham (instructed by Bath and North East Somerset Council) for the authority.
Judgment Dates: 25 April 2013


Town and country planning - Permission for development - Application for permission - Interested party, H Ltd, operating waste composting site - Claimant living near site - Various planning permissions being quashed due to fact that relevant regulations not properly implementing European Union law with result that applications requiring screening - H Ltd continuing to operate site in manner which would be permitted by permissions - Secretary of State making positive screening directions - H Ltd submitting inadequate environmental statement - Fourteen months later, respondent authority deciding to give H Ltd further three months to present complete environmental statement - Claimant seeking to challenge decision by way of judicial review proceedings - Whether authority being legally obliged to issue enforcement notice - Whether decision to extend time to present environmental statement constituting breach of duty - Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, , para 13, Sch 2.

The Case

Town and country planning Permission for development. The interested party, H Ltd, operated a waste composting site. The claimant lived near the site. Following the quashing of various planning permissions due to the fact that para13 of Sch 2 to the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, did not properly implement European Union law, with the result that applications required to be screened, H Ltd continued to operate the site in the manner that would have been permitted by them. The Secretary of State made positive screening directions and accordingly, there were before the respondent authority three live applications for planning permission which would, if granted, operate with retrospective effect. The purported environmental statement submitted by H Ltd was inadequate and 14 months later, the authority decided that H Ltd ought to have a further three months to present a complete environmental statement and the issue of whether an enforcement notice should be issued was withdrawn from the agenda. The claimant sought to challenge the decision by way of judicial review proceedings. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claim, held that there was no duty on the authority under EU law immediately to issue an enforcement notice in the circumstances and, notwithstanding the court's initial misgivings, on the evidence, the authority had reached a fair, reasonable and proportionate decision on the relevant issue.

Practice Areas

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