Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2013] All ER (D) 188 (May)
Neutral Citation: [2013] EWCA Civ 542
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division

Moses, Rimer and Gloster LJJ

Representation Peter Village QC and James Strachan QC (instructed by Clyde & Co LLP) for the claimants.
  Gordon Nardell QC and Christiaan Zwart (instructed by the Environment Agency) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 16 May 2013


Water and watercourses - Flooding - Protection of land from flooding - Environment agency classifying sluices on Manchester Ship Canal as formal flood defences - Formal flood defences considered liable to failure - Classification placing land at higher risk of flooding - Claimants seeking to develop land adjacent to canal - Claimants challenging decision of agency - Judge finding agency failing to properly interpret, apply or have regard to own policy when classifying sluices as formal flood defences - Agency appealing - Whether judge erring.

The Case

Water and watercourses Flooding. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appeal of the Environment Agency, upheld a finding that it failed properly to interpret, apply or have regard to its own policy when it classified sluices on the Manchester Ship Canal as 'formal' flood defences on the ground that their 'primary' purpose was flood prevention, with the effect that land, which was owned and proposed for development by the claimants, had been at a higher risk of flooding. The sluices were an integral part of the canal, serving a dual purpose of providing flood defences and navigational purposes for the canal, but the defendant had not been entitled, applying its own policies which distinguished between 'primary' purposes and 'secondary' purposes of flood defences, to find that, by having a dual purpose, the sluices had had dual 'primary' purposes.

Practice Areas

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