Environmental Information

July 17th, 2020 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

There is an exception to the duty under Directive 2003/4 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, S.I. 2004/3391, to disclose environmental information, when the request for disclosure involves the disclosure of “ internal communications”. What are they? They are not defined in the Directive. Read more »

 

Aarhus

July 6th, 2020 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In Case C-826/18 from the Netherlands Advocate General Bobek’s Opinion dated 2 July 2020 says that all of (1) Article 6 of the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters, (2) Article 6 of Directive 2011/92/EU, as amended, on the assessment of environmental effects, and (3) Article 24 of Directive 2010/75/EU on integrated pollution prevention and control, confer full participation rights ONLY on “the public concerned”, NOT on the public at large.

 

Cycle Lanes

June 10th, 2020 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General (Amendment) Regulations 2020, S.I. 2020/548, further amending S.I. 2007/3483, come into force on 22 June 2020. They give local authorities, with civil parking enforcement powers, pursuant to the Traffic Management Act 2004, power to send penalty charge notices based on approved CCTV evidence through the post to drivers who park or load illegally in mandatory cycle lanes.

 

Public Path in Public Park

June 3rd, 2020 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In Barlow v Wigan MBC (2020) EWCA Civ 696 the Court of Appeal holds that a public path in a local authority park engaged the statutory duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 notwithstanding that the path had not been constructed as a highway by the authority in its capacity as highway authority. The path was nonetheless maintainable at public expense within Section 36 of the Act. It had been dedicated as a highway.

 

Public Road on Private Land

April 16th, 2020 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

R (Pereira) v Environment & Traffic Adjudicators (2020) EWHC 811 (Admin) concerned a parking ticket issued by Southwark Council. A judicial review challenge by a motorist succeeded. The case raised the question whether privately owned land, a stretch of pavement in Dulwich Village, was a “highway”, under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980, or “any other road”, including pavement, under Section 15 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974, “to which the public has access”, so as to preclude even the owner of the land, Dr  Pereira, from parking there. Fordham J answered the question in the negative. There are twin preconditions for public access: factual public access and legal public access. Trespass, including tolerated trespass, can never be the basis of lawful public access.

 

 

Environmental Information

December 19th, 2019 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The question that arose in DoT v ICO (2019) EWCA Civ 2241 was as to the application to the information in issue of the definition of “environmental information” in the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“the EIR”), implementing EU Directive 2003/4/EC. The case concerned information of potentially “mixed character”: some environmental material, and some not.

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Environmental Bill

October 24th, 2019 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The Government has introduced a 130 Clause Environment Bill, with 20 Schedules, in the context of exiting the EU.  Parts 1 and 2 relate to Environmental Governance, that had been the subject of a Draft Bill, including environmental targets, improvement plans, environmental monitoring and environmental principles, and a new Office for Environmental Protection. Part 3 relates to Waste and Resource Efficiency; Part 4 to Air Quality and Environmental Recall; Part 5 to Water; Part 6 to Nature and Biodiversity; and Part 7 to Conservation Covenants. The provisions include recycling and other obligations upon local authorities, pollution control and other powers for local authorities, and the mandating of net gain in biodiversity through the planning system.

 

Traffic Regulation Order

July 22nd, 2019 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The first instance decision in Trail Riders Fellowship v Hampshire County Council was noted in this Bulletin on 11 December 2018. An appeal has now been dismissed: (2019) EWCA Civ 1275. Sir Ross Cranston’s statement of the law was approved, save for the last part of proposition (iv). Longmore LJ said that there does have to be actual evidence that the balancing exercise required by Section 122 has been, in substance, conducted. It cannot be merely a matter of inference from the status of the decision-maker.

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Waste

July 9th, 2019 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The European Court Judgment in Case C-624/17, Tronex BV, concerns the concepts of “waste” and “shipment of waste”. The Court said:-

“16      Regarding the concept of ‘waste’, it should be borne in mind that Article 3(1) of Directive 2008/98 defines it as any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard…

17      In accordance with the Court’s settled case-law, the classification of a substance or object as waste is to be inferred primarily from the holder’s actions and the meaning of the term ‘discard’… Read more »

 

Pollution caused by nitrates

April 1st, 2019 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The European Union adopted rules to counter water pollution caused by nitrates as early as 1991, namely the Waste Water Directive, which regulates the construction and operation of waste-water treatment plants in particular, and the Nitrates Directive, which concerns nitrates from agriculture. The aim of those measures is first and foremost to protect ecosystems from excess nutrient supply. However, at the same time, health risks are also associated with nitrates, particularly in very young infants. The Drinking Water Directive therefore contains a limit value of 50 mg/l for nitrates, a value which also appears in the Nitrates Directive.

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