Cumulative Impact

January 19th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In R (Substation Action Save East Suffolk Ltd) v SoS for Energy Security and Net Zero ( 2024 ) EWCA Civ 12, concerned with Regulation 21 if the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, development consent for windfarm construction, and flood risk, Lewis LJ reiterated, at paras 55 and 60, that, where two or more linked sets of works are properly to be regarded as separate projects, ( 1 ) the objective of securing environmental protection is sufficiently secured by considering the cumulative effects when the first project is assessed, so far as that is reasonably possible, but (2 ) a decision=maker could defer that decision where, amongst other things, there is insufficient information on which a cumulative assessment can be made.

 

PRIVATE-HIRE VEHICLES

July 31st, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In Uber Brittania Ltd v Sefton MBC (2023) EWHC 1975 ( JB ) the Court grants a declaration that in order to operate lawfully under the Local Government ( Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 a licensed operator who accepts a booking from a passenger is required to enter as  principal into a contractual obligation with the passenger to provide the journey which is the subject of the booking.

 

EMISSIONS

July 28th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In R ( Hillingdon LBC ) v Mayor of London ( 2023 ) EWHC 1972 ( Admin ) Swift J dismisses all 3 grounds of challenge to the Mayor’s decision under the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to confirm the Greater London Low Emission Zone Charging Order, expanding, with effect from 29 August 2023, the London Ultra Low Emission Zone road charging area ( the ULEZ ).

The first ground was whether it was lawful for the Mayor to extend the ULEZ by amending the existing vehicle charging scheme and whether the 2022 Order was made consistently with all obligations arising under the 1999 Act ; paras 3-24 inc.

The second ground was whether there was sufficient and sufficiently clear information provided for the purposes of the consultation exercise: paras 25-37 inc.

The third ground was whether the Mayor’s decision was lawful on the grant payment to meet the cost of the scrappage scheme : paras 38-46 inc.

 

BIODIVERSITY

May 18th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

On 17 May 2023 DEFRA has published Guidance on understanding the duty upon public authorities, including local authorities, under the Environment Act 2021, to conserve and   enhance biodiversity, and how to comply with that duty, including what must be done by 1 January 2024. The Guidance addresses, amongst other matters, when to meet the duty, objectives and goals, strategies and policies, local nature recovery, species conservation, protected sites, managing land and buildings, education and raising awareness, internal processes, preparing for biodiversity net gain, and reporting biodiversity policies and actions.

 

HEIGHT OF KERBS

February 7th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

R (LEADBETTER) v SoS for TRANSPORT (2023) EWHC 210 (Admin) concerned an important issue for visually impaired people. Visual impairment is of course a disability which is a protected characteristic within the meaning of Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. The issue was the height of kerbs and Guidance in that connection from the SoS. There were 3 challenges : (1)  breach of the duty of enquiry pursuant to the Equality Act and of the Tameside duty of enquiry under common law; (2) irrationality; and (3) inadequate consultation. (1) & (2) failed. (3)succeeded .(1) and (2) failed because it was a matter of judgment for the SoS and there was sufficient basis for the Court to interfere.  As to (2), this succeeded because time to respond was essential and (12 days and 3 weeks) was “clearly insufficient”. This was especially so given that (i) there was a holiday period,  (ii) many users were known to be visually impaired, (iii) there was a need for further research and user evidence, and (iv) there would have been a realistic possibility that further evidence may have come forward and had an effect on the outcome. Declaratory relief only was granted.

 

Premises licence

February 3rd, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In PORKY PINT LTD v STOCKTON ON TEES BC (2023) EWHC 128 (Admin) Fordham J upholds the revocation of a premises licence following the licence holder’s breaches of regulations introduced in response to the COVID pandemic. The public safety objective in the Licensing Act 2003 was engaged. The licensing objectives were not restricted to “alcohol related” matters. The fact that public health is not a licensing objective does not exclude it from consideration of whether the public safety licensing objective was engaged and relevant.

 

Traffic Orders

November 10th, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

BOUCHTI  v ENFIELD LBE (2022) EWHC 2889 ( Admin ) concerned Permeant Traffic Orders under Section 6 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, and the statutory review of them, pursuant to a process akin to, but different from, judicial review. There are requirements that must be satisfied and the procedure followed. However, in this case, albeit the Council had failed to comply with the  relevant requirements, these failures had not caused the complainant substantial prejudice. Nor was the consultation process unfair in the circumstances. Allegations of a closed mind, irrationality, and breach of the Tameside duty were also amongst the grounds rejected. The advantages and disadvantages of continuing the measure were readily identifiable, and the task of balancing them was a matter of broad judgment.

 

 

Vehicular Access

November 1st, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In ANWAR v EALING LBC (2022) EWHC 2464 (KB) it is held that, where an occupier makes a request to a highway authority under Section 184(11) of the Highways Act 1980 to build a dropped kerb crossover, to allow vehicular access, and the crossing covers both that occupier’s property and a neighbouring property, there is no requirement to obtain the neighbour’s consent to the crossing. The Judge analysed Section 184. A highways authority could take action in respect of crossovers in 3 cases:

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Extinguishment of Public Right Of Way

July 20th, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

Trail Riders v SoS (2022) EWHC 1804 ( Admin ) concerns extinguishment of a public right of way under Section 67(1) of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 and the exceptions in Section 67(2). Syeyn J said that the exceptions should not be construed restrictively.

In relation to Section 67(2) (a) what was required was a factual assessment of whether the main lawful use by the public of the route during the 5 year period to 2 May 2006 was for mechanically propelled vehicles or not. The word “ main “ denoted chief or predominant use. The statutory provision did not direct the decision-maker as to the factors that should be taken into account. In making an assessment the character of the way was not a mandatory relevant consideration.

 

Charging for Leisure Facilities

June 24th, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In R (Efthimiou) v City of London (2022) EWHC 1588 (Admin) the lawfulness of an  updated charging and fee collection policy for the Hampstead Ladies@ Pond was upheld. The challenge by a disabled swimmer failed. At para 119 and following the Judge said that, as a general principle, charging for leisure facilities is fundamentally fair and reasonable. The revised charges, albeit significant, are heavily subsidised and relatively modest.