TRAFFIC ORDER

April 30th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

One of the questions in R ( DAW ) v STAFFORDSHIRE COUNCIL ( 2024 ) EWHC 963 ( Admin ) was whether there was a lawful delegation to the Council Officer who made the Order pursuant to Section 101 ( 2 ) of the Local Government Act 1972. This was not a case in which the nature of the function was such that even in the absence of express delegation one officer may be regarded as having authority to act on behalf of another officer who is authorised to exercise the function. Of course, an officer who has been authorised may not sub-delegate the performance of that function to another officer. The Judge concluded that on the proper interpretation of the Council’s Constitution and Scheme of Delegation the Scheme was effective to delegate power to make the decision to the Officer who made the Order, provided that he exercised the power in accordance with the restrictions in the Scheme, as he did in the circumstances.

 

STATUTORY NUISANCE

April 30th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The issue before the Court of Appeal in R ( BALL ) v HINCKLEY & BOSWORTH COUNCIL ( 2024 ) EWCA Civ 433 was whether a local authority, as distinct from a Magistrates’ Court, has the power,  to vary an Abatement Notice which it has issued against a statutory nuisance under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, either expressly or by necessary implication, and whether or not in conjunction with the incidental power in Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972. No, says the Court, allowing the appeal. Nor was the General Power of Competence in Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 applicable.

 

LAND DRAINAGE ACT

April 29th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL v PAIN ( 2024 ) EWHC 913 ( Admin ) concerns notices served under Section 24 of the Land Drainage Act 1991. The Court interprets the notices, considers the clarity and lawfulness of the requirement when properly interpreted, and addresses severability of the requirement from the balance of  the notices.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

April 10th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The European Court of Human Rights has delivered Grand Chamber rulings in three climate changes. In one of these, SCHWEISS v SWITZERLAND a complaint was made about the consequences of global warming on living conditions and health. The complaint was that the Swiss authorities were not taking sufficient action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Court found that the European Convention of Human Rights encompasses a right to effective protection by the State authorities from the serious adverse effects of climate change on lives, health, well-being and quality of life. The Court held that there had been a violation of the right to respect for private and family life and that there had had been a violation of the right of access to the Court. The Court found that the Swiss Confederation had failed to comply with its positive obligations under the Convention concerning climate change.

 

TRAFFIC

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

The Secretary of State for Transport has made a series of announcements to implement the PLAN FOR DRIVERS. The package includes Guidance on 20 mph speed limits bus lanes, and lane rental schemes, as well as on LTNs. It also gives warning of restrictions on a local authority’s ability to enforce traffic restrictions.

 

LTNs

March 18th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The Department for Transport has published draft statutory Guidance, to come into force from this Summer, for local authorities, on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and the implementation of new schemes, setting out that they must gain “ buy-in “ from local residents, businesses and emergency services. It warns that, if local authorities do not comply, they could see funding withdrawn, control being taken of their roads, and removal of access to DVLA data.

 

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.