Extinguishment of Public Right Of Way

July 20th, 2022 by James Goudie QC 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 QC 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.

 

Paris Agreement

May 24th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In BUTLER-SLOSS v CHARITY COMMISSION (2022) EWHC 974 (Ch) the Court considered the relationship between the investment powers and duties of charitable trustees and the charitable purposes of the particular charity. Policies were ruled lawful that would exclude, so far as possible, investments that were not aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

 

Environmental Concerns and Insolvency

March 22nd, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In the exercise of insolvency powers, significance should be afforded to concerns by the local authority and others about damage to the environment and detriment to the locality: In the Matter of Baglan Operations Ltd (2022) EWHC 647 (Ch).

 

Climate Change

March 18th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

On the intensity of judicial review, and on the interpretation of international treaties, specifically the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, see R (Friends of the Earth) v SoS (2022) EWHC 568 (Admin).

 

Asset of Community Value

January 25th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In R (TV Harrison CIC) v Leeds City Council (2022) EWHC 130 (Admin) the claimant community interest company challenged the decision of the City Council to refuse to include the claimant’s Land in the list of Land in its area that is of community value that is maintained under Section 87(1) of the Localism Act 2011. The Land is described as a longstanding sports field and has recently been restored.  However, the City Council seeks to proceed with a housing development. “Land of community value” is defined by Section 88 of the Act.  Section 88(1)(b) is concerned with future use.

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EXPERIMENTAL TRAFFIC ORDERS

November 26th, 2021 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

The statutory objections procedure before the making of a Permanent Order in the same terms as an ETO does not operate as a bat to the local authority revoking the ETO. So held in R ( Keyhole Bridge User Safety Group ) v Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council (2021) EWHC 3082 ( Admin ).

 

Air Pollution

September 16th, 2021 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

A local authority must not act in a way which contributes indirectly towards, or facilitates, a breach of ECHR Article 8 rights, for example by providing land for or subsidising a pollution causing waste disposal or other plant: Lopez Ostra v Spain (1994) 20 EHRR 277.  A local authority may be liable for inaction, or insufficiently speedy and robust action, against polluters and the perpetrators of nuisance, or for the environmental consequences of development which the authority provides under economic development powers, or which the authority permits, as landowner, or as planning or licensing authority.  There may be positive obligations under Article 8 and fair balances have to be struck.

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EMERGENCY TRANSPORT PLAN

September 10th, 2021 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

Local authorities are subject to a network management duty. Section 16(1) of the Traffic Management Act 2004 imposes a duty upon them not only to manage their road network, but to do so with a view to achieving objectives which include securing the expeditious movement of traffic upon the network. The duty is subject to reasonable practicability, and is elaborated upon in Section 16(2). In Trail Riders Fellowship v Devon County Council (2013) EWHC 2104 (Admin) the Court held that the highway authority had been entitled to make a Traffic Regulation Order prohibiting motor vehicles from using part of a road where that was expedient in the interests of road safety.

In HHRC Ltd v Hackney LBC (2021) EWHC 2440 ( Admin) Dove J says, at para 42, that the terms of Section 16 provide the authority with broad parameters within which to act consistently with the duty, that the objectives of Section 16 are broad, and qualified by the need to act, as far as reasonably practicable, having regard to the local authority’s other obligations and Policies. There is also statutory Guidance from the SoS. Read more »

 

ETO

August 16th, 2021 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

A statutory challenge to a decision in February 2021 not to revoke an Experimental Traffic Order in relation to a street in the Barbican failed in R (Tomkins ) v City of London Corporation (2021) EWHC 2265 (Admin). The challenge was on the basis that it was no longer possible to continue with the experiment in any meaningful way once traffic levels had reduced because of covid lockdown. However, monitoring had continued, albeit on a less comprehensive basis than intended, and useful data obtained. A genuine experiment continued. Not revoking the ETO was not irrational. See especially para 101 of the Judgment, and the treatment at para 86 of Trail Riders v Peak District Authority (2012) EWHC 3359 (Admin).