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Another House of Lords Victory: Environmental Assessment Regulations Held to be Unlawful

Robert McCracken QC
Gregory Jones QC
James Pereira QC

The House of Lords has declared the Environmental Assessment Regulations to be unlawful because they do not permit EIA at the reserved matters stage. Robert McCracken QC, Gregory Jones and James Pereira acted for Diane Barker, a mother who lives near Crystal Palace with her daughter. She complained that the decision to grant reserved matters approval for a multiplex development at Crystal Palace was vitiated by the Council's failure to appreciate that it had the power to require an EIA at that stage. The House of Lords held that LB Bromley had misdirected itself in law. Lord Hope of Craighead said that it was unsound to say that at the reserved matters stage

‘a local planning authority is powerless to prevent a development from proceeding'

The permission has now expired and therefore did not need to be quashed. The House of Lords awarded Ms Barker all her costs. The London Borough of Bromley is to pay most of Ms Barker's costs in the Queen's Bench Division and in the Court of Appeal. The Government is to pay the remainder. The Government and LB Bromley are each to pay half of her costs in the European Court of Justice and the House of Lords. ([2006] UKHL 52)