The Claimant alleged that the Secretary of State acted unlawfully in dealing with its complaint that the Interested Parties had “stifled” or “neutralised” the ability of landowners facing possible compulsory acquisition to present objections to and information about the scheme. It was said that this was the effect of the Heads of Terms that the Interested Party had agreed with various landowners before and during the examination into the two applications, which included non-objection and confidentiality clauses.
In a detailed Judgment Holgate J addressed the role of the Court where such an allegation is made, the extent to which the Heads of Terms agreed with landowners were or were not binding, the lawfulness of non-objection and confidentiality clauses in option agreements and the circumstances in which it can be inferred that the Secretary of State has read material to which links are provided.
Holgate J refused the Claimant permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The Judgment is available here.