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Permission Granted for Challenge to Oxford-Cambridge Expressway Corridor Decision

On 12 September 2018 the Department for Transport accepted the recommendations of Highways England as to the preferred corridor area for the new Oxford to Cambridge Expressway road.

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust sought judicial review of the decision on three grounds: (1) the decision should have been subject to a formal environmental assessment process under EU Directive 2001/42/EC on strategic environmental assessment (“SEA”), (2) the decision should have been subject to appropriate assessment under the Directive 92/43/EEC on habitats, and (3) by failing to carry out full public consultation on the route corridor options the Secretary of State acted in breach of a legitimate expectation generated by the UK’s ratification of the Aarhus Convention, in particular Article 7 of that Convention.

Mr Justice Supperstone refused permission on 16 January 2019. At an oral renewal hearing on 20 February 2019, Mrs Justice Lieven granted permission to on grounds 1 and 2 but refused permission on ground 3.

The claim will be listed for hearing in due course.

Ned Westaway and Merrow Golden, instructed by Leigh Day, are acting for the Claimant; Andrew Tait QC and Richard Honey, instructed by the Government Legal Department, are acting for the Defendant.