Skip to main content

T: 020 7353 8415

  • Glass building

SSSI Designation by Natural England to Let the Sea Erode Cliffs Challenged in the High Court

Gregory Jones QC

THE HIGH COURT

In Boggis & Easton Bavants Conservation (R on the application of) v Natural England (2007) No: CO/7831/2006, Peter Boggis, 76, a retired engineer from Easton Bavants near Southwold in Suffolk and the Easton Bavants conservation, were granted permission by the High Court to challenge Natural England designation of a protected scientific site in order to study its erosion. Mr Boggis has built his own coastal defences to prevent erosion and save his home and those of his neighbours. At a contested oral hearing, Nicholas Blake QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, has now given him permission to seek judicial review. Natural England wants a fossil-bearing area on the Suffolk coast to be allowed to wear away, exposing strata of soil and rock for study. It claims that this is consistent with its duty to conserve geological features. Mr Boggis and Easton Bavants Conservation group said the agency was unlawfully 'seeking to destroy, rather than conserve and maintain' the existing geological features of the cliff face. The court ruled Mr Boggis had an 'arguable case' that should go to a full hearing as it raised issues of importance that could affect other areas of coastline that are eroding.

Gregory Jones and James Neill, instructed by Peter Scott of Parkinson Wright, appeared for the claimants.