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Temporary Reprieve for Bats by Supreme Court

Gregory Jones QC
Sarah Sackman

In a rare hearing of an Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court on 27th July 2010, permission was given to appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal in R (Morge) v Hampshire County Council [2010] EWCA Civ 608. The case concerns the South East Hampshire Bus Rapid Transit Phase 1, running from Fareham to Gosport, Phase 1 of which is currently under construction close to the home of Mrs Morge. The appeal will concern the very restrictive interpretation of Article 12(1)(b) of the Habitats Directive 1992 adopted by the Court of Appeal in respect of the protected species of bats which will be significantly affected by the project for a period of up to 9 years. The Appeals Panel expressly left open the question of a later reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union under Article 267 TFEU.

In the Court of Appeal Mrs Morge was represented by Charles George QC and Sarah Sackman; before the Supreme Court Appeals Panel she was represented by Charles George QC and Gregory Jones