The court has again ruled that a claim, involving allegations that environmental impact assessment legislation had not properly been complied with, should not be subject to the additional hurdle in Civil Procedure Rule 54.5 of "promptness".
In R (U & Partners (East Anglia) Ltd) v the Broads Authority and the Environment Agency, the claimant objected to planning consent granted for flood defence works. It argued that both beneficial and adverse affects of the development had not properly been considered. The claim was made right at the end of the three month limitation. The Broads Authority argued that the application had not been made "promptly" and so was out of time.
Although the court had obvious sympathy with the Environment Agency (there had been a long and difficult history between it and the claimant), it held that it was bound by the Uniplex case. This established last year that it was not lawful to transpose European law in a way that resulted in uncertain time limits (ie up to the courts' discretion as to whether made "promptly" or not) for subsequent legal challenges.