An application for judicial review of a planning decision, which was made in part on the grounds of the alleged inadequacy of an environmental statement, has been dismissed at a recent hearing in the High Court.
In the case of Wakil (t/a Orya Textiles) v Hammersmith and Fulham LBC (2013), the claimant applied for judicial review after the council granted planning permission for a development which would involve the compulsory purchase and demolition of the claimant’s premises.
One of the grounds of challenge related to the Environmental Statement (ES) prepared in respect of the proposed development. The claimant alleged that the document submitted did not amount to an ES because it had failed to consider the indirect, cumulative and secondary effects of the development, as required by Schedule 4 of the Town and Country (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011, and in particular the effects of the development in combination with other projects likely to affect the environment.
However, the Court held that the ES had satisfied the requirements of the EIA, that indirect, secondary and cumulative effects had been dealt with in the ES in respect of six sites agreed with the council, and that there had been no need for the council to investigate the effects of the development together with major infrastructure schemes outside of the six assessed sites in the absence of any indication that such schemes would have added to the environmental effects of the proposed development. Such a consideration would, it was held, take the council well beyond the information “reasonably required” for an ES to comply with the Regulations. The ES only needed to consider the likely significant effects of the development in question on the environment, and this test had been met.
On the basis of the failure of this ground and of the other two grounds on which the application was made, the Court rejected the application for judicial review.