Climate emergency #7 - have you thought about Pensions & Investments?

Philip Woolham looks at how pensions and investment can further the climate change agenda. Read more
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Feb 10, 2020

Scottish environmental regulator appoints three firms to legal services panel

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has appointed three law firms to provide legal advice and advocacy services in respect of corporate and operational matters relating to its functions.
Feb 07, 2020

Environmental campaigners get go-ahead for legal challenge to permission for deep coal mine

A campaign group has been granted permission for a judicial review of Cumbria County Council’s decision to allow the first deep coal mine in 30 years in the UK to be built.
Jan 31, 2020

Environment Bill to give local authorities clear framework for tackling air pollution: Defra

The Government this week re-introduced its Environment Bill to Parliament, claiming that measures contained in the legislation would “ensure that local authorities have a clear framework for tackling air pollution and simple to use powers to address pollution in their areas”.
Jan 27, 2020

City council passes motion supporting pilot of citizens assemblies

Bristol City Council will introduce two ‘citizens’ assemblies’ pilot schemes within the year in an effort to increase the involvement of citizens in the council’s decision-making process.
Jan 16, 2020

Government sets up taskforce to tackle serious and organised waste crime

The Government has launched a Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) bringing together law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency from across the UK to target waste criminals.
Jan 16, 2020

Resident fails in High Court challenge to planning consent for sand and gravel extraction project

A local resident has seen all four grounds for judicial review rejected in her challenge to Shropshire Council’s planning consent for a sand and gravel extraction project.
Jan 03, 2020

Timetable set for new inquest into ‘air quality’ death of child

A new inquest into the death of 9 year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah will be held November or December this year, following the ordering of a new inquest by the high court last year.
Dec 30, 2019

Council hit by legal action over planning permission for nuclear site development

East Suffolk Council has been threatened with a judicial review of its decision to grant planning permission for development of a nuclear power site.
Dec 18, 2019

Ex-council officer convicted of making false air quality readings

A former Waverley Borough Council officer has been convicted of making false air quality readings.
Dec 18, 2019

Campaigners crowd fund legal challenge to permission for car park on stretch of river valley

A campaign group has so far raised £5,845 to try to mount a legal challenge to a planned car park in Canterbury.
Dec 03, 2019

Court of Appeal rejects challenge to environmental permit for waste incineration plant over error in supporting information

The Court of Appeal last month rejected a claim that an environmental permit granted by the Environment Agency for a waste incineration plant was vitiated by an error made in the permit application.
Nov 07, 2019

Campaigner crowd funds legal action over decision by council to allow expanded oil drilling

A local campaigner is seeking to crowdfund the money needed to launch a judicial review of Surrey County Council’s decision to allow expanded oil drilling near Horley.
Oct 18, 2019

Court of Appeal hears challenge from councils, London Mayor to Heathrow expansion approval

The Court of Appeal has this week begun hearing an appeal from five councils, the Mayor of London and Greenpeace over the Government’s decision to approve Heathrow expansion.


January 31, 2020

The Epping Forest SAC and grants of planning permission

Permission to bring a legal challenge over a grant of planning permission near the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation has been rejected. Ashley Bowes explains why.
January 24, 2020

Climate emergency #6: have you thought about Procurement?

Phil Roberts and Matthew Mo set out how public procurement can play a role in tackling climate change.
January 24, 2020

Legal privilege and the EIRs

A local authority was recently ordered to disclose legally privileged material under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Natasha Stay considers the ruling.
January 17, 2020

Climate emergency #5: have you thought about Funding and Investment?

With local authorities seeking to deliver on some of their declared priorities to address the climate emergency, attention is turning to how to fund some of the ideas and initiatives, writes David Hutton.
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #4: have you thought about Retrofitting?

Maxim Laithwaite, David Hutton and Nathan Bradberry analyse how local authorities and registered providers can use retrofitting to help deliver on climate emergencies.
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #3: have you thought about New Housing?

In the latest of a series of articles on how local authorities can respond to a climate emergency, Maxim Laithwaite and David Hutton consider the opportunities provided by new housing?
November 29, 2019

Climate Emergency #2 - have you thought about Planning?

Kathryn Lawrance considers how local authorities can use their planning role to further the climate change agenda.
November 29, 2019

Climate emergency #1 - have you thought about governance?

With many councils declaring a climate emergency, Victoria Barman examines the governance issues they face.


Oct 16, 2019

Developer of 1,200-home urban extension wins High Court challenge over refusal of planning permission in ministerial decision letter

The promoter of a 1,200 homes urban extension in Warrington has convinced the High Court that a decision letter from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government was so muddled that a planning inspector’s recommended refusal of planning permission should be overturned.
Sep 26, 2019

Council passes motion of no confidence in local plan amid concern over impact of climate change on coast

Arun District Council has passed a motion expressing no confidence its own local plan after a change of administration, amid concern at the impact of climate change on the coastal plain.
Sep 05, 2019

Councils adopt mitigation measures to overcome problems with nitrate pollution and development

Two councils affected by planning problems from nitrate pollution in the Solent are adopting mitigation measures to allow development to continue.
Sep 02, 2019

Environmental lawyers put local authorities “on notice” over alleged climate inaction

Environmental law charity ClientEarth has written to 100 local authorities across England to warn that they will violate their legal obligations and risk legal challenge if they do not introduce proper climate change plans.
Aug 15, 2019

Claimants eye legal action against developer and possibly council over former gasworks site

A residential developer has said it will “vigorously oppose” an attempt at crowdfunded legal action against a project in west London.
Aug 01, 2019

Planners ignoring new curbs on destroying ancient woodland says Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust has claimed that the destruction of ancient woodland for development has continued largely unabated despite changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in July last year which stated that development should be refused unless there are ‘wholly exceptional’ circumstances, such as large infrastructure projects.
Jul 02, 2019

Supreme Court refuses to grant permission to appeal in row over major development and air quality

The Supreme Court has refused two local residents in Canterbury permission to appeal in a dispute over whether the Communities Secretary was obliged to call in a planning application for a major development that might affect air quality.
Jun 20, 2019

Nitrates pollution leaves councils in Hampshire facing planning appeal costs, disruption to local plans

Local authorities in southern Hampshire face potential planning appeal costs and disruption to local plans because of a European Court of Justice ruling that affects nitrate pollution in the Solent.
Jun 19, 2019

Protester found guilty of preventing council meeting from going ahead: report

A climate protester has been given a conditional discharge after disrupting a meeting of Norfolk County Council.
May 16, 2019

Government issues council with direction to implement clean air charging zone

The Government has issued a legal direction to Coventry City Council ordering it to implement a clean air charging zone for polluting vehicles.
May 01, 2019

Councils fail in legal challenge over Heathrow Airport expansion

A Divisional Court has dismissed a legal challenge brought by five councils, the Mayor of London and a number of other claimants over the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision to designate the Airports National Policy Statement (“ANPS”), which sets out that the Government’s preferred location for additional airport capacity in the South East of England is a new runway at Heathrow.
Apr 09, 2019

County defeats High Court challenge by parish over siting of new primary school near air force base

Suffolk County Council has successfully defended a legal challenge brought by a parish council over the grant of planning permission for a new 420-place primary school near a US air force base.
Mar 27, 2019

Campaigners challenge decision by Secretary of State not to call-in Stansted expansion plans

Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is to seek to launch a judicial review of Communities Secretary James Brokenshire’s decision not to call-in Uttlesford District Council’s approval of plans to expand Stansted Airport.
Mar 25, 2019

Environmental lawyers fire warning to councils on legal risk of air pollution “inaction” (2)

Environmental law charity ClientEarth has warned 38 local authorities in England and Wales of the legal risk of inaction on air pollution.
Mar 22, 2019

Licensing powers to tackle air pollution

Matt Lewin analyses the licensing powers available to licensing authorities to reduce air pollution caused by their taxi fleet.
Mar 21, 2019

Activist pleads not guilty to public order offence at council meeting

An environmental activist faces court after he disrupted a Norfolk County Council meeting for four hours by singing in the council chamber.
Mar 06, 2019

Minister failed to take into account relevant material when adopting fracking policy: High Court

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government failed to take into account material relevant to his decision to adopt a paragraph in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) covering on-shore oil and gas extraction, a High Court judge has found.
Jan 03, 2019

Minister defeats legal action over EIA decision on development at old sports complex

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has successfully defended a legal challenge to his decision that proposed development at a disused sports complex was not EIA (environmental impact assessment) development.
Nov 29, 2018

Councils warned against using new waste crime powers to raise revenue

The government has this week issued guidance for councils on using new powers to fine householders up to £400 for failing to ensure they gave their waste to a licensed carrier.
Nov 09, 2018

Union attacks council over legal spend on Heathrow judicial review

The London Borough of Hillingdon has come under fire from trade union Unite for its spending on a legal challenge to the expansion of Heathrow airport.
Sep 05, 2018

Mother calls on Attorney General to overturn air pollution death inquest

The mother of a child who died from respiratory failure has delivered a 100,000 signature petition to have the inquest into her death reopened after new evidence emerged that illegal levels of air pollution may have contributed to her death.
Jan 11, 2018

LGA backs Private Members Bill reforming laws on noise pollution

The Local Government Association has backed a cross-party campaign which would see a person or business responsible for a change in noise conditions being held responsible for managing that change.
Dec 06, 2017

Council faces legal challenge to permission for new type of waste incinerator

Protesters have said they will take Derby City Council to judicial review after it gave planning permission for temporary use of a new type of waste incinerator.


November 01, 2019

Taking into account the impacts and benefits of deliverable schemes

The High Court has allowed a statutory challenge against the Secretary of State’s dismissal of an appeal in relation to a 1,200 dwelling scheme. Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC and Heather Sargent explain why.
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October 11, 2019

Court rejects challenges to Heathrow expansion

Charles Streeten, barrister at Francis Taylor Building, explains how the court came to reject the claims for judicial review of the Heathrow runway expansion in R (on the application of Spurrier) v Secretary of State for Transport and other cases.
September 27, 2019

Planning appeals and air quality

The Court of Appeal has ruled on air quality considerations in planning appeals. Ashley Bowes analyses the outcome.
September 06, 2019

Cleaning up the air we breathe

Rob Hann looks at the pressures on local authorities to push forwards at pace with their clean air initiatives.
July 12, 2019

Solar panels and planning permissions

Climate change policy and legislation meant a council could not ignore the effect of a new development on existing solar panels. Robin Green explains a recent High Court ruling.
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June 07, 2019

Chickens**t EIA

The Court of Appeal recently quashed the grant of planning permission for a poultry-rearing facility on the basis of an incomplete and unlawful Environmental Impact Assessment. Simon Ricketts looks at the lessons from the judgment.
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May 10, 2019

Airports NPS challenges: the result

A Divisional Court has rejected the legal challenge brought by a group of councils and other claimants over the endorsement of a third runway at Heathrow. Angus Walker looks at the judges' findings.
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February 08, 2019

What to do about poor air quality?

The Court of Appeal recently decided that the Communities Secretary was not obliged to call in a planning application for a development that might affect air quality. Simon Ricketts analyses the ruling.
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