A decision by the Court of Appeal to grant a protective costs order in favour of objectors to a development on the site of Hampton Court railway station should make it easier for those objecting to developments on environmental grounds to bring their cases to court. The case was brought by an architect with a special interest in Hampton Court and was against the local council, which had granted planning permission for the development.
The Court’s order limited the architect’s liability for legal costs to £5,000, and those of the council to £35,000, the intention being to prevent the cost of bringing a challenge becoming prohibitive for a person of ordinary means.
The decision makes it clear that the Court supports the principle of making it possible for the public to challenge developments on environmental grounds.
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R (On the application of Garner) v Elmbridge Borough Council  EWCA Civ 1006.