Council Must Take Environmental Action


The Court of Appeal has recently has to rule over the question of whether a planning authority is obliged to take action against an unauthorised EIA development  wiich should have been subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) but was not.
The ruling arose because of an objection which was raised against the retrospective granting of consent for an EIA development of a glassworks in Chester.
The Court heard that it was accepted that the development was an EIA development. It agreed that, in principle, retrospective planning permission could be granted in such cases. However, such permission could only be obtained by an action to oppose an enforcement notice against the unauthorised development. Local authorities are, in the Court’s view, obliged to serve enforcement notices when unauthorised EIA developments occur. Failing to do so would allow unauthorised EIA development to take place ‘by the back door’ and failing to commence action would eventually render the development immune from enforcement proceedings.

Share this article