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Court quashes retrospective planning permission for EIA development

The High Court (HHJ Mackie QC) today quashed a planning permission for EIA development granted by Maidstone Borough Council which, inter alia,  authorised the retention of 100,000’s of tonnes of construction waste that had been imported onto land without planning permission in order to form raised fishing lakes: R (Paddden) v Maidstone Borough Council. The importation was having adverse effects on the home of the Claimant including causing groundwater flooding.

The learned Judge found, applying Case C-215/06 Commission v Ireland [2008] ECR I-4911 and R (Ardagh Glass Ltd ) v Chester City Council & Others [2011] P.T.S.R. 1498, that the Council had failed to consider the question of whether there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of permission. He also found that in granting permission the Council had unlawfully failed to make reasonable enquiries to try to obtain the factual information necessary for its decision on the application and that officers had failed to report to Members concerns about a proposed condition to deal with ground water flooding which had been raised by the Environment Agency.

James Maurici QC appeared for the successful Claimant instructed by Dechert LLP.