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Air Quality

Landmark Chambers is at the forefront of the evolving case law on air quality, both in relation to the UK’s well-publicised battle to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Ambient Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC) and in addressing where air quality interacts with other regimes – notably in its effect on sensitive habitats and airports policy.

Barristers are regularly instructed to advise and represent the Government, developers, local authorities, NGOs and third parties throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and have appeared in many of the most important cases of recent years; often on both sides. Barristers with experience in air quality matters span a broad range of seniority.  Landmark’s practice managers will be happy to assist in providing a recommendation of appropriate counsel.

Particularly significant recent court decisions in which Landmark barristers have been involved include:

  • The leading decisions of the Court of Appeal in Wealden DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWCA Civ 39 and the subsequent decision of the High Court in [2017] EWHC 351 on the approach to and mitigation of nitrogen deposition on sensitive heathland as a result of increases in road traffic;
  • The High Court’s decision in R (Gladman Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWHC 2768 (Admin) on the relevance of air quality to individual development consent;
  • R (Shirley) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWHC 2306 (Admin) on the Secretary of State’s duties in considering to call-in an application potentially having a significant impact on a nearby AQMA.

Landmark barristers have acted and continue to advise and act in relation to many of the biggest infrastructure projects raising air quality issues, including:

  • The proposed Third Runway at Heathrow;
  • High Speed Two;
  • Crossrail;
  • Heathrow Terminal 5.

Members also regularly appear at planning inquiries and public examinations of development plan documents. In both of those forums air quality, and the related issue of climate change, is an increasingly significant issue which Landmark counsel are uniquely well-placed to address.

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