Last night Landmark Chambers held a seminar on Air Quality which I chaired. The room was packed out. There wasn’t a spare seat.
The seminar began with Richard Moules of Landmark chambers providing an overview of the Air Quality Directive and the two ClientEarth judicial review challenges. The most recent of which Garnham J. gave only gave judgment in very recently ClientEarth v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (No. 2)  EWHC 2740 (Admin) and was successfully argued by Nathalie Lieven QC of Landmark Chambers.
Reuben Taylor QC of Landmark Chambers then sought to answer the tricky question: can the Air Quality Directive require the refusal of consent? And if so when? His view was that the Directive could require the refusal of consent and he went through a number of detailed scenarios. He went on to argue that the approach taken in the National Networks NPS and IAN 175/13 was unlawful and not in accordance with the Directive. He ended by predicting that following Brexit limit values will likely be retained but the duties imposed watered down.
Dr Eloise Scotford of King’s College then looked at Plans under the Air Quality Directive. She looked in detail at what the recent DEFRA Plan the subject of ClientEarth (No.2) in fact contained and what the Directive required for such plans. She also provided an interesting comparative analysis by looking at litigation on the Directive in Germany. She also ended by predicting changes in this area of law post-Brexit.
Dr Claire Holman on Brook Cottage Consultants then provided an excellent introduction to the science behind air quality looking at among other things measuring and modelling. Dr Holman was the expert witness for ClientEarth in ClientEarth (No.2). She took lawyers to task for some of their more common errors in this field! You have been warned.
Finally Sasha Blackmore of Landmark Chambers looked at air quality issues under the Habitats Directive and in particular the issues in Wealden DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Knight Developments  Env. L.R. 19. That case was argued in the Court of Appeal last month (I am acting for the Knight Developments in that case and Rhodri Price Lewis QC and Scott Lyness of these Chambers for Wealden).
The seminar finished with over 30 minutes of discussion and questions. Thanks to all who attended.