Home > Cases > A short but interesting judgment on Aarhus Convention costs caps in the Planning Court

On 2 June 2020, HHJ Bird handed down Judgment in a Planning Court case concerning the appropriate Aarhus Convention costs cap.  

The Defendant had argued that the cap (and hence the Claimant’s potential costs liability) should be increased from the default £5,000 to £10,000, whereas the Interested Party argued that it should be increased to £20,000.  On the papers, Waksman J increased the cap to £20,000 and ordered the Claimant to pay costs totalling £14,991 (of which £10,000 were to be paid to the Interested Party).  The Claimant renewed her permission application to an oral hearing.  A point of jurisdiction arose, namely whether an Interested Party has standing to apply for a variation to an Aarhus Convention costs cap.  There is no express provision to that effect in the Civil Procedure Rules.

HHJ Bird concluded that an Interested Party does have standing to apply for a variation.  He maintained the cap at £20,000, and ordered the Claimant to pay costs totalling £16,991 (of which £12,000 are to be paid to the Interested Party).  

The Claimant has applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.

Jacqueline Lean of Landmark Chambers represented the Claimant.  Stephen Whale, also of Landmark Chambers, represented the Interested Party.

For a link to the Judgment, click here.

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