R (Larkfleet Limited) v South Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council [2015 EWCA] 887, 6 Aug 2015
The Court of Appeal has upheld the grant of planning permission by South Kesteven District Council for the major part of the Grantham Southern Relief Road. The Relief Road will provide a southern by-pass to Grantham and will be funded by developer contributions and public money. The length of road in issue will also provide access to a substantial urban extension to the south of the town. The application was made by Lincolnshire County Council, the highway authority. The planning permission was challenged by Larkfleet, a developer with interests in the north of Grantham, on the basis that the accompanying environmental statement should have treated the length of road and the urban extension as a single project. The Court of Appeal held that an ‘evaluative judgment’ had to be made as to the scope of the relevant project, and that in the present case the length of road was a project in its own right. In the circumstances of the case it was not necessary to decide whether this evaluation was a matter for the local planning authority (subject only to review on Wednesbury grounds) or for the court. The Court also rejected a challenge on the basis that the assessment of the cumulative effects of the road and the urban extension in the environmental statement was inadequate. Larkfleet is seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Charles Banner appeared (with Martin Kingston QC) for Larkfleet
Richard Langham appeared for South Kesteven District Council
John Hobson QC appeared for Lincolnshire County Council