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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

21 SEP 2011

R (Save Britain's Heritage) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] EWCA Civ 334, [2011] JPLO (Sept)

Planning – demolition direction – meaning of ‘project’ for EIA Directive

25 March 2011
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
Sir Andrew Morritt; Toulson LJ; Sullivan LJ

Demolition works were capable of being a project for the purposes of Directive 85/337/EC. Accordingly, the Town and Country Planning (Demolition – Description of Buildings) Direction 1995 was unlawful.
On appeal from:
R (Save Britain’s Heritage) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2010] EWHC 979 (Admin) (HHJ Pelling QC)
(1) Save Britain’s Heritage (SBH) appealed against the refusal of two declarations that (a) demolition of buildings is capable of constituting a project falling within Annex II of the Directive 85/337/EC (‘the Directive’) and (b) that Paragraph 2(1)(a)-(d) of the Town and Country Planning (Demolition – Description of Buildings) Direction 1995 (‘the Direction’) is unlawful and should not be given effect. It was the Secretary of State’s view that demolition did not fall within the definition of a ‘project’ for Article 1.2 of the Directive and was outside the scope of the Directive unless it was carried out as part of a project that was within Annexes I or II of the Directive. On that premise the Direction was issued such that most demolition was not be taken to be ‘development’ for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. SBH argued that the issue had been resolved by the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in European Commission v Ireland (C-50/09), which declared that demolition works were capable of constituting a ‘project’ for the purposes of the Directive.

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