Environmental assessment and the duty to give reasons

In a further extension of its developing case law on environmental assessment, the Court of Appeal has held that where the Secretary of State decides that no assessment is required for a proposed project, members of the public are not entitled by law to be given his full reasons for doing so. In contrast, developers are entitled to be given reasons where the decision is that an environmental assessment is required. The principle will also apply to local authorities and other governmental bodies which make similar decisions, and reflects a degree of distortion in the planning system.

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