Why a European court ruling could see more developments go through appropriate assessment

A ruling from the European Court of Justice has significant implications for developers, lawyers, consultants and councils dealing with development near sites protected by the Habitats Directive. Catherine Early reports

House under construction
Housebuilding: legal experts say that impact of ruling could be felt hardest by small housing developments near European protected sites

A landmark ruling means that developments near special protection areas (SPAs), special areas of conservation (SACs) and Ramsar sites will be more likely to have to prepare appropriate assessments to judge their impact on the environment, rather than relying on mitigation measures to avoid this stage, according to experts.

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