Richard Macrory's legal commentary: Putting the brakes on environmental impact assessment

Two recent cases illustrate the problems of interpreting the detail of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, particularly the types of projects that are subject to it.

Richard MacroryThe European Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and its implementing regulations continue to give rise to litigation and the need for judicial interpretation, as illustrated by two recent cases. Both decisions aim to impose limits on the scope of projects subject to assessment requirements.

R on the application of Condron v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and others (Court of Appeal (Civil Division) [2010] EWCA Civ 534, 20 May 2010) was concerned with a land reclamation site adjacent to a large opencast coal mine. Various planning permissions had been given for new facilities to be built there, mainly for washing and storing coal from the neighbouring site.

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