Designation of wildlife habitats under EC law

In a forthright judgement, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has held that economic considerations cannot affect the designation of special protection areas (SPAs) under the 1985 EC Directive on wild birds. The decision concerned the exclusion of Lappel Bank from an SPA in the Medway estuary, but will have much wider implications for future designations of both SPAs and special sites under the 1992 Directive on wildlife habitats.

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