Editor's pick: Court upholds decision on cumulative impact issue

The Court of Appeal has upheld the secretary of state's decision to allow a mixed-use development in Margate, concluding that the proper approach had been applied in determining whether an environmental impact assessment (EIA) was required.

The scheme (DCS Number 200-000-524) comprised a food superstore and a 60-bedroom hotel, together with on-site parking. It required demolition of a range of buildings and the claimant argued that an adjoining site was also in need of redevelopment and regeneration. A beach lying between the two sites was designated as a special area of conservation.

Seeking a judicial review of the secretary of state's conclusion that no EIA was required, the claimant argued that the cumulative effects had not been adequately assessed. In the Administrative Court, Lord Justice Moses had rejected this claim, concluding that the secretary of state had taken the likely impact of both schemes into account in finding that no significant cumulative effects were likely.

The Court of Appeal upheld this view. The inspector had dealt with the matters raised by the claimant in concluding that EIA was not required, it found. It was satisfied that the impact on foul and surface water drainage had been examined; the inspector had recommended a range of conditions and the local water company had ultimately concluded that an acceptable strategy could be devised. This had been taken into account when the screening direction was issued, the court found.

Oldfield v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government;

Date: 7 November 2014; Ref: C1/2014/0185

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