Environment

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European Court clarifies what schemes in nature conservation areas must address

European Court clarifies what schemes in nature conservation areas must address

Appropriate assessments of development plans affecting European conservation areas must identify and examine the implications for habitats and species to be found outside the boundaries of that site, according to the latest European Court of Justice ruling on how European habitats protection rules should be interpreted.

Brexit withdrawal agreement pledges no reduction in environmental protection during 'backstop'

Brexit withdrawal agreement pledges no reduction in environmental protection during 'backstop'

Environmental protection laws - including those covering environmental impact assessments (EIAs) - will not be watered down following the UK's exit from the European Union (EU) during the period of the proposed 'backstop', under the terms of the draft Brexit agreement issued earlier this week.

Stansted Airport expansion approved after 'negligible' impacts identified

Stansted Airport expansion approved after 'negligible' impacts identified

Plans have been approved for the expansion of Stansted Airport in Essex, in line with a recommendation from planners who concluded that there would be 'negligible' negative impacts arising from the proposals.

Greenwich cruise liner scheme sunk over air quality concerns

Greenwich cruise liner scheme sunk over air quality concerns

Plans for a controversial cruise liner terminal in south east London, which had successfully seen off a legal challenge over air quality concerns, have been abandoned by the scheme's promoter.

377 homes refused in Milton Keynes 'valued landscape' despite lack of five year land supply

377 homes refused in Milton Keynes 'valued landscape' despite lack of five year land supply

Plans have been refused for 377 homes on agricultural land to the north of Milton Keynes despite recognition from planners that the council cannot demonstrate a five year housing land supply.

Brokenshire refuses 225-home Kent appeal after considering European habitats judgement

Brokenshire refuses 225-home Kent appeal after considering European habitats judgement

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has overruled an inspector and backed a council's decision to refuse plans for 225 homes in Kent, after taking into account a landmark European court ruling that changed the rules around assessing impacts on protected habitats.

Latest Environment Opinion

Court stiffens habitats protection, by Angus Walker

Two recent cases in the EU Court of Justice - People Over Wind and Sweetman v Coillte Teoranta and Sweetman v An Bord Pleanála, both relating to sites in Ireland - will affect all projects that have habitats implications.

Why NSIP route for shale projects may not ease consents process, by Angus Walker

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is consulting on whether, and if so how, shale gas or fracking projects - which term you prefer seems to indicate whether you are for or against them - should be brought within the Planning Act 2008 regime as a new type of nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP).

In age of austerity, US-style philanthropy could help save parks, by Cliff Hague

Sack staff, cut pay, close libraries, sell off assets. Local authorities across the UK have got the austerity message.

Legal Viewpoint: Mitigation measures excluded from habitat screening stage

A European court ruling has overturned the UK position that planning authorities may take mitigation measures into account in determining whether an appropriate assessment is required under the Habitats Regulations.

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Policy Summary: Government seeks views on compulsory shale gas scheme pre-application consultation

Policy Summary: Government seeks views on compulsory shale gas scheme pre-application consultation

POLICY: Compulsory community pre-application consultation for shale gas development.

How post-Brexit environmental rules could affect development

How post-Brexit environmental rules could affect development

Government plans to leave environmental regulations virtually untouched after Brexit give welcome clarity to the sector but are unlikely to have much immediate impact on development activity, say observers.

How growth corridor road route could impact on planning

How growth corridor road route could impact on planning

Government proposals for a transport corridor between Oxford and Cambridge are causing uncertainty as to how they should be factored into local planning strategies.

What councils can do about climate change

What councils can do about climate change

Planning authorities have plenty of tools available to tackle the impacts of climate change, but not always the resources or skills to employ them, reports Colin Marrs.