Mott, Regina (on The Application of) v The Environment Agency and Another: Admn 13 Feb 2015

The claimant challenged new conditions imposed on licences to operate his salmon fishery in the Severn Estuary, which operated to defeat his tenancy of the fishery.
Held: The request for review succeeded. The decisions to impose the catch conditions were irrational, as the Report did not provide a reasonable basis for the view that the putcher installations were having a material effect on the salmon fishery in the river Wye. Further, the Agency could not under A1P1 properly have imposed the conditions, if otherwise lawful, without payment of compensation.
There was an appropriate need for some regulation, but the evidence suggested that the Agency had given no effective consideration to the effect of the new terms on the claimant’s livelihood, and ‘even if the Agency could properly have imposed the total catch limit that it did, the size of that limit and the way in which it was apportioned would still have meant that the claimant has been required to shoulder an excessive and disproportionate burden, such that a breach of A1P1 could only be prevented by payment of compensation.’
The judge referred to a sentence in the Habitats Regulations Assessment for 2013 which explained that under the new regime ‘the catch by the most productive estuary fisheries will be restricted to the approximate long-term de minimus (sic) catch.’, saying: ‘The final sentence quoted above was explained as meaning that the number of fish allowed per licence was set as being approximately the ten year average catch of the least productive of all the fisheries licensed. The practical result for the claimant is that his fishery of 650 putchers is given the same catch allocation as the smallest and least effective of the other putcher fisheries, which may operate 50 baskets or less. These he says are not commercially viable but operated only as a hobby. Plainly, the heaviest impact of this policy falls on the claimant who relies on the fishery for his living rather than the smaller operators.’

Cooke HHJ
[2015] EWHC 314 (Admin), [2016] Env LR 27
European Convention on Human Rights A1P1
England and Wales
CitedBack v Finland ECHR 20-Jul-2004
The claimant was the owner of a substantial debt owed by another individual. However the value of his debt was reduced to a very small level when the debtor entered a statutory scheme for compromise of debts.
Held: It must be open to a . .
CitedSporrong and Lonnroth v Sweden ECHR 18-Dec-1984
Balance of Interests in peaceful enjoyment claim
An interference with the peaceful enjoyment of possessions must strike a fair balance between the demands of the general interests of the community and the requirements of the protection of the individual’s fundamental rights. This balance is . .
CitedTrailer and Marina (Leven) Ltd, Regina (ex parte) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Another CA 15-Dec-2004
The claimant sought a declaration that the 1981 Act, as amended, interfered with the peaceful enjoyment of its possession, namely a stretch of canal which had been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with the effect that it was unusable. . .
CitedAXA General Insurance Ltd and Others v Lord Advocate and Others SC 12-Oct-2011
Standing to Claim under A1P1 ECHR
The appellants had written employers’ liability insurance policies. They appealed against rejection of their challenge to the 2009 Act which provided that asymptomatic pleural plaques, pleural thickening and asbestosis should constitute actionable . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromMott, Regina (on The Application of) v Environment Agency and Another CA 17-Jun-2016
The applicant challenged restrictions on salmon fishing imposed by the respondent. At first instance they were held to be irrational, and the Agency appealed.
Held: The Regulations were not irrational and that element of the appeal succeeded, . .
At first InstanceMott, Regina (on The Application of) v Environment Agency SC 14-Feb-2018
The Court considered the legality under the European Convention on Human Rights of licensing conditions imposed by the Environment Agency restricting certain forms of salmon-fishing in the Severn Estuary. The claimant operated a licensed putcher . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agriculture, Human Rights

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.543779