Regina v Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Ex Parte Milne (2): QBD 31 Jul 2000

Developers submitted applications for outline permission for the development of a business park. The applicant sought to quash the grant on the basis that the environmental assessment was insufficiently detailed, and contained reserved matters, and that the development conflicted with the applicable unitary development plan.
Held: The intent of the legislation had been satisfied, and as much information as was available had been provided. Some residual flexibility was inevitable: ‘a legalistic approach to the interpretation of development plan policies is to be avoided’. It was also common for such permissions to conflict in part with the UDP.
Where outline planning consent is being applied for, it is at the outline consent stage that the planning authority must have sufficient details of the proposed development, sufficient details of any impact on the environment, and sufficient details of any mitigation to enable it to comply with its article 4(2) obligation. An authority need not require further details of a matter where it is ‘satisfied that such details , provided they are sufficiently controlled by condition, are not likely to have significant effect.’ Mr Jones submits that such is the case here. There was a well established mitigating technique involving negative pressure which virtually eliminated any environmental problem. A planning authority is entitled to assume that the Environmental Agency will carry out its functions ‘with a reasonable degree of competence.’
‘the development which is described and assessed in the Environmental Statement must be the development which is proposed to be carried out and therefore the development which is a subject of the development consent and not some other development’ and the ‘ . . ..local planning authority will need to be satisfied that the description of the proposed development in the outline planning permission is adequate, given that it will be able to impose conditions in respect of reserved matters so that matters of detail can be dealt with at a later stage’.
and ‘Any major development project will be subject to a number of detailed controls, not all of them included within the planning permission. Emissions to air, discharges into water, disposal of the waste produced by the project, will all be subject to controls under legislation dealing with environmental protection. In assessing the likely significant environmental effects of a project the authors of the environmental statement and the local planning authority are entitled to rely on the operation of those controls with a reasonable degree of competence on the part of the responsible authority: see, for example, the assumptions made in respect of construction impacts, above. The same approach should be adopted to the local planning authority’s power to approve reserved matters. Mistakes may occur in any system of detailed controls, but one is identifying and mitigating the ‘likely significant effects’, not every conceivable effect, however minor or unlikely, of a major project.’
‘It is not at all unusual for development plan policies to pull in different directions. A proposed development may be in accord with development plan policies which, for example, encourage development for employment purposes, and yet be contrary to policies which seek to protect open countryside. In such cases there may be no clear cut answer to the question: ‘is this proposal in accordance with the plan?’ The local planning authority has to make a judgment bearing in mind such factors as the importance of the policies which are complied with or infringed, and the extent of compliance or breach.’
Sullivan J
Gazette 31-Aug-2000, [2001] JPL 470, [2001] Env LR 406, (2001) 81 PandCR 365
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 54A 70
Se AlsoRegina v Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council ex parte Andrew Tew; George Daniel Milne; and Steven Garner Admn 7-May-1999
An outline application for a shopping development, gave no details of the expected floor area, and nor was there an environmental assessment.
Held: The failure to give the floor area was not critical, but even at this stage the ommission of . .
CitedCity of Edinburgh Council v Secretary of State for Scotland and Another; Same v Same (Conjoined Appeals) HL 31-Oct-1997
The Listed buildings registers are to be read consistently; the trading level is a material consideration in listed buildings consent applications. The weight to be given to a material consideration once identified was a matter of judgment for the . .
CitedRegina v North Yorkshire County Council, ex parte Brown and Another HL 12-Feb-1999
When a mineral planning authority set conditions on the continued operation of a quarry which had been operating since pre-1947, that decision was a development consent, and it required to be supported by an environmental impact assessment, since it . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Environment ex parte Webster Admn 8-Mar-1999
A legalistic approach to the interpretation of policies in local and other plans is to be avoided. . .
CitedBerkeley v Secretary of State For The Environment and Others HL 11-May-2000
The claimant challenged the grant of planning permission for a new football ground for Fulham Football club, saying that an Environmental Impact Assessment had not been obtained, but was required.
Held: Where a planning application if . .
CitedWorld Wildlife Fund and Others v Autonome Provinz Bozen and Others ECJ 12-Oct-1999
The court considered a project for converting Bolzano airport in Italy from military to civilian use. The national law did not require the project to be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The court asked whether the national law . .
CitedRegina v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council Ex Parte Trustees of the Council for the Protection of Rural England CA 12-Jun-2000
. .
CitedRegina v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council Ex Parte Trustees of the Council for the Protection of Rural England QBD 26-Oct-1999
The authority gave permission for a new shopping centre up to 600,000 sq ft as an urban project. The Trustees sought that the permission be set aside since the council had not undertaken an environmental impact assessment, and under the EC Treaty . .

Cited by:
CitedHereford Waste Watchers Ltd v Hereford Council Admn 18-Feb-2005
. .
CitedJones, Regina (on the Application Of) v Mansfield District Council Admn 20-Jan-2003
. .
CitedRegina (Smith) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions and others Admn 19-Dec-2001
. .
CitedBurkett, Regina (on the Application of) v Hammersmith and Fulham Admn 15-May-2003
Outline permission was granted for a large development, reserving certain matters. The applicant challenged the permission saying that the application had not included the information required under the Regulations, and the authority had failed to . .
CitedPPG11 Ltd, Regina (on the Application Of) v Dorset County Council and Another Admn 6-Jun-2003
. .
CitedKent, Regina (on the Application Of) v First Secretary of State and others Admn 3-Dec-2004
. .
CitedJD Wetherspoon Plc, Regina (on the Application Of) v Guildford Borough Council Admn 11-Apr-2006
The company sought judicial review of the decision of the respondent to apply its cumulative impact policy to their application for extended licensing hours.
Held: The company’s application amounted to a material variation of the license, and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 October 2021; Ref: scu.87639