Success at the High Court – Permission to challenge Secretary of State’s approach


On March 27th the High Court granted permission to proceed to challenge the Secretary of State’s approach as to whether there should have been an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposal to develop a Tesco superstore at Arlington Square, Margate.

Permission has been granted on 3 grounds:
1. The Secretary of State has sliced up what is really a much larger project of the Arlington site and surrounding areas.
2. He failed to take into account the cumulative environmental effects of the associated regeneration in the area.
3. Whether he downplayed the evaluation of ‘likely significant environmental effects’ by simply regarding the area in an ‘urban context.

The Secretary of State, the developer and Thanet District Council if it wishes (unlikely) have 35 days from April 27th to submit further evidence to the Court as to why the Secretary of State’s position was, in fact, lawful.

The matter will then be fixed for a final hearing. This could be before the end of July 2013 but is likely to be in the autumn.

About 4 weeks before the final hearing we submit further argument as to why permission should be quashed.

In the meantime, the Secretary of State has yet to determine the developer’s appeal following the inquiry held in November 2012.

Representing the Secretary of State was Rupert Warren QC.
Representing the developer, Metropolitan Property Realizations (aka Freshwater) was Christopher Katkowski QC.
Representing the Claimant, Louise Oldfield, was Paul Stookes from Richard Bucton Environmental and Public Law.