Appeal of planning decision not desirable in the public interest

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court refuses to grant a certificate for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal to applicants who failed in their prior application for judicial review to quash a decision of the planning board, on the grounds that the point of law raised (whether the obligation to carry out an environmental impact assessment includes an obligation to examine and evaluate the substance of information submitted by the public) did not arise from the judgment of the High Court itself, and where no argument was advanced with any force that such an appeal would be desirable in the public interest.

Application for a certificate for leave to appeal decision of High Court on planning and development matters - point of law of exceptional public importance - whether the requirement to carry out an environmental impact assessment includes an obligation to examine, analyse and evaluate the substance of information submitted by the public concerned - legal principles to be applied on such an application - four principles - decision must involve a point of law of exceptional public importance - must be desirable in public interest that an appeal should be taken - must be uncertainty as to the law - importance of the point must be public in nature - clear legislative intention that planning cases should be confined to High Court - distinction between obligation to consider information submitted by the public and the obligation to assess the direct and indirect effects of the proposed development on the environment - point must arise out of the judgment delivered - no finding made that Board is required to assess the substance of the information submitted by the public - inference suggested that Court endorsed a difference in treatment of information provided by the public and the developer concerned - court's proper approach on such an application - jurisdiction to be applied sparingly - issues raised do not transcend the individual facts and parties - no case advanced with any force that an appeal was desirable in the public interest - application refused.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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