C G Fry & Son Ltd (claimant/appellant) v Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities & anr (defendants/respondents)

Tuesday 19 – Wednesday 20 March 2024

With permission granted by Sir Ross Cranston sitting as a High Court Judge on 20 July 2023, the Appellant Appeals his order dismissing the Appellant’s Planning statutory review claim.

The Appellant challenged the decision of the Secretary of State’s Inspector to refuse to discharge certain conditions attached to the planning permission which had been granted to the Appellant. The refusal was because there had not been an appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations 2017 (the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1012, as amended). As pre-commencement conditions have not been met, the development cannot proceed.

The Judge summarised the issues: “This case concerns potential adverse effects on the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar Site from the claimant’s proposed housing-led development on land east of Wellington, Somerset. The claim arises in the context of the issue of nutrient neutrality. In broad terms, this issue relates to the phosphate loading of protected water habitats, leading to eutrophication. This is caused by reasons including agricultural practices and under investment in water infrastructure. There is a risk of the problem being exacerbated by water generated by new developments which contain phosphates, principally from foul water.

The Judge summarised the legal issue as “the scope and application following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union of the Habitats Regulations 2017 and the Habitats Directive on which it was based.”

View hearing:

Day 1

Part 1

Part 2

Day 2

Part 1