Wyatt (claimant/appellant) v Fareham Borough Council (defendant/respondent) & ors
Tuesday 5 – Wednesday 6 April 2022
The Appellant, Ronald Wyatt, appeals the Order of Mr Justice Jay (Planning Court) dated 28 May 2021.
Mr Justice Jay dismissed an application for judicial review of the decision taken by Fareham Borough Council on 1 October 2020 to grant outline planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings, construction of eight detached houses and other associated development at a site located in Warsash, Southampton.
Brief factual background: Following survey work undertaken by Natural England, it was apparent that several designated sites in the Solent Region were in unfavourable status, owing to eutrophication that is believed to be caused by elevated nitrogen levels. The designated sites are at risk from additional nutrient outputs, and there is a likely significant effect from new developments due to an increase in wastewater output into these designated sites. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the potential for adverse effects arising from new developments, Natural England has advised local planning authorities in the region that only proposals which are so called nutrient neutral should be permitted. The first version of the advice note was published in August 2018 and the relevant version for the purposes of this appeal is the fifth version which was published in June 2020. The advice note sets out a methodology for calculating whether a proposal will be nutrient neutral. The issue of nutrient neutrality has caused widespread concern in the Solent Region over the last couple of years. The advice note which lies at the heart of these proceedings covers 12 local planning authorities and a large area. Due to the Covid19 pandemic the planning committee met virtually to determine the application for planning permission that forms the subject of these proceedings. Permission to apply for judicial review was granted on Mr Wyatt’s eight grounds of challenge by Lang J. The decision that was the object of the claim for judicial review before Mr Justice Jay was Fareham Borough Council’s determination of an application for planning permission. Mr Justice Jay dismissed Mr Wyatt’s application for Judicial Review.