Council planning committees do not need to “decide for themselves” on the impact of developments on wildlife where they can rely on reports from Natural England, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Council planning committees do not need to “decide for themselves” on the impact of developments on wildlife where they can rely on reports from Natural England, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The case involved Hampshire County Council’s decision to grant planning permission to convert a disused railway line into a bus route through an area inhabited by several protected species of European bat, particularly the common pipistrelle.

Delivering the leading judgment in Morge v Hampshire County Council [2011] UKSC 2, Lord Brown said the disused railway line had become “thickly overgrown with vegetation and an ecological corridor for various flora and fauna”.

He said there were a “substantial number” of objectors to t...

Jean Yves

IICJ

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