Environmental Assessment and Sensitive Locations
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an extremely important part of promoting and determining planning applications for virtually major projects. It is probably the highest point on the risk register for such project and there are many examples of projects being stalled or defeated altogether because of EIA failures.
For large-scale regeneration schemes flexibility to respond to changes and opportunities over the development period can be critical and therefore outline planning permissions for such projects can be a crucial part of the framework of delivery and control for such projects.
I was involved in the Rochdale case (ex parte Milne), which is still a Landmark case declaring the principles on EIA and outline planning permissions . Since that case I have been involved in many projects where one of the key legal objectives has been to ensure that the necessary degree of flexibility is achieved without creating opportunities for challenge of the permission. For example:
- The Arsenal Stadium Regeneration project
- The London Olympic Bid applications
- Brent Cross and Cricklewood Regeneration
- Saracens Copthall Stadium
A key part of my role on these projects was to ensure that the EIA process was robust and safe from legal challenge.
Equally, the EIA process is often the first target for parties wishing to oppose development and I have certainly used this target myself in testing and opposing schemes. For example:
Where resolutions to grant had been passed for approximately 7,000,000 square feet of commercial floorspace on surrounding sites without a single EIA process: my intervention on behalf of my client delayed progress on those applications whilst my client secured his position and obtained a planning permission on the basis of a full EIA;
St Katharine Docks Redevelopment
Acting for the local residents who were concerned at the poor quality and inappropriate design of this proposed development within the conservation area (which includes the Tower of London as well as these historic docks), I persuaded the LPA to issue four separate regulation 19 requests (necessitating substantial re-writing of the ES) and the Committee were persuaded unanimously to refuse planning permission. When the applicants appealed, they submitted a further version of the ES to remedy issues raised in our Statement of Case and nevertheless their appeal was dismissed.
Similar considerations apply with regard to the special protection extended to habitats and species, heritage assets (conservation areas, listed buildings, Scheduled Ancient Monuments etc), as well as flood zones, green belt, common land, town and village greens and open spaces. Examples include:
- Emmerdale Farm set - Harewood
- Bourne Hill, Salisbury
- Swanwick Marina
Environmental Assessment and Sensitive Locations Case Studies
London Olympic Bid Planning Permissions
I advised the LDA from the outset on their strategy for securing planning permission and assembling the site for the London Olympics to underpin the London Olympic bid within a very short timescale.
Arsenal Stadium Regeneration Scheme
Arsenal Stadium regeneration scheme has become a landmark success story in stadium-led regeneration - it was delivered on time and within budget and has been a catalyst for major environmental, physical and social improvements in the area, as well as...
Brent Cross and Cricklewood Regeneration
Advising and acting for the London Borough of Barnet in relation to the determination of what was probably the largest single planning application in north-west London and certainly the largest in Barnet.
Saracens Copthall Multi-functional Community Stadium
The recent grant of planning permission for Saracens' proposed Stadium at Copthall involved redeveloping and rejuvenating an existing stadium in the metropolitan green belt.
Paul Winter represented the local planning authority throughout, and although on the opposing team and clearly on occasions representing a different view, proved to be a major and integral part in finding solutions to the numerous challenges that were encountered on the way. So often we are faced with people telling us what we could not do. Paul knew what we could not do, but offered solutions. A "can do " man in every sense. Our regeneration programme is now almost complete. Paul's competence and deep knowledge and understanding of the complexities, has played a major and valuable part in Arsenal remaining in the borough, our home since 1913. Thank you Paul.
Ken Friar OBE, Executive Director, Arsenal Football Club
Without a shadow of doubt Paul is the most thorough reviewer of Environmental Statements we have come across. He wastes no time in understanding fully the complexities of the project - whatever the subject - and is meticulous in his examination of the documents including the often forgotten appendages. Moreover he is efficient with his time and such a delight to work with. We always encourage our clients to engage his services wherever possible.
Nick Roberts, Managing Director, the Landmark Practice