Planning Portal

Magherafelt Area Plan 2015: DNAP & DMAP SEA Judicial Review Cases

Published on Tue, 26 Feb 2008
Latest News about the Draft Northern Area Plan and Draft Magherafelt Area Plan Strategic Environmental Assessment Judicial Review Cases
Mr Justice Weatherup’s judgment in respect of the judicial challenges against the Strategic Environmental Assessments for both the Draft Northern and Magherafelt Area Plans was handed down in the High Court on Friday 7 September 2007. Subsequently, the Department issued determinations to the effect that it was not feasible to have carried out a directive compliant strategic environmental assessment of the plans on 7 November 2007.
A remedies hearing took place on 8 November 2007 and the judgment on this was handed down on 13 November 2007. The ruling essentially refused to quash the draft plans, the environmental reports or the EA Regulations as requested by the applicants. However, declarations were made to the effect that the NI 2004 Regulations do not properly transpose the SEA Directive and that the content and sequencing of the plan’s Environmental Reports were not in substantial compliance with the SEA Directive.
Following careful consideration and legal advice, the Department has lodged a notice of appeal against the judgment in regard to the transposition issues and is currently pressing for an early appeal hearing date.
In relation to the Draft Magherafelt Area Plan the applicants have indicated that they will not pursue any further legal proceedings in this case. In return the Department has agreed not to appeal the award of costs. Therefore, this enables work on this Draft Plan to recommence, allowing it to move towards independent examination/public inquiry as soon as practicable.
There has been no further progress regarding the draft Northern Area Plan, however, the Department is actively considering the best way forward with legal advisors.
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