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Landmark victory for cleaner air after High Court ruling

20 November 2017

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CHSS Director was expert witness

For the first time, a judge has denied a developer's appeal against refusal of planning permission on air quality grounds.

Earlier this year Stephen Peckham was expert witness for a Planning Inquiry where Swale Borough Council refused planning permission on air quality grounds. Developers wanted to build 470 homes in Newington, Kent, on a site where existing nitrogen dioxide levels are already excessive and in breach of Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC.

A Planning Inspectorate review backed the Council's decision, finding that the proposals had potential for 'moderate' or 'substantial' adverse impacts on air pollution, despite company proposals to mitigate adverse impacts of the development.

The developers appealed the Planning Inspectorate's ruling in the High Court. In a hearing last month, Stephen’s evidence that existing emission levels were already damaging public health was a key factor in the Judge finding against the developers.

The ruling is viewed as a landmark decision as it is the first ever planning appeal thrown out on grounds of air quality.

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Last Updated: 27/01/2015