If you’ve been following the story of small charity Buglife on this blog you will recall its legal challenge intended to prevent development on West Thurrock Marshes, a former industrial site now very rich in invertebrate biodiversity.
After a long trek through the courts it seems as though the final act may now have been played out in this drama, as Buglife retires to lick its wounds following a comprehensive rejection of its arguments by the Court of Appeal. The case is complex, and you can read about other aspects of it in previous posts. But the upshot is that Lord Justice Pill concluded:
None of the three points taken by [Buglife] is without force but in my judgement the planning permission should stand… I consider that the approach of [the Local Planning Authority], and their conclusion, were justified in this case. In analysing this planning decision, consideration of the larger picture, the main issues, should not be defeated by over attention to detail, with the risk of thereby losing, in common parlance, the wood for the trees. I … would dismiss the appeal.
It’s worth noting that this was not actually a hearing about the original planning application directly. This last hearing had become, through a tortuous legal route, an appeal against the decision refusing permission for Buglife to apply for a judicial review of the original decision. So really, this looks like the end of the line. After this there are no realistic legal routes left to follow: plus of course Buglife has a