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Judicial review - case studies

Here are a selection of case studies and quotes representing some of our clients.

Case studies

RES UK & Ireland Limited

We advised RES UK & Ireland Limited in a successful defence of a statutory challenge to a planning permission granted for its proposed wind farm development known as “Jack’s Lane” in North-West Norfolk.

The challenge, which also involved a nearby wind farm development proposed by E.ON, was brought by two action groups who resisted both planning applications at the Inquiry stage. The groups sought to quash the decision to grant planning permission for both developments on cultural heritage grounds. Both RES and E.ON were additional defendants to the action and actively participated in the defence of the challenge.

The team was led by partner Will Densham and senior associate Kate Poole.  Gordon Nardell QC from 39 Essex Street was instructed in relation to the trial. An expedited hearing of the claim was secured in order to minimise the delay and uncertainty on the project. Despite the decision maker and main defendant (in this case, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) withdrawing from the proceedings, and agreeing to the planning permission being quashed a week before trial, RES continued to defend the claim at the hearing in December.

Will Densham commented:

“The decision of the High Court to dismiss the claim and uphold the planning permission was welcomed by both RES and Eversheds as being the right result obtained in difficult circumstances, and vindicated RES’s decision to continue despite the Secretary of State’s withdrawal.”

RES project manager Helen Wilson said:

“We are very pleased with the decision, which supports the Planning Inspector’s view at the inquiry last year. We are absolutely confident that the wind farm will be a positive asset to people living around it.”

This case is a helpful illustration of the fact that the court, even when faced with a change of position by a decision maker at a late stage of the proceedings, will focus on the merits of the arguments put to it. Hopefully this will provide some comfort to anyone faced with a similar set of circumstances in the future.


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