CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) Kent has engaged Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law, leading environmental law firm, to mount a challenge by issuing a pre-action protocol letter to the Department for Transport, on the following grounds:
- Failure to carry out an Environmental Assessment under the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive 2001/42/EC;
- Failure generally to consider the environmental impact of the project, in particular the cumulative effects of the proposals on traffic generation and air quality, with regard to the UK’s commitments on climate change under the Paris Agreement ratified in October 2016;
- Failure to consider alternative route options;
- Failure to give adequate reasons for the decision.
A pre-action protocol is the first step in any judicial review process, and requires the defendant to provide a detailed response within a defined period.
In addition to providing funding, LTCA also provided information to CPRE’s lawyers to support a possible challenge. Any legal action that is taken must (a) have a good chance of success, and (b) do more than just delay the project, extending the time people suffer blight.