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Natural England approach to nitrates upheld

The case of THE QUEEN (on the application of RONALD WYATT, CHAIRPERSON OF BROOK AVENUE RESIDENTS AGAINST DEVELOPMENT (BARAD), ACTING IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY) Claimant and
FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL sought a Judicial Review on the decision of FBC to grant outline planning permission for a sizeable development of houses. This case is important because the grounds included questions over Natural englands advice note on Nitrate Neutrality.

In his judgement Mr Justice Jay concluded that:

In respect of the advice note

  1. In my judgment, this advice is impeccable in all material respects. Mr Jones came close
    to submitting that, because there was scientific uncertainty, no development could
    properly be permitted because deleterious impacts could not logically be excluded. But
    that is the whole point of the precautionary principle: the uncertainty is addressed by
    applying precautionary rates to variables, and in that manner reasonable scientific
    certainty as to the absence of a predicated adverse outcome will be achieved, the
    notional burden of proof being on the person advancing the proposal. The application
    of precautionary values to relevant variables may well have been sufficient, without
    more; but a further cushion is provided by the application of a precautionary buffer.

In respect of the detailed grounds of the challenge all those relating to Natural Englands Advice and methodology were re-soundly dismissed.

A copy of the judgement is below for reference.