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Rights of Nature and Protection of Habitats

At the heart of our environmental law and climate justice work is the protection of public health, communities and habitats.

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We have wide-ranging experience in planning law that concerns environmental issues and has impacts on protected habitats and species.

We are committed to pro bono work including advising on draft climate and ecology legislation and serving on environmental NGO advisory boards. Many of our members have founded charities or volunteer with charities committed to the protection of nature, habitats, and vulnerable groups, including Paul Powlesland who co-founded Lawyers for Nature. 

Notable Cases


MCS, Richard Haward Oysters v SSEFRA 
Judicial review challenge to the government’s Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan on grounds that it fails to accord with statutory obligations, human rights and the public trust doctrine. 

Hudson v Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Legoland (2019) EWHC 3505 (Admin)
Judicial Review challenge on behalf of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, to the decision of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to grant Legoland planning permission for the construction of a holiday village and other works at its Legoland Windsor site. The claimant complained about the impact of the development on veteran trees within the site and the inadequacy of the proposed buffer zone between the site and the adjacent Windsor Forest and Great Park Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation, and the council’s failure to undertake an appropriate assessment. Court of Appeal upheld Lang J’s decision, although it concluded that the protective buffer zone between the site and the adjacent Windsor Forest and Great Park Site was wider than Lang J had assumed. 

M4 Corridor (Relief Road) Around Newport Inquiry
Irena Sabic KC and Grace Brown were instructed in Inquiry through the Environmental Law Foundation by several organisations including the Wildlife Trust, Gwent Wildlife Trust and Campaign for Protection of Rural Wales. This concerned a scheme with an estimated cost of £1 billion; see here, which resulted in the plans of the Welsh Government to build the road being rejected. 

Carolyn Brown v London Borough of Ealing and Queen's Park Rangers [2018] EWCA Civ 556  
Challenge to Council's decision to grant Queen's Park Rangers planning permission to redevelop the 61-acre Warren Farm site in the Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) for mixed-use as a training facility for the football team and community open space/sports facilities. The appeal concerned the meaning of the term "very special circumstances" but also had a very important environmental angle, namely the application of the London Plan's policies on the development of protected open spaces within the MOL.

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