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COUNCIL SEES ITS PLANS TO MAKE CLIFFS SAFE CRUMBLE

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English Nature's long-running legal battle to protect a stretch of scientifically important coastline has finally r...
English Nature's long-running legal battle to protect a stretch of scientifically important coastline has finally reached a successful conclusion at the High Court.

The government agency, which champions the conservation of wildlife and geology throughout England, swung into action when Brighton & Hove City Council proposed works to Black Rock in Brighton.

The cliffs are part of a site of special scientific interest, two geological conservation review sites and a regionally important geological site.

And barrister James Maurici argued they were of 'national scientific, educational and research' importance.

The council wants to carry out stabilisation work on the cliffs, and part of their proposals involved meshing them in order to protect the public.

But English Nature argued meshing would have a 'serious adverse impact', and after a January public inquiry, a planning inspector, whilst approving the stabilisation works, agreed that meshing shouldn't be used.

Yet when planning permission was finally granted by the ODPM, it forgot to include the clause about the meshing.

And under statute, once the decision was made, it could not be reversed without going to the High Court.

In an uncontested hearing in front of Mr Justice Harrison at London's High Court, the planning permission was quashed, and it will now be re-granted with the ban on meshing in place.

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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