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From: "Felix Ford" (
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 21:37:30 GMT

Glen of the Downs - loses in High Court

Monday December 13th

A High Court Judge today rejected an application by Dermot Murphy to have a case relating to application of the EU's Habitats' Directive heard. He accepted that the Glen is a candidate Special Area of Conservation. This designation has applied to the Glen since August 12th. The judge accepted Michael O'Donnell's (Glen Barrister) argument that the regulations pertaining to SACs meant that an Environmental Impact Assessment had to be carried out. He also agreed that the regulations relating to an Environmental Assessment are fundamentally different to an Environmental Impact Statement, the ecological study demanded by the Wildlife Act.

However on a technicality over the timing of the case he ruled against the Glen. He decreed that the correct day for seeking legal leave to insist on an Environmental Impact Assessment was the date of designation, August 12th. In coming to his decision he took into account factors such as the delay to the project and its cost.

Michael O'Donnell argued that as the regulation had an EU dimension that the matter could not rest there. The parties will reconvene at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the High Court to hear O'Donnell's submission.

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