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Protective costs orders and the CPR

22 November 2013

The case of Sarah Louise Venn v (1) Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government (2) Robert Dos Santos (3) London Borough of Lewisham (2013) has confirmed that the court will apply the Aarhus convention where environmental issues arise.

Ms Venn successfully persuaded the court to grant a protective costs order (‘PCO’) given the Aarhus convention applied. She had applied under s.288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to have the grant of planning permission to build a new house in the garden of her neighbouring property quashed. She was worried about paying costs if her claim was dismissed.

The court confirmed that the PCO provisions at CPR 45.41 relates only to judicial review, and does not have wider application. However, the court was clear that the introduction of these rules into the CPR does not restrict the courts jurisdiction to grant a PCO by satisfying the requirements set out in the Corner House case.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see whether the court in practice follows the rules set out in the CPR in such cases.

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