Opinion / Environment

Court of Justice confirms Habitats Directive screening applies to temporal extensions of construction permits

Posted On: 14 Oct 2020   |   Posted By: Client Earth

Case C-254/19 Friends of the Irish Environment Ltd
On 9 September 2020 the Court of Justice rendered judgment on a preliminary reference from the Irish High Court in a case brought by an environmental NGO, Friends of the Irish Environment. The judgement, which follows the Advocate General's opinion , clarified the obligations of Member State authorities under Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive in regard to temporal extensions of construction permits.
Background
The case concerned the temporal extension of a permit granted by the Irish Planning Board, An Bord Pleanála, for the construction of a gas terminal in the vicinity of two Natura 2000 sites. The original permit was granted in 2008 for ten years, pursuant to national legislation which did not transpose the Habitats Directive properly. Moreover, the original permit was not preceded by an assessment of its implications for the site in accordance with Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive. Since the works had not...

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