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Government ordered to publish Air Quality Plan

The government’s draft Air Quality Plan is to be published on 9 May 2017 in the wake of a High Court ruling on Thursday 27 April 2017.

Speaking at the hearing at the High Court, James Eadie QC for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs commented that: “The Secretary of State is understandably alive to the seriousness of this issue.”

Defra Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom had wanted permission to delay publication of the plan until after the General Election on 8 June 2017.

Mr Eadie said that “this application is not without some considerable reluctance given the advance state of the plan. It is not some demonstration of a lack of commitment – it is made this application because of the impact of launching this consultation on an important issue on the democratic process of the local and general elections.”

But, the Court decided that there could be a short delay to allow the local elections on 4 May to pass before the plan is published the following week.

Initial reactions from observers outside the court were that the government had effectively lost its call for publication of the plan to be delayed.

Mr Justice Garnham – who had ordered the government to re-draw its air quality proposals following the hearing in November – heard representations at the hearing from both sides as to whether the deadline should be pushed back to September.

Source - Air Quality News
April 2017