We have received a claim for judicial review brought by the Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement (“GLEAM”) against decisions made by the Authority on 8 October 2019 as to the most appropriate options for management of two unsealed sections of public roads U5001 High Tilberthwaite to Fell Foot and U5004 High Oxen Fell to Hodge Close.
Judicial review is the procedure by which the courts examine the decisions of public bodies to ensure that they act lawfully and fairly.
The claim form alleges that
The claim form argues that these alleged failures make the decision unlawful and asks the court to find the decision unlawful; to quash, or set aside, the decision we made and to make an order requiring us to reconsider whether to commence consultation for a potential Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) on one or both routes.
It should be noted that quashing the decision will not automatically require us to make a TRO but to revisit our decision.
We do not agree with the allegations made.
The Assessment Report carefully considered the available options and the relevant material factors. It concluded that the evidence did not support the argument that the only means of management open to us at this stage was prohibition of mechanically propelled vehicles on the unsealed sections of road in question.
On that basis the Committee disagreed with GLEAM’s arguments. The Committee determined that it was not necessary at present to begin the process of consulting on a TRO and decided to first enter into alternative management and monitoring arrangements.
We will file our response to the claim by 4 February 2020.
It should be noted that a claim may only be brought with the court’s permission and the court has yet to determine whether or not it will give permission.
If the court is satisfied on the basis of the paper application that there are reasonable grounds for a judicial review, it will grant permission for the claim to proceed to a substantive hearing.
If permission to proceed is granted, the defendant has no right of appeal and the matter will proceed to a full hearing of the issues. If permission is refused, GLEAM may appeal this decision.
The granting of an order giving permission will automatically trigger the next stage of the procedure, which is the filing and service of a detailed response and evidence by the defendant and any interested parties. We will provide an update of the timescales involved if this becomes appropriate.
15 January 2020