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Interpretation of legal points individually by inspectors

January 2009

In a Warwickshire inquiry, the inspector decided that where a claim had been determined before commencement in May 2006 it did not need to meet the same requirements as pre cut-off applications. A BOAT was therefore ordered. This was plainly wrong legally, and the main issue arising was that the inspector had not put the point to the parties. The decision was appealed and Defra conceded. A “consent order” was obtained in the High Court in January 2009 quashing the order. The matter will now have to be redetermined, but it has been agreed that the original claim was non-compliant, so the expected result will be a restricted byway. The appellants’ costs are being paid by Defra.