It’s the second day of an expected six days of the continuing fight around the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route – our Christina is there and shares her latest update:
I’m taken by the staggering volume of written material that was piled up around the court room. There are boxes upon boxes of lever arch files, on shelves, around the judge, by the advocates, behind the advocates, all along the aisle. They seem to have copies of everything – legislation, all of the evidence from the public inquiry, all of the Environmental Impact Assessment, transport reports, local plans; just about everything that has ever been written about the AWPR since it was first proposed and anything that might relate to it in any way. It’s impressive that someone has read all of these documents and can find the particular paragraph from each one that illustrates each particular point, but I did cheekily think “good thing we are trying to save some trees here”!
Anyway, today was a continuation of the Road Sense case, looking at the restricted remit of the public local inquiry of 2009, and how similar cases have played out in the UK courts. Then later the legal team began to explore the issue of the protected sites (the River Dee Special Area of Conservation) and protected species (Otters and Bats) covered by European Law. One critical thing was the timing of the Appropriate Assessment – a report which assesses the vulnerability and protection of the River Dee was only finished (November 2009) after the public inquiry had concluded (December 2008) and the final report published (June 2009). All fascinating stuff which raises questions I would love to see answered – and will once the judge delivers his verdict!
The case continues…
Christina Byrne – Case officer, Woods under Threat