Court dismisses judicial review of EA flood works access

A claim for judicial review regarding powers of entry to carry out flood works by the Environment Agency (EA) has been dismissed, in the case of R (on the application of Sharp) v North Essex Magistrates’ Court.

Judicial review dismissal - gavel

Planning permission had been granted for a flood-alleviation scheme that included significant works on the appellant’s land. The appellant challenged the permission, but was rejected.

After still being refused entry to the land, the EA applied for a warrant under the Water Resources Act 1991 to secure entry to carry out the intended works.

The appellant argued that when the EA was seeking to carry out flood defence works, it was not reasonable for it to rely on its general power of entry under the Act; it should instead apply for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) or compulsory works order (CWO).

The EA submitted that it should not be “mired” in the CPO or CWO process in the field of flood-risk management works, and that the Act was designed to permit it to use general powers of entry.

Lord Justice Gross approved the EA’s general power of entry to carry out the works, and also found that the proposed works themselves were lawful under the general powers to carry out
works under the Act.

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