In January the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Peak District and South Yorkshire branch launched a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision in November 2022 to grant development consent for a major new dual carriageway known as the trans-Pennine link road. The consent was granted via the A57 Link Roads Development Consent Order 2022.
When making this Order the Transport Secretary accepted the scheme would “result in an increase in carbon emissions” but concluded that the “proposed development is consistent with existing and emerging policy requirements to achieve the UK’s trajectory towards net zero”.
The challenge alleges the Transport Secretary failed to consider the environmental impacts of the scheme, including cumulative carbon emissions.
Challenges of this nature require the court’s permission to proceed to trial, with permission applications usually dealt with early-on. Here, however, the court has ordered a ‘rolled up’ hearing, where both the permission application and the substantive hearing will be heard together. It is not known whether a date has been set for the rolled up hearing.
Construction, due to start in Spring 2023, has been put on hold due to the legal challenge.