Environmental Assessment


A core element of William Orbinson QC’s practice is advising on the many facets of environmental assessment mandated by European and domestic law, ensuring that environmental assessment requirements are met in his cases before the Planning Appeals Commission, and mounting and defending judicial reviews grounded on breach of those requirements

William Orbinson QC’s environmental assessment judicial reviews include:

  • various challenges to draft development plans grounded on breach of the SEA Directive
  • various challenges to major out of town retail development at Sprucefield
  • defending the Donnelly challenges to the Omagh Minerals gold mine permissions
  • challenges relating to Tamboran’s hydraulic fracturing proposals in Fermanagh
  • the challenge to the Carbane Way major out of centre retail development
  • the McGurk challenge to the discharge consent for a waste water treatment works at Magilligan Strand
  • defending the Friends of the Earth challenge against the decision not to issue a Stop Notice preventing sand extraction from Lough Neagh, for The Shaftesbury Estate

A regular speaker on environmental assessment at conferences throughout these islands, Mr Orbinson’s publications in the field include the ‘Environmental Assessment Update’ published by Planning Online, his ‘Planning and Judicial Review’ and ‘Planning and Judicial Review: Case Summaries 1976 – 2016’, the 2018 Update for the Case Summaries publication, and contributing the Northern Ireland chapter to ‘The Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive: A Plan for Success?’, Jones and Scotford, published by Bloomsbury, 2017

The 2018 Update for Planning and Judicial Review: Case Summaries 1976-2016 was published by Planning Online in June 2018 and contains summaries of all the planning judicial review decisions given between 2016 and June 2018

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Habitats Directive Assessment
  • Judicial Review
  • Planning advice, local development plan examinations, applications, appeals, major hearings and inquiries
  • Enforcement