Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4540
4540. MR HORTON: Correct.
4541. CHAIRMAN: Then, supposing the Promoters
do look at the alternativesI do not know whether it is
objective or what it isthe only objectivity that could
come in, I would have thought, is when it comes to the decision-maker.
In the case of a reservoir or an aerodrome or something like that,
it would be the planning authority, would it not?
4542. MR HORTON: Yes.
4543. CHAIRMAN: They would consider under
the EIA Directive whether there were main alternatives that had
been put forward and considered and they would decide whether
there was any merit in them other than the one that was chosen.
Would they not?
4544. MR HORTON: They would certainly
consider whether there has been merit in the alternatives which
were in fact considered, yes.
4545. CHAIRMAN: Who exercises the objectivity?
4546. MR HORTON: Speaking of the planning
process at large rather than specifically these proceedings in
Parliament, in the first instance it would be the planning authority
but it would also be open to other interested parties to consider
and make representations as to whether an alternative judged objectively
4547. CHAIRMAN: I think the reality is
that the planning authority would have the EIA assessment, so
would other statutory consultees, and the statutory consultees
would be able to make their comments to the planning authority.
4548. MR HORTON: Certainly.
4549. CHAIRMAN: And the local planning
authority would have the objective duty to consider all of this
before it reached a decision. Is that right?
4550. MR HORTON: Yes.
4551. CHAIRMAN: So the objectivity lies
with the planning authority to consider all the points being made
about main alternatives.
4552. MR HORTON: Yes, subject to this
qualification, that that judgment of the authority, I would submit,
is capable of judicial scrutiny.
4553. CHAIRMAN: Of course it is.
4554. MR HORTON: And subject to the usual
rules about judicial scrutiny.
4555. CHAIRMAN: Of course it is. If they
come to an unreasonable decision there is judicial review.
4556. MR HORTON: Yes.
4557. CHAIRMAN: The objectivity that
you are talking about is exercised by the planning authority.
4558. MR HORTON: Yes.
4559. CHAIRMAN: Having taken everything
proper into account, they get judicially reviewed. Is that right?