Anthony Gill, acting Stockton-on-Tees, resisted at appeal a proposal for 27 dwellings within the middle consultation zone of a Control of Major Hazards (COMAH) Top Tier facility in Billingham Teesside.

The appeal was focused upon the risk of an incident occurring which could endanger future residents. The inquiry required detailed evidence on the risk of an incident occurring. Anthony called two experts from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on behalf of the local planning authority.

The provision of expert witnesses in predictive analysis and risk by the HSE is an unusual step reflective of the complexity of the matter.

The appeal engaged with not only the HSE’s specialist advice and guidance documents but also statistical analysis of relative risk of dangerous dose.

The case reflects the great weight which planning decision makers will give to the advice of the HSE (following the High Court authority in R v Tandridge DC (ex p Al Fayed) 1999)

David Manley QC acted for the appellant.

A copy of the decision can be found here.


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