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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Civil and Commercial - Environment

Summary

Residents close to a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) encompassing a well-known beach on the south coast of England had for a long time opposed disposal of dredged waste to a marine site close to the MCZ. When further dredging and disposal licences were granted, one of their number brought Judicial Review (JR) proceedings.

Background

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) were keen to find an alternative site for waste material disposal and had urgently instigated scientific research to allow them to designate an alternative site further from the MCZ but close enough to the port requiring dredging to be commercially viable. Phase 1 of the research study was complete, but phase 2 and public consultation were likely to take 5 to 6 months to complete.

Outcome

The Claimant undertook to stay the JR proceedings for an agreed period pending the further research and the MMO undertook to ensure no further waste disposal to the subject site during the stay. In the event that the new site were designated for future waste disposal, the JR proceedings would be withdrawn. If it were not designated within the agreed timetable, the stay of the proceedings would be lifted. Both parties were optimistic that a long term alternative would be designated within the time-scale.

A basis for future improved communication between the parties was agreed.

Mediator: Mark Jackson-Stops