High court gives ministers deadline for tougher air pollution plan
UK environment department must publish stronger air quality plan by April 2017, five months sooner than the deadline that government wanted
Monday 21 November 2016 13.52 GMT
The government is being forced to deliver an effective plan to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis within eight months, after a high court judge rejected a longer timetable as “far too leisurely”.
Environmental lawyers ClientEarth inflicted a humiliating legal defeat on ministers earlier in November – its second in 18 months – when the high court ruled that ministers’ plans to tackle illegal levels of air pollution in many UK cities and towns were so poor they were unlawful.
The government subsequently refused to agree to the eight-month timetable proposed by ClientEarth for a new plan, saying it needed until September next year. But on Monday, Mr Justice Garnham ordered the government to produce a draft plan by until 24 April 2017 and a final one by 31 July 2017.