Walton v The Scottish Ministers (Scotland)  UKSC 44
17 Wednesday Oct 2012
On appeal from:  CSIH 19.
The appellant chairman of an organisation opposing a proposed road network intended to bypass Aberdeen sought to challenge the validity of Schemes and Orders made by the respondents under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.
The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal, stating that the trunk road network on the periphery of Aberdeen is in need of urgent improvement. The SEA Directive may require environmental assessments to be carried out in respect of “plans” and “programmes”, but the road proposals were a specific “project” so were subject to the EIA Directive’s requirements instead. There was also nothing to suggest that the remit of the public enquiry challenged was unfair to the appellant. The panel also clarified elements of the law on standing – to raise such a challenge an individual must be a “person aggrieved” under the provisions of Schedule 2 of the 1984 Act. It was held that the appellant was indubitably aggrieved and that it would be inconsistent with the principles of environmental law to require his private interests must be affected to meet this criteria. The appellant would have standing as a party with sufficient interest to raise common law proceedings for judicial review; however, such proceedings would have failed on their merits.