(P.60) - European Commission Acts! - two national press articles;

Financial Times (page 2) 3/11/00; Daily Telegraph 4/11/00

Brussels to intervene in London development - Financial Times, Friday 3 November 2000

The European Commission has indicated it will seek to overturn a significant planning permission granted in Britain - a move that could have implications for planning and development across the country.

It has written a formal letter of notice to the government over plans for a multiplex cinema at Crystal Palace Park in London. The Commission found Bromley council had not requested the environmental impact assessment required by a European Union directive.

The case is now set for the European Court of Justice. Experts are confident that planning permission will have to be withdrawn.

The move by the Commission could have implications for other developments with environmental issues, such as the White City redevelopment in west London.

The action will embarrass John Prescott, who gave both plans the go-ahead without asking that the environmental impact assessment be carried out. The Department of Environment Transport and Regions said: "We have yet to see the Commission's letter and when we do we will be studying it in great detail."

Tessa Jowell, employment minister and local Labour MP, said: "The Commission's Intervention is very good news. There were considerable flaws in the initial environmental report."

Ken Livingstone, London mayor, said: "Everyone will be impressed with the Commission's formal letter of notice to the UK authorities, which at last clearly nails Bromley for failing to demand a prior environmental impact assessment over the Crystal Park multiplex."

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EC opposes park cinema plan - The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 4 November 2000

T he European Commission has told the Government that it will seek to overturn planning permission given for a 20-screen cinema complex at Crystal Palace Park in south London.

The commission has said that the development, opposed by residents, has not been given an environmental impact assessment of the kind required by a European Union directive. John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister, refused to call in the plans for public inquiry. This effectively gave approval without him asking for an environmental impact assessment. The commission's ruling is thought by planning experts to mean that planning consent will have to be withdrawn.

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5/11/00 Last updated 5/11/00; 2/2/01