M4 Relief Road

Signposted to ELF under the new collaboration with Cardiff Law School (in coordination with the Welsh Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and FOE Wales), this enquiry concerns pro-bono support with the public inquiry, into the proposed M4 relief road in Newport. The inquiry was due to start November 2016 but has been postponed until March 2017.

The proposed road would cut through 8 km of the Gwent Levels, including four SSSIs, destroying one of the largest surviving areas of ancient grazing marsh and drainage ditch systems in the UK (see http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/M4)

Climate change expert Professor Kevin Anderson has said that the scheme will create a damaging increase in carbon emissions. The inquiry will consider these proposals and less environmentally damaging alternatives.

A new piece of Welsh legislation, the “Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015” may be leverage against these proposals. There are seven pillars, the second of which states “A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change)”

ELF has gathered an amazing collection of barristers from amongst some of our member chambers, Garden Court, FTB and 1 Crown Office Row, so that each of the 12 expert witness have a pro-bono ELF barrister allocated. Witnesses include Sir John Lawton, author of the incredibly influential and recently updated State of Nature Report, and Professor Kevin Anderson, climate change expert.

ELF would like to express its real gratitude to those barristers who have agreed to participate in this matter.

Photo: rspb.org