Practice and Procedure

R (On the application of (1) P RICHARDS (2) G RICHARDS) v PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL (2003)

PUBLISHED October 9, 2003

The respondent council had lawfully used powers derived from the Harbours Act 1964 when introducing a residents' parking scheme in Tenby.Application for judicial review of a decision of the respondent council ('C') on 28 June 2002 to introduce a residents' parking scheme ('the order') on land in front of the claimants' ('R') property in Tenby. The ownership of the land was in dispute but not for the purposes of the instant proceedings. The order had been introduced in order to improve pedestrian safety, to control access into the harbour area and for the better management of the town centre generally. The power to make the order was purportedly contained in the South Pembrokeshire District Council (Tenby Harbour) Byelaws 1995, which had been derived from the South Pembrokeshire District Council (Tenby) Harbour Revision Order 1975 in turn made under the Harbours Act 1964. On the instant application R argued that: (i) C had no power to make the order as the legislation provided that orders could only be made in the interests of securing the improvement, maintenance or management of the harbour itself rather than for the purposes C had specified; (ii) the decision to introduce a parking scheme was irrational in circumstances where R had successfully managed the land in question for 25 years; and (iii) the decision breached R's rights under Art.8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.HELD: (1) C had power to make the order. The land in question fell within the definition of the harbour. In any event, the purpose of the order was to control traffic for the better management of the harbour and such orders could apply to areas that were close to but not part of the harbour where the management of those areas affected the management of the harbour itself. The court was satisfied that the control of parking on the land in question had a direct effect on the operation of the harbour. (2) The decision to make the order was not irrational. The court was unable to conclude that a decision to control parking could be irrational where there was power to make the order. (3) The human rights argument could not even be considered in circumstances where the issue of ownership had not been resolved.Application refused.