Published: Friday 15 November 1996

The European Court of Justice ruled recently that economic requirements need not be considered while allocating and defining the boundaries of an environmental special protection area. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ( rspb ), uk , had challenged the UK environment secretary's decision to designate the Medway estuary and marshes in Kent as a special protection area excluding a mud-flat saying that its economic value excee-ded its conservation value. The rspb argued that the secretary was not entitled to take account of economic considerations when classifying a special protection area.

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