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High Court rejects challenge to application of EU Single Payment Scheme in the New Forest


In his judgment in R (Imogen Bickford-Smith) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2013] EWHC 3371 (Admin) handed down on 4 November 2013, Sales J rejected a challenge to the lawfulness of the policy of the Rural Payments Agency acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in administering the EU Single Payment Scheme in the New Forest.

Sales J rejected the Claimant's complaints as to the treatment of her rights in common in relation to common land in the New Forest. He also dismissed the Claimant's proposed alternative methodology as "plainly unlawful and contrary to cardinal features of the SPS as laid down in the EU legislation."

Sales J refused the Claimant's request that the matter be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary reference, considering that the interpretation of the relevant provisions of EU legislation was clear.

The judgment is here.

Sarah Ford instructed by Treasury Solicitors appeared for the Secretary of State.