First landmark ruling on the application of the Climate Protection Act to project approvals

Redeker defends planning approval for A14 motorway project in Saxony‑​Anhalt

Berlin, 4 May 2022. The Federal Administrative Court today dismissed the action brought by an environmental association against the planning approval decision of the Saxony‑​Anhalt State Administrative Office for the new construction of the A 14 federal motorway between Osterburg and Seehausen (VKE 2.2.). The section with a length of 17 km is part of the planned and partly already realised northern extension of the A 14 from Magdeburg to Schwerin (so‑​called “gap closure”), the largest federal trunk road project in the eastern federal states.

The ruling (Ref.: 9 A 7.21) is of great practical importance because the Federal Administrative Court had to decide for the first time on the application of the so‑​called consideration requirement of the Federal Climate Protection Act. According to this, all public bodies must take into account the purpose of the Climate Protection Act and the goals set for its fulfilment in their planning and decision‑​making. The law does not specify how this very general requirement is to be implemented in the approval of a specific project. Other concretising regulations, guidelines, etc. are also lacking. It can be assumed that the Federal Administrative Court will provide important information on the scope of the consideration requirement in the written reasons for its judgement. Other focal points of the proceedings were the methodology for preparing traffic forecasts as well as water and nature conservation law.

The defendant planning approval authority (Landesverwaltungsamt Sachsen‑​Anhalt) was represented in the proceedings by Redeker partners Dr Frank Fellenberg, LL.M. (Cambridge) and Kathrin Dingemann. Together with their team, they advise planning authorities and project developers throughout Germany on numerous major projects, particularly in the transport and energy sectors.

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Christiane Legler

Christiane Legler

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