EC closer to court action over Oxleas

THE EUROPEAN Commission yesterday moved one large step closer towards taking Britain before the European Court of Justice over plans to drive a dual carriageway through Oxleas Wood in Greenwich, south-east London.

The Commission maintains that the Government breached the EC's environmental impacts directive in pushing through its plans for the East London River Crossing road project.

Ioannis Paleokrassas, the Environment Commissioner, announced in Brussels yesterday that he had signed and sent a 'reasoned opinion' document to the British government. This sets out the Commission's grounds for believing the UK is in breach of European law.

The Government has two months in which to explain itself. If the Commission is not satisfied it has to take the matter to the court.

The key issue for protesters fighting the project is whether there will be a court judgment before a large part of the ancient woodland is destroyed by construction of the new road.

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