Environmentalists consider Wednesday's Tallinn Administrative Court ruling approving the development of Reidi Road in Tallinn surprising and are promising to dispute the decision in circuit court.
In a joint statement issued by ten environmental organizations, environmentalists said that they were disappointed by the administrative court's Wednesday decision.
They were surprised by the court stating in its decision that the plaintiff, NGO Estonian Green Movement, should have carried out a study to prove that building Reidi Road would pose a danger to the environment.
"Putting such a burden of proof on a plaintiff that is an NGO is unacceptable and at variance with the precautionary principle which is the basis of EU and Estonian environmental law as well as with the investigative principle of administrative court procedure," read the statement. "These principles state that the developer and public authority are obligated to convince the public and courts that the planned activity is safe."
Commenting on the decision, Karin Marosov, who represented the NGO in court, said that it was also surprising that the court assessed and argued why an environmental impact assessment carried out in 2007 was up-to-date and relevant, although no such arguments were mentioned in the decision of the City of Tallinn not to carry out a new environmental impact assessment.
Court gives Reidi Road green light
Tallinn Administrative Court on Wednesday approved the continued development of Reidi Road in Central Tallinn.
The court did not satisfy the notice of appeal of NGO Estonian Green Movement, in which the NGO sought to have the building permit issued by the Tallinn Urban Planning Department for the construction of the second stage of Reidi Road revoked.
The court said in its decision that the notice of appeal could not be used to change the location of a road included in comprehensive plans that are in force. The court did not agree with the primary claim of the appellants that the city should have carried out a new environmental impact assessment. The issuer of the authorization had enough information based on the 2007 assessment and later expert opinions to decide whether building the road was permissible, the court said on Wednesday.
The first stage of the road's development project was not contested by anyone in court.
Editor: Aili Vahtla