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As part of the ongoing legal challenge, an application by the Alternative A5 Alliance to suspend the Vesting Orders and planned preliminary works, in advance of the February 2013 substantive court hearing, was heard on 17th December 2012. After considering evidence and hearing submissions from both parties the presiding judge decided not to grant an injunction. This decision recognised an undertaking given by the Department to carry out no further ecology works that require licensing (i.e. any further mitigation works in respect of bat and badger habitats) although monitoring of completed works to comply with licensing will be continued.

This decision by the court means that other planned preliminary works considered critical to the construction programme going forward, will recommence in early January on lands vested/owned by the Department. These works include fencing, vegetation management, archaeology and service diversions.

In the event of the Vesting Orders being quashed by a future court ruling the majority of works can be fully reinstated and any legal claim for compensation for the Department’s occupation of any lands will be paid accordingly.

A further update will be provided after the outcome of the 12-14 February substantive hearing is known.