Prague - Those who oppose the D8 motorway construction, which is supposed to cross the České středohoří area, now have another reason to celebrate.
Prague's Municipal Court upheld a complaint filed by a non-governmental environmental organization Děti země (Children of the Earth). The Court ruled a ban on further construction of the Prackovice tunnel, for it happens to be in the Preserved Landscape Area (CHKO) České středohoří.
"Public interest in environmental and landscape protection outweighs public interest in immediate building of a new highway," explained the judges in their decision.
Building permit matters
The Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic (RSD), the body that stands behind the D8 project, was taken by surprise, as they learned about the decision only from Aktuálně.cz.
"We have a valid building permit," stated RSD's spokeswoman Martina Vápeníková, adding that they will wait for the reaction of the Transport Ministry, which the ruling is actually aimed at.
The Ministry is keeping their feet on the ground. Deputy Minister Jiří Hodač stated that they have several building permits, so the ruling won't affect the project in any significant way.
Děti země have protested against the project a few times in past to protect the preserved area in the region.
Despite their few successes with formal objections, the highway construction is underway.
Recently, the Supreme Administrative Court in Brno has ruled that the authorities' decision on the territorial plan was not legal.
Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl stated that the authorities had repeatedly violated the law, since the project wasn't reviewed with regard to environmental protection.
Other charges raised by Děti země are still to be discussed by the Supreme Administrative Court in Brno and Municipal Court in Prague.