In the early-2000s, homeowners expressed alarm at government-approved plans for a railway to be built close to where they lived in Umeå, Sweden, near a European network of special nature protection areas.
The residents demanded that the government’s decision be overturned. They asked Sweden’s highest court to carry out a full legal review, arguing that the decision breached environmental rules.
The court dismissed the homeowners’ complaint. It said they would have the chance for a legal review when the authorities presented a complete plan.
But when the plan was finalised, the court said it was legally bound by the government’s decision to allow the project to go ahead and a full legal review would not be possible.
The construction of the railway went ahead. Some of the homeowners were compensated. Noise barriers were put up near some of the properties affected.