Lea Castle Farm Quarry Public Inquiry
Planning Inspectorate appeal reference: APP/E1855/W/22/3310099
Worcestershire County Council application reference: 19/000053/CM
Appeal site address: Lea Castle Farm, Wolverley Road, Broadwaters, Kidderminster, Worcestershire
Description of the development: Proposed sand and gravel quarry with progressive restoration using site derived and imported inert material to agricultural parkland, public access and nature enhancement
Appellant’s name: NRS Aggregates Ltd
Case officer contact at the Planning Inspectorate: Helen Skinner, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for Worcestershire County Council administration for this appeal is: Steven Aldridge, email: DevControlTeam@worcestershire.gov.uk, tel: 01905 843510
Reason for the Inquiry
An appeal has been made to the Secretary of State by NRS Aggregates Ltd against the decision of Worcestershire County Council to refuse to grant planning permission for proposed sand and gravel quarry with progressive restoration using site derived and imported inert material to agricultural parkland, public access and nature enhancement at Lea Castle Farm, Wolverley Road, Broadwaters, Kidderminster, Worcestershire (Application Reference: 19/000053/CM).
The appeal will be determined on the basis of an Inquiry. The procedure to be followed is set out in the Town and Country Planning Appeals (Determination by Inspectors) (Inquiry Procedure) (England) Rules 2000, as amended.
Planning Inspector and Inquiry Dates
The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to hold an Inquiry is S Normington BSc, DipTP, MRICS, MRTPI, FIHE, FIQ. The Inquiry opened on Tuesday 28 February 2023 (10:00 hours) sitting for 6 days. The Inquiry was in person and was open to the public.
Inquiry sitting days were Tuesday 28 February 2023 (10:00 hours), Wednesday 1 March (09:30 hours), Thursday 2 March (09:30 hours), Friday 3 March (09:30 hours), Tuesday 7 March (09:30 hours), and Wednesday 8 March (09:30 hours).
The Public Inquiry took place at Hogarths Stone Manor, Stone, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 4PJ.
Documents relating to the Inquiry are as follows:
- Inquiry Programme
- Schedule of Plans 03.03.23
- Inquiry Core Documents
- Proofs of Evidence
- Additional Inquiry Documents
The Planning Inspectorate have produced guidance which sets out an overview of the process and procedure for Public Inquiries.
The Public Inquiry formally closed on 24 April 2023, and the decision was issued by the Planning Inspectorate on 5 May 2023 dismissing the appeal. The cover letter and Planning Inspector’s decision letter are available to view below, together with a Public Notice advertising the decision:
The decision on the appeal has also been published on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.
Judicial Review Claim
On 14 June 2023 the appellant submitted a claim to the High Court of Justice for statutory review of the decision by the Planning Inspectorate. This process is known as Judicial Review and is concerned with the way in which a decision has been made, rather than the merits of the decision.
Permission has been granted for the claim on two grounds:
1) Error in law in relation to biodiversity net gain; and
2) Breach of section 38(6) of the 2004 Act by (i) failure to have regard to two important policies; (ii) failure to recognise the statutory priority of the development plan; (iii) failure to determine whether the proposal complies with the development plan as a whole; iv) failure to understand the nature and degree of compliance or conflict with the development plan.
A hearing will take place at Birmingham Registry of the High Court on 31 October 2023.