Lea Castle Farm Quarry Public Inquiry

Lea Castle Farm Quarry Public Inquiry

Appeal Overview

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

Contact for Worcestershire County Council administration for this appeal is: Steven Aldridge, email: DevControlTeam@worcestershire.gov.uk, tel: 01905 843510

Background to the Appeal (First Inquiry)

An appeal was 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 was determined on the basis of a Public Inquiry, which ran between 28 February to 8 March 2023. The Planning Inspector (S Normington BSc, DipTP, MRICS, MRTPI, FIHE, FIQ) in his Decision Letter dismissed the appeal, refusing planning permission on 5 May 2023.

Judicial Review

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 was granted for the claim on two grounds:

Ground 1)    Error in law in relation to biodiversity net gain; and 

Ground 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. 

Following the High Court hearing on 31 October 2023. Mr Justice Eyre handed down his judgement on 16 November 2023 on the Decision of the Inspector.  The Court decision is that the claim against the Inspector’s decision was successful on Ground 1) which was concerned with whether the Inspector had made a material error in reaching his decision and therefore their decision should be quashed (High Court Reference AC-2023-BHM-000122 (CO/2189/2023). 

The Court Order quashing the decision is dated 24 November 2023 and the matter has now been remitted to the Planning Inspectorate who will now re-determine the appeal.  

Re-determination of the Appeal (Second Inquiry) 

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.

Any representations that were made at application stage or when the appeal was first determined will be considered by the Inspector when determining this appeal.

If you wish to make comments, or modify / withdraw your previous representation, you can do so online through the Planning Inspectorate’s Appeal Casework Portal (ACP). The Planning Inspectorate do not accept comments by email. Where possible, the Planning Inspectorate encourage comments / correspondence to be sent online via the ACP. If, however, you do not have access to the internet, you can send your comments to: 

Helen Skinner
The Planning Inspectorate 
Temple Quay House 
2 The Square

All representations must be received by 23 May 2024. Any representations submitted after the deadline will not usually be considered and will be returned. The Planning Inspectorate does not acknowledge representations. All representations must quote the appeal reference.

Please note that any representations you submit to the Planning Inspectorate will be copied to the appellant and this local planning authority and will be considered by the Inspector when determining this appeal.  

Planning Inspector and Inquiry Dates

The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to hold the second Inquiry is J Woolcock BNatRes MURP DipLaw MRTPI. 

Arrangements for the Inquiry are currently being finalised by the Planning Inspectorate.

The Inquiry is currently scheduled to open at 10:00 hours on Tuesday 5th November 2024, running to Friday 15 November 2024 (siting 5 November to 8 November and 14 November to 15 November 2024). 


The Inquiry will be held at: Stourport Manor Hotel, 35 Hartlebury Road, Stourport-on-Severn, DY13 9JA.


Documents relating to the appeal are as follows:

The Planning Inspectorate have produced guidance which sets out an overview of the process and procedure for Public Inquiries. 


When made the decision on the appeal (second Inquiry) will be published here and on the Planning Inspectorate’s website


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