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, email: helen.skinner@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

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:

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:

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.  

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