Dear Members,

Firstly I would like to thank everyone who managed to come along to the open meeting on the 10th of November. It was good to see everyone and share information as well as discuss the upcoming legal challenges we are facing.

As everyone is aware, CADS filed a claim for Judicial Review with the High Court following Cornwall Council’s decision made on 28.9.2016 not to commence enforcement action against unauthorised Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Our main argument is that the developer erected a fence surrounding the quarry without any planning permission, this is illegal.
Last year Mr. Justice Dove and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Hon Greg Clark, agreed that the re-opening of Dean Quarry constituted ‘major development’, requiring, by definition, an EIA. It is our opinion, that by allowing for the fence to remain, the developer was able to start up mobile quarrying and therefore evade the October deadline to meet ROMPS conditions.

In fact, Cornwall Council themselves have stated on 12.9.2016 that a fence cannot be constructed without an EIA because ‘it is in a sensitive area and is likely to have significant effects on the environment’, yet no EIA has ever been demanded by Cornwall Council nor has any enforcement action against the fence been taken thus allowing irreversible damage to the environment by virtue of blasting. To date, no retrospective planning application accompanied by an EIA has been submitted by Shire Oak Quarries.

After our meeting on 10.11.2016 we wrote to Cornwall Council and Shire Oak suggesting that we would be prepared to put the Judicial Review ‘on hold’, as long as Shire would agree to file for retrospective planning permission for the fence accompanied by a full EIA by a set date. We also asked Cornwall Council to confirm that they would take enforcement action if the developer failed to deliver on this promise. We have not even been given the courtesy of a reply or any reassurance that they will not continue to blast in the interim. If the developer had said “we will submit an application by the end of January and we won’t blast until then”, then this would have put us in a more difficult situation with regards to the Judicial Review as the judge could take them at face value.  Since they haven't, we believe that the scale has tipped very slightly in our favour.

The aim of the JR is to a) get Cornwall Council to take enforcement action against the fence, so as to prevent the developer from operating the quarry further and to prevent further damage to the environment, b) to make the link between the fence and the operation of the quarry as this link will be invaluable in the future planning application for the fence on the basis of it being a major development in the AONB, c) to have the blast disregarded in terms of Cornwall Council's determination on permanent cessation.

We believe that we have a fair chance of winning our case. There are no guarantees of winning , but we must do all we can to not allow Cornwall Council and the developer to continuously act recklessly, without any recourse to their actions. If we allow this current unlawful situation to continue without any prospect of questions being answered or reassurances that the retrospective planning application will be filed in the foreseeable future, we will have failed our duty to preserve and care for what is all so precious to our community.

Unfortunately this also means we have to be prepared to pay for the Judicial Review in January should we fail. For this purpose we have now finalised and today launched our online fund raising platform. It is full of useful information. Please take a look at:

Please pass this link to all your family and friends and ask them to also pass it on further to their friends and family. We need to reach as many people as possible who will support our fight by donating. Thank you very much for your continued support.    

Silke Roskilly – Chair of CADS