Lodge your objection ASAP!

As announced by CADS earlier this week, The Hon Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled against their second Judicial Review, largely down to Shire Oak Quarries submitting a last-minute planning application for a perimeter fence surrounding Dean Quarry.

While on the face of it their Judicial Review was unsuccessful, CADS believe that bringing Cornwall Council to court had a positive outcome, in that it forced Shire Oak Quarries into submitting the retrospective planning application and an environmental survey with it.

Time is now of the essence for all CADS members to object to this latest planning application.

Although their determination deadline is given as 9th May, Cornwall Council states that there is a 21-day consultation period once an application has been made. Since the planning application was validated on 17th January 2017, it is estimated that the closing date for responses is 7th February 2017. In case it is sooner, members are advised to lodge their objections as soon as possible next week to ensure they have their say. Please encourage your friends and family to do the same.

You can respond to the planning application in the following ways:

Via the Cornwall Council website at: http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OJNOVSFGKGS00

By emailing planning@cornwall.gov.uk
By writing to the local planning office: Planning Office, Cornwall Council, County Hall, Treyew Road, Truro TR1 3AY

Cornwall Council’s guidance notes state:

“Any comments which are made online or in writing will be published on the Council’s website for everyone to see, this will include your name and address. Please note that confidential or anonymous comments will not be considered.

When making a comment please make sure that it is not offensive, harmful or untrue, if it is, your comment will be removed from the website.  You are responsible for any statements that you make.

Appropriate checks will be made to ensure the authenticity of online accounts and comments posted. Any account or comments found to be fraudulant will be removed.

You will see that a couple of people have already objected, so the points they have made may help you in writing yours; however, it is important not to copy and paste from other objections but to use your own words. Below is an example objection to give you some ideas. CADS would like to thank you in advance for your help with this and for your ongoing support.

                                              EXAMPLE OBJECTION TO PA17/00257

I strongly object to the granting of retrospective planning permission P17/00257. Erection of the fence began  just after the Judicial Review of Friday 13th November, 2015  but before the verdict was given on December 18th, 2015.  Mr.  Justice Dove ruled that Cornwall Council’s decision to grant planning  permission should be quashed .  He agreed with the Secretary of State’s view that “the proposal is likely to have significant effects on the environment”. However, had the permission not been quashed, then the fence which has been erected would still be unlawful as it bears absolutely no resemblance to the fence proposed in that Planning Application. From Shire Oak’s Planning Application submission - 5.2.1 “ In preparing the current planning application the Applicant has been mindful of the representations received in respect of the previous planning application (PA14/12081) and the LPA’s EIA screening response and EIA scoping response and associated representations”.  There were over 300 objections to the previous application for the fence, many of whom described it as an “eyesore”.  One objector, a  Landscape Architect, described “significant negative impact on the local landscape by reason of inappropriate boundary treatment, alien to the predominant existing pattern of Cornish hedges, with native scrub vegetation”. St.  Keverne Parish Council said it was “totally inappropriate for an AONB”. Cornwall AONB, who had been disappointed at not being consulted at either screening or scoping stage, said “Particular care will be taken to ensure that no development is permitted in or outside the AONB which would damage its natural beauty, character or special qualities”. Paragraph 115 of the National Planning Policy Framework says “Great weight should be given to conserving landscape and scenic beauty in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which have the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty”. Cornwall Council’s screening and scoping opinions for the fence appear to be at odds – screening “The findings in the judgment of the High Court (ref CO/3075/2015) have been taken into account in consideration of this screening opinion. Consideration has been given to the nature of the operations and it is concluded that there is a cumulative impact that requires assessment through the EIA process. The proposal should be considered in cumulation with the operation of the quarry which in itself was EIA development and therefore the proposal is considered likely to have significant effects on the environment.  Natural England also state their opinion that the fence should not be considered in isolation as it forms a necessary part of the wider proposal on which the quarry operation depends”. Contrast these views  with Cornwall Council’s scoping opinion  “For the sake of clarity, the ES only needs to address the environmental issues that are affected by the erection of the fence and not the wider issues of the operation of the quarry”. In the previous application (PA14/12081) agents for Shire Oak described the fence variously as “necessary”, “mandatory”,  “absolutely necessary” and “wholly necessary”.  However, in the latest Judicial Review, it was stated by them that “the ROMP provides no requirement to fence the quarry in Planning Terms”.  Quarries Regulations state that “where appropriate, a suitable barrier is placed around the boundary of a quarry”.  Shire Oak say that there is ample evidence of trespass and vandalism at the quarry, but I contend that the vandalism consisted almost entirely of damage to the fence itself, and that any trespass was able to take place in spite of the present fence, which is, therefore, clearly unfit for purpose.  Health and Safety Executive guidance states “a higher standard of fence may still be appropriate if there is evidence of regular or frequent trespass” and “metal poled fences may be required”.  I refer to 4.3.1 of Shire Oak’s own Design and Access statement from  the present Planning Application   -  i. barrier needed to be of sufficient height and design to deter trespassers and vandals.  Yet in 4.2.8 – “There is clear evidence of trespass and vandalism in the quarry (with incidents having been reported to the Police)”.  Furthermore,   iii. “Barrier needed to have an acceptable landscape and visual impact within the wider landscape and upon users of nearby public footpaths”.  I object to the retrospective planning application for this fence because 1)  All the  many objections to the original planning application still stand ,  2) In addition the scoping for this application is  inadequate  and not in accordance with the first Judicial Review of  Judge Dove, with the Secretary of State’s opinion nor with Cornwall Council’s own screening opinion, and 3) the current fence is far inferior to the fence in the first Planning Application, - it is inadequate  for the purposes of deterring  vandalism and trespass, and it  has  an even greater  unacceptable visual impact in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.