Cornwall Council discloses extended deadline for public and stakeholders to respond.

24.4.2017 Cornwall Against Dean Quarry (CADS) welcome the strong objection from South West Coast Path Association (SWCP) submitted to Cornwall Council on 28th March 2017, the latest in a string of mounting opposition to Shire Oak Quarries’ existing fencing at Dean Quarry.

The SWCP Association’s objection to Shire Oak Quarries’ retrospective Planning Application (PA17/00257) for the Dean Quarry fencing highlights “the substantial adverse impact on the environment of the South West Coast Path”, which is “contrary to national policy relating to the National Trail and an AONB”.

This follows Cornwall AONB’s (Area of Outstanding National Beauty) own detailed and vigorous objection (2nd Feb 2017) which begins: “The Cornwall AONB Unit is writing to object in the strongest terms to this retrospective application”.  It warns: “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”.

Natural England, whose statutory purpose is “to ensure that the natural environment is    conserved, enhanced, and managed for the benefit of present and future generations,    thereby contributing to sustainable development” also objects to this application:
“The retrospective application for a boundary fence forms part of a much wider proposal for quarrying stone. It is our 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. Indeed the applicant has confirmed that 'the fencing of the boundary of the quarry is required and necessary for the resumption of winning and working at the quarry together with the operational requirements of managing a safe quarry.' (application ref PA14/12081). I  therefore also refer you to our EIA scoping advice letter for the wider proposal dated
9 September 2014 (attached)”.

The St Keverne Parish Council also voted against approving Shire Oak Quarries’               retrospective planning application, pronouncing the existing fence at Dean Quarry as ‘totally inappropriate for an AONB’.

Significantly, Cornwall Council’s Principal Public Space Officer (Landscape) following a site visit, has also entered a highly critical opinion of the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment  (LVIA) submitted by Shire Oak Quarries as part of this Planning Application: “It is considered that the submitted LVIA downplays the impact of the new fence on the landscape character of this designated landscape and also on the visual amenity of the users of the SWCP”.

Cornwall Council’s case officer for PA17/00257, Ellis Crompton-Brown, has just confirmed to CADS that the deadline for the public and stakeholders to object has been extended from the February 13th 2017 date displayed on public notices at Dean Quarry.  Representations can now be be made up to at least one working day (by noon) before the decisive planning  committee meeting to be held in either June or July 2017.

Unfortunately, when quizzed by CADS, Ellis Crompton-Brown did not consider there to be any justification to amend the site notices to this effect. Therefore, CADS would like to make the public aware that objections CAN STILL be made to the 700m perimeter fence that has been erected at Dean Quarry without planning permission. 570m of the 2m high fence run parallel with the SW Coast Path. Silke Roskilly, Chair of CADS states: “The perimeter fence at Dean Quarry is an utter eye-sore and neither enhances nor preserves our AONB. Some sections are lashed together. It’s a complete disgrace. We urge everyone to join us and     object to this planning application, particularly since we have now learned that there is still time to respond”.

The objections from the public and consultees for PA17/00257 can all be read in full, online, at CADS urge the public to consider these views and add their comments prior to the next Planning Meeting in either June or July, the date of which has not yet been confirmed. CADS will be sharing this date once it is known.

CADS continue to oppose this retrospective Planning Application on the grounds that it is part and parcel of Shire Oak Quarries’ overall plan to create a superquarry, thirteen times the size of the previous quarry, in an AONB and Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The developer, Shire Oak Quarries Limited have well documented their plans to build a huge breakwater and jetties at Dean Quarry into the adjacent Manacles Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). These structures are essential to supply the 60-80,000 tonnes of rock every month, throughout the year and beyond the next decade. Mark Shorrock, co-owner of Shire Oak Quarries Limited and CEO of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Limited plans a series of Tidal Lagoons and is currently in negotiation with the UK Government on a strike price for subsidy levels. The Manacles was designated in the first group of the MCZs, in late 2013. If this MCZ is breached by Shire Oak Quarries’ proposed development, it will result in long-term environmental damage and, as a test case for all MCZs, will bode ill for all current and future MCZs.

The small Cornish communities and local sustainable businesses on the Lizard Peninsula have, for over two years, been threatened with the re-opening and massive upsizing of Dean Quarry.