Press Release: WBAGI delighted with the Refusal of the Grundon quarry extension planning application

PRESS RELEASE

Public contact: enquiries@wbagi.org

WBAGI delighted with the Refusal of the Grundon quarry extension planning application

Tuesday, 28 February 2012:  Curridge, Berkshire:-

The campaign group, West Berkshire Against Grundon Incinerator (WBAGI), who oppose the proposed building of a waste incinerator on a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) at Old Kiln Farm, near Newbury are delighted with the news that West Berkshire Council have refused a separate planning application also made by Grundon, to extend their quarrying activities on a field within an AONB, adjacent to the proposed site for the waste incinerator.

The refusal has been made under delegated powers by the officer assigned to the case and has not come before a planning committee.  The application to extend the quarrying activities also included a retrospective application for an area Grundon have already quarried without permission, and the overdue reinstatement of the Old Kiln Farm site which was due to be returned to agriculture and woodland by April 2010.

Simon Conington, Chairman of WBAGI stated,"This is a great result for the local community.  The fact that this application was refused under delegated powers is exceptionally significant.  Such a decision would only have been made if the development was manifestly in direct and irresolvable conflict with both national and local policies to protect the AONB and the environment.  That decision clearly demonstrates that the officers and councillors were not persuaded by any of Grundon’s arguments.  It also demonstrates that the objections made by local residents were well founded, relevant to the decision and to the protection of the AONB.  It shows that localism works, and that Grundon’s have a very significant barrier to overcome if they choose to appeal the decision."

It now remains for West Berkshire Council to seek legal advice on the action to be taken concerning the reinstatement of the site and the quarrying without planning permission.  WBAGI would like to see the Council enforce the reinstatement of Old Kiln Farm as soon as possible as this is now long overdue.

Whilst this refusal is great news, Grundon’s do of course have an option to appeal the decision within 6 months of this refusal, and the campaign to oppose the separate planning application for the waste incinerator needs to actively continue in parallel.

About WBAGI

West Berkshire Against Grundon Incinerator (WBAGI) was formed in response to an initial scoping document submitted to West Berkshire Council by Grundon, ahead of the planning application to build an Energy from Waste incinerator in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Group consists entirely of local residents who share a common concern over the planning  proposal and want to ensure sufficient consideration is taken in the decision making process of such a significant facility.