AONB under industrial planning siege

Whilst WBAGI are very focussed on opposing the Grundon waste incinerator proposal we also have to be aware and consider the implications of any other industrial planning applications that are being sought in the local area, within the AONB. These could potentially set a very dangerous precedent, and we all know that exceptional circumstances have to be demonstrated for any development in the AONB. And close to WBAGI’s heart is protecting the AONB from inappropriate development.

Here is the latest status update on each application:-

1) Grundon Quarry Extension
Application Nbr: 11/00233/MINMAJ
The continued extraction and processing of sand from Old Kiln Quarry incorporating a proposed extension, the retention of the existing site access, site offices, weighbridge and welfare facilities; the temporary diversion of footpath CHIE/37/2 and the temporary diversion of BOAT Chieveley 49, the retention of former advanced landscaping areas, associated works and the overall restoration of the site to agriculture with new tree and hedge planting.

AONB land involved: Additional 51 acres of land.

Status: Permission refused by West Berks Council 27 February 2012 under delegated powers and subsequently appealed by Grundon to the Planning Inspectorate via a Public Inquiry. Public Inquiry Appeal hearing ended on 14 September and the Planning Inspector advised that the decision on the appeal should be reached in approx 6 weeks.  We are awaiting the final decision.

2) Grundon Waste Incinerator
Application Nbr: 11/02644/COMIND
The construction and development of an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility for the thermal treatment of commercial, industrial and municipal wastes, together with ancillary infrastructure including associated ash processing, storage and air pollution control residue treatment, office accommodation, staff parking area, water attenuation features, gatehouse and weighbridge facilities, landscaping and new habitat creation, and a new access road at Old Kiln Quarry, Chieveley.

AONB land, industrial buildings: 3 x 45m high buildings with the main building being 200m long, 2 x 75m high chimneys, an initial license for 250,000 tonnes.

Status: Permission refused. No appeal has been brought within the time required so if Grundon wish to pursue things they will need to submit a completely new application.

The fact that the appeal deadline date has gone does not necessarily mean Grundon will go away.  It is likely that they will submit another application which will be a variation on a theme and start the process all over again.  However, if that is the case they would need to illustrate a significant difference in the application as to why the Council should consider the new application otherwise the Council would be in a position to state that Grundon should have appealed the initial decision and they chose not to.  In particular they would need to address the Highways Agency issue amongst many others.

So until we hear from Grundon themselves that they are not planning to do anything or indeed hear of an alternative site planning application we cannot be sure it is over.

3) Newbury Showground
Application Nbr: 11/01135/COMIND
Erection of a building for showing livestock plus assembly and leisure (use class D2) on non-show days, extension of internal road and creation of pond.

AONB land, industrial building: 73.2m long x 45m wide x approx 11m high with a gross 3,250m2 floor space for year round use.

Status: Despite the case officer’s recommendation for refusal, permission in principle was conditionally granted by The District Planning Committee on 23 November 2011, subject to a new heads of terms which will agree the acceptable terms of usage (including number of days, hours of operation and types of events etc).  New heads of terms agreement  have still not been finalized so permission is not yet fully granted.

4) Priors Court Farm
Application Nbr: 11/01089/FUL
Erection of Warehouse Premises together with (integral) ancillary offices and staff parking.

AONB land, industrial building: gross 800 m2 floorspace.

Status: Despite the case officer’s recommendation for refusal, permission was granted by West Berkshire Planning Committee on 6 March 2012, subject to conditions imposed by West Berks Council.

5) Copyhold Farm, Curridge
Application Nbr: 12/00144/COMIND
Material Recycling facility (MRF) and retention of aggregate recycling facility (ARF) including extension of existing waste management site and amended restoration of remainder of former quarry to woodland and nature conservation grassland.

AONB land, Permanent Industrial buildings: 2 proposed buildings which are to be 11.63m high each and interconnected are 14.472m wide x 20m long and 19.398m wide x 30m long as a permanent facility despite the fact that quarrying should end in 2016 at Copyhold Farm.

Status: The application was withdrawn by the applicant and a new application submitted (details below).

Application Nbr: 12/01814/MINMAJ
Proposed materials recycling facility (MRF) for temporary period until 31 December 2016 and amended restoration of remainder of former Quarry.

Status: The application was refused under delegated powers on Monday, 22 October as the applicant could not demonstrate a sufficiently robust need for the development to be located at the site and as such the policies in place to protect the AONB were considered to outweigh the recycling benefits of the scheme.