DC Casebook: Mineral development - Limitation on stone working struck out

An inspector has quashed an enforcement notice directed against the processing of stone at a farm in Dorset after deciding that the use of non-local materials is acceptable.

The council had granted temporary permission to use the site for cutting and dressing stone in 2004. After the last permission expired last year, it agreed to a renewal subject to a condition limiting the stone that could be worked to protect local residents' amenity. The appellants estimated that around 90 per cent of the total processed originated at a local quarry.

The inspector found little evidence of harm to local residents from dust, traffic movements or noise. Answering council claims that the site should be viewed as a major development in the countryside, he noted that other local plan policies supported the rural economy. A condition limiting the amount of non-local stone would be enforceable and the well-screened site posed little harm to the landscape or setting of a nearby area of outstanding natural beauty, he ruled.

He decided that the council had not acted unreasonably in overruling officers' recommendations to lift restrictions on the sources of the stone and rejected the appellants' application for costs. In his view, the council had substantiated its concerns about potential harm to residents and the landscape. The appellants accepted that the justification for the business was largely predicated on processing locally-sourced material, he observed.

DCS Number 100-069-439

Inspector David Leeming; Hearing

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