Appeal judges endorse mine impact analysis

The Court of Appeal has ruled that an inspector was entitled to find that the harm caused to the surrounding countryside outweighed the benefits of expanding a south Wales coal mine.

Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend County Borough Councils had refused permission for the scheme, which straddled their boundary. Bridgend Council said it would have a detrimental impact on the landscape and local residents' amenity. Neath Port Talbot Council objected on grounds of visual intrusion and unacceptable disruption from noise and dust.

The court rejected the claimant's argument that there were errors of law in the inspector's reasoning. Lord Justice Pill found that the decision turned on the view that harm to countryside character and appearance and public enjoyment of the countryside outweighed the scheme's benefits. This was a planning judgement that the inspector was entitled to make and ministers to endorse, he held.

Celtic Energy v Welsh Ministers

Date: 11 October 2011

Ref: C1/2010/1992.

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