High Court quashes Cornwall quarry approval

A Cornwall council's decision to approve an application to re-open a quarry without an environmental impact assessment has been deemed unlawful by a High Court judge, it has been revealed.

London's Royal Courts of Justice
London's Royal Courts of Justice

Cornwall Council approved plans in April to re-open the Dean Quarry on the Lizard peninsular.

Shire Oak Quarries Limited, the company behind the plans, said it aims to extract rock for use at the tidal lagoon power plant at Swansea Bay.

The site sits within the Lizard Peninsula (and Helford River) Area of Great Scientific Value, the Lizard Peninsula Area of Great Historic Value, the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Coverack to Porthoustock Site of Special Scientific Interest. It also flanks the Lizard Special Area of Conservation.

Local farmer Silke Roskilly launched a judicial review against the council’s decision to approve the plans without an environmental impact assessment.

According to local action group Cornwall Against Dean Superquarry (CADs), no environmental information or statement was requested, prepared or considered prior to the planning decision being made.

Earlier this week, CADs announced that a High Court judge has ruled that the approval to re-open and upscale the quarry without an EIA was "unlawful" and planning permission would therefore be quashed. The official judgement has not yet been published.

Silke Roskilly, the claimant and chair of CADs said: "I am delighted with the judgment made by The Hon. Mr Justice Dove. He has confirmed our concerns that the planning department of Cornwall Council did not follow correct procedure when they granted planning permission to reopen Dean Quarry earlier this year.

"The Planning Officer recommended to the planning committee that permission should be granted despite knowing that CADs had asked the secretary of state for a screening direction. At no point did the planning officer ask the developer Shire Oak Quarries Limited for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), when in fact the development needed one and thus EIA regulations were broken."

Cornwall Council said it noted the judgement and "will be discussing options with its legal advisors".

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