The quarry, which had been operational since the 1980s, had a complicated planning history. The inspector, after considering the Act’s definition of a sec.73 application, concluded in respect of the first appeal that an extension of time to allow longer for restoration could be reasonably defined as seeking ‘planning permission without complying with conditions subject to which a previous planning permission was granted’.
A second appeal sought further extraction of 93,000 tonnes of sand from a field which had not yet been subject to quarrying. The council claimed the scale of this extraction and its significant impacts meant it could not be considered as a sec.73 application. The inspector disagreed, noting impact was not a basis to decline to consider such an application even if it were a reason to refuse it.
Turning to the impact of varying the conditions, the inspector concluded that neither proposal would harm the green belt, ecology, highway safety, living conditions of residents along the road used by HGVs, or the health of school children, to an extent that outweighed the benefits of extracting the mineral reserve.
The council was ordered to pay the appellants costs largely because it had offered no sound basis to decline to progress these two applications under sec.73 of the Act.
Inspector: J P Sargent; Hearing