The council had refused permission solely on the basis that the appeal site lay outside the preferred area for extracting sand and gravel shown in its minerals local plan. However, the appellants argued that a significant shortage of approved sites meant that the county had less than seven years' supply of sand and gravel, falling below the level set out in national planning policy guidance.
The secretary of state accepted that the scheme would not be inappropriate in the green belt and that the land would be restored to countryside when extraction finished. The need for additional sand and gravel supported the grant of planning permission, she reasoned. However, she decided that the need for additional supply could be met within preferred areas. To grant permission would prejudice the proper identification of new preferred areas in a forthcoming minerals development plan document, she held.
DCS Number 100-050-452
Inspector Alan Boyland; Inquiry.