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Supreme Court to rule on controversial green belt quarry plan

Words: Huw Morris
Green belt review called for / iStock-638005198

The Supreme Court is to hear an appeal in a long-running dispute over the visual impacts of a planned quarry extension in the green belt.

The hearing will focus on North Yorkshire County Council’s granting of planning permission to Darrington Quarries to extend the Jackdaw Crag Quarry, which is in green belt land near Tadcaster.

The High Court rejected a challenge by brewery Samuel Smith, a major local landowner, in March 2017. This was overturned by the Court of Appeal a year later in a case that centred on preserving “openness” of the green belt.

The Court of Appeal ruled that a senior officer had misunderstood national planning policies on the preservation of the green belt. Lord Justice Lindblom said the officer had mistakenly concluded that the openness of the green belt would not be harmed because the proposal did not involve the construction of new buildings.

“When the development under consideration is within one of the five categories in paragraph 90 [of the National Planning Policy Framework] and is likely to have visual effects within the green belt, the policy implicitly requires the decision-maker to consider how those visual effects bear on the question of whether the development would preserve the openness of the green belt,” Lindblom ruled.

The officer had not considered as to whether very special circumstances existed to justify inappropriate development in the green belt, he added.

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