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Stones Forum >> Ladybridge planning permission quashed
||Ladybridge planning permission quashed
| Posted 06-03-2008 at 11:26  |
From todays Northern Echo
PLANS for a controversial quarry extension near an ancient monument site have been thrown into disarray following a legal challenge.
Tarmac Northern won planning permission in January last year from North Yorkshire County Council to extract 1.1 million tonnes of sand and gravel over eight years from land at Ladybridge Farm, between Bedale and Ripon, half a mile from the nearest of three Bronze Age earthwork henges on Thornborough Moor.
Tarmac said the unanimous decision would ensure the future of 15 full-time quarry workers and 40 hauliers at the neighbouring Nosterfield quarry, where reserves are almost exhausted.
The henges, described as the Stonehenge of the North, have legal protection as a scheduled ancient monument, but worried campaigners who organised a 10,000-name petition said that the formal decision notice was not issued until October following completion of a detailed agreement with Tarmac covering conditions attached to the permission. their surroundings, including Ladybridge, must be protected from the effects of further quarrying.
A spokeswoman for pressure group Friends of Thornborough said it challenged the decision in the name of one of its members. However, council lawyers have now confirmed it should be quashed following a legal challenge on eight grounds concerning the handling of the planning application. The issue is expected to be reconsidered by the committee at Masham Town Hall, on April 22. She said: "A number of faults were identified in the way the county council made their decision. They agree they have got it wrong on three counts and have agreed to the quashing of the decision through the judicial review procedure. "There are still five grounds outstanding which remain to be challenged and, on that score, they should be extremely careful when they take their decision at the meeting due to take place on April 22."
Gordon Gresty, the council's director of business and environmental services, said: "This development has had a contentious history and the legal challenge needs to be seen against the background of the wide range of issues the committee took into account when it made its decision.
"Those issues were properly and comprehensively considered."However, in order to avoid further legal proceedings, we have agreed to the quashing of the present planning approval and it would be our intention to take the issue back to the committee in the future."
Some preliminary work has been done at Ladybridge, but mineral extraction has not started.
A Tarmac spokesman said: "We understand that following legal submissions, the planning consent is no longer in effect."We hope that a corrected report will be placed before the committee at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile, we have stopped work at the Ladybridge site."
from Surrey, UK
| Posted 06-03-2008 at 13:25  |
Thanks for this Venutius.
The long history of this quarry proposal is on our page here:
| Posted 07-03-2008 at 23:05  |
I'm getting increasingly excited about this, because I think there is now a chink in the armour.
Tarmac persuaded EH, NYCC and others that no further nationally important archaeology would be found on the revised quarry site. They agreed with Tarmac that during the Neolithic that area would be under water. As a result, permission was granted.
Tarmac have however now proven that assumption to be false. If you check out the site diary for Ladybridge (if you find the right one) you will see that at the end of last year Tarmac started the pre-quarrying archaeology and started discovering Neolithic settlement pits. Tarmac's archaeologists do not appear to be too impressed with our neolithic remains, but none the less, it was the presence of those pits that got the original application refused and caused Tarmac to provide the revised plan. The work has now stopped, hopefully too late for this not to be regarded as a material change to the circumstances of the site.
Now that the last decision has been quashed, clearly pointing out these facts in a loud enough voice, with the support of names, should mean the council should fall back to the original decision since it can now be shown that the spread of Neolithic remains spreads over more of the site than previously thought.
Anyway, I believe that we need to get as many people as possible pointing out to NYCC that the discovery of the Neolithic archaeology (1) constitutes a material change to the application, and (2) that they consider this archaeology of national significance and for that reason the application should be rejected when it comes before the planning committee on April 22nd.
I'm pulling together more specific details, but my advice is to get a letter of objection sent to NYCC as soon as possible - time is running fast right now and the council will want all representations in two weeks before the meeting.
Furthermore, I think it would be very useful for questions to be asked of English Heritage about the Neolithic remains that were recently found. If I know the system, it's likely they do not know about the archaeology because no-one has told them yet. In addition, experience tends to suggest that EH only react when there's danger of public embarrasment, so the more people letting them know that they know is all the better.
The address for objections is:
Planning & Countryside Unit,
Northallerton DL7 8AH
The letter must reference the application number, which is the same as last time - C2/29/500/53
Some additional incoming information: I'm informed that there have been chages to planning rules at a European level that mean heritage landscapes get better protection. I'm still trying to pull that lot together.
By the way, if as I suggest, these new pits further extend the Ladybridge Temporary camp, then it's definately a contender for the largest in Britain.
from Surrey, UK
| Posted 08-03-2008 at 09:05  |
Good stuff. I've copied your new post to our main article page and put that back on the front page so it will go out in our next e-mail newsletter.
from Surrey, UK
| Posted 11-03-2008 at 22:12  |
Urgent action called over Thornborough
Heritage campaign group TimeWatch have called for urgent action over
Following the recent news that planning permission to quarry Ladybridge Farm
has been overturned following a legal challenge by campaign group Friends of
TimeWatch believe that recent archaeological discoveries within the
application area mean it would be impossible for the council to grant the
planning application when it is reviewed at a council meeting in Masham on
April 22nd, so long as significant numbers of the public show they value the
archaeology and wish to see it protected.
“The original application was thrown out because it threatened nationally
important archaeology. The second application was only granted because the
planning committee believed the revised site plan avoided any of the
archaeology” Said TimeWatch Chairman George Chaplin. “But since the
application was granted, Tarmac have found Neolithic archaeology within the
site, meaning that the original ruling must stand, but only if the public
show they value their heritage”.
“A great many of us were shocked that the second application was passed, the
lack of significant objections was one factor, we need to make sure that
everyone who objected to the first application knows they can object on
exactly the same grounds again”.
TimeWatch are advising all concerned to write to NYCC planning department to
express their concern before the end of March: The Planning officer,
Ladybridge Application, Environmental Services, Planning & Countryside Unit,
County Hall, Northallerton DL7 8AH. Quoting Application number C2/29/500/53
TimeWatch – email@example.com
Thornborough Henges is the location of some of Britain’s largest prehistoric
structures, the site, which is comparable to the Stonehenge complex contains
numerous henges, ritual causeways, burial and settlement sites from the far
reaches of history. The site has been called the most important between
Stonehenge and The Orkney’s by English Heritage.
The complex covers several square miles and was Yorkshires largest ritual
location in the Neolithic period. Unfortunately for a number of years the
gravel bed that Thornborough sits upon has been subject to quarrying and
significant quarrying within the monument complex continues to this day;
although the major monuments are scheduled, the landscape archaeology
surrounding them are not.
In 2002 Tarmac, the quarry company in question announced plans to quarry
Ladybridge Farm and Thornborough Moor, both locations are known to contain
nationally important archaeology from the Neolithic period.
Following that announcement, several archaeological organisations voiced
concerns and ultimately a number of campaign groups became involved in the
cause of saving as much of the Thornborough Henges monument complex as
possible. These campaign groups include Friends of Thornborough, TimeWatch
and Heritage Action. In addition, many notable archaeologists, including
Richard Bradley, Richard Prior and Mark Horton have spoken out against the
In the run up to the planning application being determined, a petition
numbering some 10,000 signatures, and 1,500 letters of objection were
received by North Yorkshire County Council.
As a result of the significant lobbying and support, that initial planning
application to quarry Ladybridge Farm was refused due to the potential
damage to nationally important archaeology located within the application
The issue hit national headlines and most pundits agreed that the correct
decision had been arrived at. After all a very significant ancient site of
national importance would have been seriously damaged by the quarry diggers;
recording of archaeology prior to destruction is a poor alternative to
complete preservation and not normally an option for such important remains.
But this good news was short, a modified application was quickly seen by the
council before many campaigners knew it had been presented. The seeming lack
of public outcry to the revised application making it easy for the council
planners to believe that the cause for objection no longer existed.
The primary reason the new application was granted, was because Tarmac
claimed that it avoided any areas that contained nationally important
archaeology. A claim vehemently denied my heritage campaigners, but
seemingly accepted by English Heritage and Council Archaeologists.
However, Tarmac’s road to quarrying Ladybridge still has along way to run.
Behind the scenes, lobby group Friends of Thornborough put together a legal
challenge to the application that has caused the council to revoke the
planning permission previously granted in order to avoid a judicial review
of the judgement.
North Yorkshire County Council have decided to re-judge the planning
application on April 22nd at a special public meeting at Masham Town Hall.
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