Land & Mineral News

Welcome to our News and Views page. On this page we will focus on topical issues and hope that you will find the information relevant and helpful. The views are opinions of the authors only and should not be relied upon in any way in specific cases without taking further advice.

Agricultural Reservoir – Podimore

LMM have gained planning permission for the construction of an agricultural reservoir on land near Podimore, Somerset. The site consisted of poor-quality agricultural land whilst the surrounding land has no reliable water supply. The reservoir will secure water availability for irrigation in the future whilst reducing local flood risk and providing significant ecological benefits through the provision of significant native planting.

March 2024 – © Land & Mineral Management

Barnhill Quarry – Extension

LMM has secured planning permission for an extension to Barnhill Quarry in the Forest of Dean, securing an additional 100,000t of pennant sandstone reserves for high quality cladding, walling paving and masonry works. Planning permission also included the ability to use blasting to remove top rock. Uncommon in building stone quarries – the application demonstrated that the use of small scale blasting could be undertaken without any impacts on local receptors whilst significantly reducing time and fuel requirements for the removal of overburden.

October 2023 – © Land & Mineral Management

Day Group – Wellingborough IBA Recycling Permit

LMM were please to be part of the team who worked to secure an Environmental Permit for a new facility in Wellingborough. The plant will be operational in early 2024 and will process around 200,000 tonnes per year of incinerator bottom ash (IBA)into a recycled product, Incinerator Bottom Ash Aggregate (IBAA).  The IBA will be from Encyclis’ Rookery South and Newhurst energy recovery facilities (ERF). The two facilities are designed to divert over 900,000 tonnes of non-recycled commercial and domestic waste away from landfill each year by using it as fuel to generate sustainable baseload electricity for the National Grid.

Autumn 2023 – © Land & Mineral Management

Airfield – Major New Sand and Gravel Site Approved

LMM co-ordinated an extensive planning application submission including an Environmental Statement for Hills Quarry Products for a new quarry from a 236ha site containing reserves of 6.5 million tonnes of sand and gravel with restoration proposals involving inert waste backfill of 4.8 million tonnes. The application was steered through the planning process, including sensitive discussions with the Defense Infrastructure Organisation due to the site’s proximity to RAF Fairford, and planning permission was granted by Gloucestershire County Council in September 2023. The site, to be known as Airfield Quarry is in the Cotswolds Water Park on the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire border near Cirencester and will be a significant source of much needed reserves with existing operations in the Water Park running down. The site will include an aggregate processing plant, a concrete plant and a bagging operation with extraction planned to take over approximately 13 years.

September 2023 – © Land & Mineral Management

Colne Valley Motorway Service Area – Prior Extraction of Mineral  

LMM has been involved in an interesting proposal to ensure an identified mineral reserve was not sterilised by development associated with Welcome Break’s proposals for a motorway service area on the M25 in Buckinghamshire. LMM provided advice on including a Mineral Resource Assessment and submitting a standalone mineral planning application for extraction alongside the outline application for the motorway service area. Planning permission was granted for both the mineral extraction and motorway service area by Buckinghamshire Council in September 2023. In effect the mineral extraction operation will be the first stage of the motorway service area construction with transport arrangements which will see the mineral exported via slip roads directly onto the M25

September 2023 – © Land & Mineral Management

Northacre – Renewable Energy from Waste

LMM has been involved with the Northacre Renewable Energy facility since around 2012.

LMM has been involved in securing a number of consents over the years at Northacre and most recently was part of a team at the planning appeal in late 2022 which was considering proposals to switch the technology from gasification to moving grate technology handling up to 243,000 tonne per year of residual waste. Following a two week public inquiry, the Appeal was allowed with the Decision received in February 2023.

February 2023 – © Land & Mineral Management

LMM have secured Breedon Southern Ltd planning permission for a 2.5 million tonnes extension to Stowe Hill quarry.

There were some difficult issues relating to the potential impact on a nearby SSSI, where there are nationally important limestone tuffa formations, and there was substantial local opposition to the application with 271 letters of objection.

LMM and Breedon worked with Gloucestershire County Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency undertaking considerable technical investigations to ensure impact on the SSSI would be avoided with unique proposals to restore the limestone epikarst.

The permission is subject to extensive conditions and the signing of a S106 legal agreement to ensure the site operates to the highest environmental standards, secure restoration and crucially ensure there will be no harm to the SSSI.

20th August 2020 – © Land & Mineral Management

Appeal Win – ‘Déjà vu’ on traffic movements in Cotswolds AONB

A few years back LMM successfully appealed a traffic restriction condition on a mineral permission, resulting in the deletion of the condition, at Cotswold Hill Quarry in the Cotswolds AONB.  Subsequently in granting permission for restoration works using imported infill materials the council imposed on a new restoration permission an almost identical condition severely restricting traffic movements.  Following refusal of a S73 application to remove this condition the operator had no alternative but to appeal.  The inspector allowed the appeal noting no evidence had been presented regarding the impact on the AONB to justify the restriction. He concluded that the proposal would not adversely affect the living conditions of residents and also noted there was no condition limiting traffic movements for mineral extraction following the previous appeal.  Déjà vu for LMM and the operator with a second successful appeal win on traffic movements at the same site.

15th January 2020 – © Land & Mineral Management

Castle Hill Quarry Non-determination Appeal

Despite pre-application discussions and detailed consultation from mid-2015 a January 2017 planning application for a small quarry extension failed to be determined and became a victim of the collapse of Somerset’s planning department. The only, but very unusual, route available to get planning permission was to appeal for non-determination. Devon County Council was seconded to act for Somerset. Their officers took a very pragmatic and helpful approach and the appeal was successful.

9th January 2020 – © Land & Mineral Management

Dix Pit, Oxfordshire Enforcement Appeal

Although we try to work with councils to avert formal enforcement action, unfortunately sometimes enforcement situations still arise. This was the position Sheehan’s found themselves back in December 2018. Oxfordshire County Council took a rigid enforcement approach with regards to a small discrepancy relating to the final landfill restoration contours and landscaping. After a long wait, the enforcement notice was quashed in October 2019 and in November 2019, the Council was ordered to pay Sheehan’s full costs for the appeal. An excellent result for Sheehan’s and LMM.

1st December 2019 – © Land & Mineral Management

Utilities Compound and Workshop Building Permission Secured

Another example of LMM’s diverse work range saw LMM obtaining full planning permission for a utilities compound and a new workshop building for Complete Utilities Limited in Gloucestershire this spring.  LMM have worked with Complete Utilities for many years securing the original permission for a recycling operation at the site over ten years ago.  The site now covers over 2 hectares and includes a stunning barn conversion providing office headquarters for the company.   The company has grown considerably over recent years and its Gloucester site is the main operational base for over 200 staff.  Securing a fit for purpose operating base with additional land and an appropriately size workshop building was critical to the company who had been looking for alternative sites for some years without success.  The main issue for expansion at their existing site related to its location in open countryside however it is well located on the edge of Gloucester on the A417, largely hidden from views and not affected by any other policy constraints.   As an existing established business Tewkesbury Borough Council supported the development and granted permission.

12th August 2019 – © Land & Mineral Management