Temporary respite for Thornborough Henges as planning permission is
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
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
"Those issues were properly and comprehensively considered.""Those i
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."