Supreme Court to hear dispute over visual effects of quarry extension in Green Belt

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by North Yorkshire County Council in a dispute over the visual effects of a proposed quarry extension in the Green Belt.

Local Government Lawyer writes:

News of the decision came in the Supreme Court’s latest list of determinations of permission applications, which was published this week. Permission was granted in the case of R (on the application of Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) and another) (Respondents) v North Yorkshire County Council (Appellant) UKSC 2018/0077 last November by a panel comprising Lady Hale, Lord Carnwath and Lady Arden. The case centres on the grant of planning permission by the county council for a quarry extension.

In the High Court in March 2017 Mr Justice Hickinbottom (as he then was) rejected a challenge brought by the brewery company Samuel Smith.  In March 2018 the Court of Appeal allowed Samuel Smith’s appeal in R (Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) and Oxton Farm) v North Yorkshire County Council and Darrington Quarries Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 489.

Lord Justice Lindblom said that: ‘… 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’.

‘Where that planning judgment is not exercised by the decision-maker, effect will not be given to the policy. This will amount to a misunderstanding of the policy, and thus its misapplication, which is a failure to have regard to a material consideration, and an error of law.’

That such an error was committed in this case was clear, the Court of Appeal judge found.

See also: Mineral extraction in the Green Belt – Peter Village QC and Ned Helme of 39 Essex Chambers’ analysis of the Court of Appeal ruling.

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