North Yorkshire County Council defends planning process following Pontefract criticism over quarry consultation

A county council has defended its planning process, amid criticism people in Pontefract were not told about a proposed quarry expansion.

By David Spereall
Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 10:12 am

The quarry lies within North Yorkshire, but effectively borders the Wakefield district and the neighbouring nature reserve is used by families and walkers living around the Pontefract area.

Councils usually inform people and public bodies based close to the other side of a neighbouring boundary about planning applications that may affect them.

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Went Edge Quarry, near Kirk Smeaton, will be allowed to expand following a decision by North Yorkshire County Council on Tuesday.

But in their 2019 objection to the quarry extension ahead of Tuesday's meeting, Darrington Parish Council "expressed concern that they were not informed of the proposal previously".

The council's chair, Coun Michael Britton added: "Having spoken to (Wakefield district) councillors they and we were surprised about not being consulted as we believed this was a statutory requirement."

In a statement following Tuesday's verdict, North Yorkshire County Council insisted all due process was followed.

A report on the planning application said the local authority contacted 34 of the nearest addresses to the site, though these were all within the North Yorkshire boundary.

Objectors have reacted furiously to the decision.

Among the groups they did consult was the Wakefield District Badger Group.

Matt O'Neill from the county council's planning department, said: "This planning application, like all applications, was published in line with our policy and procedures.

"This included engaging with a range of statutory consultees.

"Initial notices advertising the application were published in March 2019 and the occupants of properties considered most likely to be affected by the proposals were notified by letter in the same month.

"Details of all representations made in relation to the application were presented to the planning committee for members’ consideration."

Local Democracy Reporting Service