March 18th, 2016
White Moss Quarry
A local community group from Alsager, Cheshire approached ELF after outline planning permission to build 350 houses was granted on the White Moss site which is currently a working quarry.
The development was authorised without requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This was despite the original objective of the restoration plan to develop the lake and leisure spaces to benefit the community and to restore the local ecology such as habitats for nightjars and willow tits after the site had been in use as a quarry for twenty years.
Unfortunately ELF was unable to help the group to challenge the granted planning permission but there is a pending application to build another 400 houses on the second half of the site.
With the first half of the site, the permission had a planning condition attached requiring a restoration plan for that part of the site only.
The community has long expected the whole of the site to be restored – Does this create a legitimate expectation that is now being overridden? It seems to ELF that there is some work to be done on the issue of restoration plans – put in place to compensate communities for years of environmental blight, that are routinely being ignored.
ELF has approached Justin Neil from Aaron & Partners LLP to clarify this point and have had some assistance from barrister John Hunter.