All posts by John Gregory

Planning Inquiry date announced

The date for the Planning Inquiry into the Hilltop Opencast Scheme has been announced by HM Planning Inspectorate.

The Public Inquiry will commence on Tuesday 28 November 2017 .

It is scheduled to take 10 days (not including weekends and not normally Mondays) so this means the last day of the inquiry will probably be Wednesday 13 December.

The venue has not yet been announced but we understand it will be local – probably Chesterfield.

Details of the Inquiry can be found here on HM Planning Inspectorate’s website.

DCC supports refusal of planning permission

At today’s Regulatory Planning Committee members voted unanimously to accept the Planning Officers report and it’s recommendation to refuse Planning permission.

There was also a vote on the Head of Plannings recommendation for a full public enquiry for the appeal to be heard by HM Planning Inspectorate. This was also passed unanimously.

It was noted that, although Provectus attended the meeting, they chose not to speak in support of their application.

We must now wait for HM Planning Inspectorate to announce the date and format of the Planning appeal.

We’ll let you know as soon as we find out anything.

Planning Department Report Published

The Report of the Strategic Director – Economy, Transport and Communities was published on the Derbyshire County Council website this morning.

[Click here to read the full report]

We have had a quick read through it and make the following comments:

  • The report strongly recommends REFUSAL of planning permission
  • Most of the objections raised by Hilltop Action Group and local residents are upheld by the Strategic Director’s report.
  • The report will be presented to the Regulatory Planning Committee at 10am on Friday 17 March 2017 in the Council Chamber, County Hall, Matlock.
  • The following extracts from the report explain what will now happen:

Purpose of Report (Page 2)

To enable the Committee, on behalf of the County Council as Mineral Planning Authority (MPA), to express a view concerning the application, which may be referred to in submissions for the appeal application which the applicant has made under Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against non-determination of the application.

Appeal Submission (Page 8)

In December 2016, the applicant, on the basis that the application had not been determined within the time allowed for under regulations, made an appeal submission to the Planning Inspectorate with a statement of case and supporting documents.

In a subsequent letter on behalf of the Council to the Inspectorate, the Inspectorate was asked to consider whether any appeal should proceed, since officers believed that, as a consequence of its October 2016 request for further information and Regulation 22, the Council at the time of the submission was unable to reach a determination of the application. However, a message of 3 March 2017 from the Inspectorate has indicated that the applicant does have a right to appeal at this time.

Consequently the the committee will not be making a final decision at this meeting. This will be determined by HM Planning Inspectorate at some future date.

Reality Check

It appears that Provectus might be loosing their grip on reality. A number of assertions were made in the statement published on their website on Sunday 5 March 2017.

The reality is:

  1. The site meeting by members of the Planning Committee took place today. Representatives of Hilltop Action Group and local residents attended. Provectus and the landowners chose not to attend.
  2. The report and recommendations of the DCC Planning Officers will be published later this week.
  3. The report will be considered by the Planning Committee on 17 March 2017.
  4. There is nothing on H.M. Planning Inspectorate website to indicate that an appeal has been lodged and accepted by Provectus Remediation Ltd.

Once the Planning Officers’ report and recommendations have been published and we have had the chance to digest we will publish a summary here.

What is going on?

Whatever we thought was happening probably isn’t!

At 8pm today Steve Langford, of Provectus Remediation Ltd, posted a comment on our ‘Have your say‘ page stating that they had placed a new statement on their website (the first since February 2016!).

It states that the Hilltop Planning application is now going to be dealt with by H.M. Planning Inspectorate rather than Derbyshire County Council.

You can read the Provectus statement here –  spend a few minutes reading it and you’ll be just as clear as us about what is happening!

As this has appeared on Sunday evening there is not much we can do to find out what is going on. Is tomorrows site meeting still going to happen?

So far the Provectus appeal has not appeared on the Planning Inspectorate website so we have no idea what format the hearing will take or the time scale.

As soon as we find out more we’ll let you know.