Quarry plans to go to appeal
By Sarah Wood | 30th January 2023
A Gloucestershire businessman is set to go to appeal, after plans for a new quarry in the county were rejected by the county council's planning committee.
Moreton Cullimore, MD of Cullimore Group of companies and managing partner of Cullimore Farms, had put four and half years' work into the application for the quarry on land owned and farmed by the company at Bow Farm in Twyning, on the Gloucestershire-Worcestershire border.
The plans had already been approved by Worcestershire County Council, and Gloucestershire County Council officers working on the case had recommended that the planning committee give it the go-ahead.
Speaking to Punchline-Gloucester.com editor, Mark Owen, on Punchline Talks last week, Moreton Cullimore said sand and gravel from the proposed quarry would have provided essential building materials for some of the county's biggest infrastructure products.
Moreton Cullimore said: "There's over two million tonnes of sand and gravel there of the highest quality material, which is perfect for every engineered building construction purpose you can think of. It would produce a very hardwearing, longstanding building product.
"We've got this Tewkesbury development plan, we've got this Cheltenham development plan and we've got the A417 'missing link', which are all long-term projects and need mineral on the doorstep.
"This quarry would have had mineral on the doorstep that would have lasted projects of seven or eight years, yet they said no."
During the lengthy meeting, the planning committee heard from a number of objectors about the environmental and health impact of the plans, as well as the impact on local businesses, including Church End Nurseries and Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel.
Mr Cullimore said the application was turned down on the basis of the climate crisis, despite the fact that isn't part of the planning framework. Yet turning it down means the county will be forced to continue to bring building material in from elsewhere.
Mr Cullimore continued: "Gloucestershire overwhelmingly imports mineral from other counties, most of it from north Wiltshire, which is an hour and 20 minutes by truck.
"Yet they have got mineral on the doorstep of the highest quality and they refused it based on climate. The reverse logic here is mind blowing."
A spokesperson for Gloucestershire County Council said the application was refused on the following grounds:
• Contrary to Gloucestershire County Council's declaration of climate emergency and the NPPF paragraph 152.
• Significant risk of harm to the local economy as a result of dust and noise generating activities arising within the application site.
Mr Cullimore said he has no option but to appeal the decision.
He said: "Lawyers actually advised them that it's highly likely that we would be successful in an appeal process, because all of the support from the experts.
"It's going to cost me two years and a lot more money and give my staff uncertainty for the next two years.
"But it's also going to cost the taxpayer a whole pile of money, because they decided to go on this climate crisis, which isn't even in the framework for making the decision in the first place."
Cullimore Group employs 100 staff and has a turnover of £15 million. Moreton Cullimore is also chair of the Road Haulage Association.
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