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Council’s delight at Court of Appeal decision on Daw Mill

Published on Monday, 24th September 2018

Daw Mill
Daw Mill Colliery

North Warwickshire Borough Council (NWBC) has welcomed the Court of Appeal’s decision to refuse the owners of Daw Mill’s request to challenge the refusal of planning permission. NWBC refused permission for a huge industrial park on the site of the former Daw Mill colliery, arguing that it was inappropriate in the Green Belt and the site should be restored as previously been agreed.

That decision was challenged by the current owners, Harworth Estates, who appealed to a Government Inspector. After an Inquiry lasting 11 days, the Inspector robustly recommended that the appeal be refused, a decision accepted by the Secretary of State for Housing, Local Government and Communities. Over Whitacre Parish Council, The Leys and Whitacre Residents Action Group (LAWRAG) and local residents played important roles in the Inquiry, as did Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. LAWRAG’s evidence about the history of the mine was particularly significant.

Harworth Estates however has challenged the Inspector’s decision in the High Court, arguing that the restoration plan is invalid. NWBC, the LAWRAG and the Secretary of State defended the decision and the High Court held that Harworth’s challenge was “wholly without merit”. Despite this the owners appealed to the Court of Appeal but the decision to refuse was upheld in a decision released this week.

Councillor Mark Simpson, Chairman of the Council’s Planning and Development Board, said; “The Borough Council fought a unified battle against this application. The Council, together with local residents and the Wildlife Trust, worked very hard in the Inquiry to put the case for it to be refused and for the land to be restored. The site is in the Green Belt and we attach great importance to that. This is now the end of this particular chapter for the site and we urge the owners to now honour their obligation to restore the site”.

Councillor Ray Sweet, Opposition Spokesman on planning issues, added, “We fully welcome this decision and have continuously supported the efforts of North Warwickshire Borough Council and partners to refuse this application. We look forward to the land now being restored”.