9 July 2020.  GCC planning committee vote to approve the application to enlarge Stowe Hill quarry.  The matter has been referred to the Secretary of State and we await his decision on whether he will call the application in for determination by an independent inspector, or allow GCC to issue the permission notice.   We have no time scale for the next stage.

VOTING at GCC meeting: FOR 7 -  Awford (Cons), Bird (Cons), Cordwell (LibDem), Hirst (Cons), Parsons (Cons), Tracey (Cons), Wheeler (LibDem) 

AGAINST 3 - Fisher (LibDem), Morgan (Lab), Robinson (Cons) 

ABSTAIN 1 - Brown (LibDem)


21 July 2020 

Text of a letter received from the Planning Casework Unit acknowledging the call-in request:

Dear Mr Crighton


Thank you for the series of email and letters, which you have sent between 3 and 20 July, requesting the Secretary of State to call in the above planning application for his determination.

Local planning authorities have the statutory responsibility for considering proposals for development. Authorities have to determine planning applications in the light of the local development plan for the area and any other material planning considerations. They must also take into account any representations received and give reasons for their decision. The general approach of the Secretary of State is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of authorities on planning matters.

A small proportion of applications that an authority proposes to allow has to be referred to the Secretary of State under the Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009 to see whether or not he wishes to call them in for his own decision. In addition, the Secretary of State considers planning applications where there are requests to call in, such as this case. Following the resolution of Gloucester County Council to grant planning permission for the proposed extension to Stowe Hill Quarry, the papers have recently been received from the local planning authority. The Secretary of State will give due consideration to your representations and those submitted by other parties, when deciding whether to call in the application. I understand that you have sent a copy of one of your Council’s letters, requesting call in, to Mark Harper MP. The Planning Minister will send a reply to Mr Harper, which will be conveyed to the Parish Council, but this might take a little while given the volume of correspondence that Ministers and MPs receive.

A significant number of local residents have submitted multiple letters/emails to the Planning Casework Unit asking the Secretary of State to call in the planning application. Unfortunately due to the volume of correspondence it will not be possible to send individual responses to most of these letters/emails, so would you pass the “word around this” your fellow objectors and please feel free to post my email on your Council's website (if you have one) so that they are aware of how the case is being handled.

I note that you and a number of fellow objectors have expressed concern about the manner in which the Council has discharged its responsibility as the local planning authority. The Secretary of State does not have a role in "policing" planning authorities and the manner in which they exercise their statutory responsibilities. If you have concerns about the manner in which the Council has processed and determined the planning application you should raise this issue through the authority's complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with the response the matter can then be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman

Please note that as you have made representation about a planning application, which will be before the Secretary of State, it may be necessary to make your email available to a third party should that party make a request for information on representations made to the Secretary of State on the applications. Any personal or identifying information will be removed before release.

I will write to you again to let you know the Secretary of State’s decision in due course.

Yours sincerely

Gerry Carpenter

Gerry Carpenter BSc (Hons) MRTPI

Senior Planning Manager

Team A – Planning Casework Unit

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government