Abandonment of planning permission

In a decision of particular relevance to mineral planning authorities and operators, the general concept of abandonment of planning permissions has been rejected by the Court of Appeal. Pioneer Aggregates (UK) Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment and Others (The Times, 16 June) appears to be the first reported case where the point was directly in issue, and the outcome implies that planning authorities must in most circumstances rely on statutory machinery to ensure that apparently long disued planning permissions are not revived at a later date.

The case concerned a limestone quarry site in the Peak District National Park. Planning permission for mineral working had been gratned in 1950 to Hartshead Quarries Ltd, but in 1966 the company informed the local planning authority that they would cease quarrying, and the authority agreed that planning conditions concerning waste heaps had been adequately carried out.

During the next 11 years, planning applications for various types of d

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