Paradise Farm Brickearth Extraction – Planning Success

Wardell Armstrong was commissioned by Wienerberger Ltd to prepare and manage the Planning Application and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the extraction of up to 900,000 tonnes of brickearth over a period of 19 years on land at Paradise Farm in Kent. The application was originally submitted in 2014, however it was subsequently withdrawn due to a number of technical issues. In 2016, our environmental planning team were instructed to prepare a new application, resolving issues within the 2014 application and undertaking more detailed technical assessments to ensure a robust and sound application for submission.

Our planning team project managed the submission of the Environmental Statement (ES) which included the following environmental assessments:

The technical teams at Wardell Armstrong provided specialist input into the EIA and worked closely together in order to fully appreciate the potential interactions between the various disciplines, as required by the EIA Regulations. We also designed the restoration scheme for the site, incorporating results of the various technical assessments where relevant. In addition, we designed the access road into the site, considering the site constraints (Trees, Ecology, Public Right of Way) throughout the design process. Undertaking all disciplines in-house enabled us to produce a robust and comprehensive ES to support the planning application.

During the determination of the application a number of queries were raised by the Council, statutory consultees and local residents. The site sits within a sensitive AQMA close to several residential dwellings and as such air quality, dust, noise and traffic were some of the key issues which required further consideration. Through successful and diligent proactive working with the Council and their technical advisors, our planners, EIA team and technical specialists successfully ironed out these issues as the application progressed to enable the planning officer, and subsequently the planning committee, to recommend the application for approval.

The scheme was approved at committee, and in order to continue our successful work on the project, the client subsequently commissioned us to formally discharge the planning conditions attached to the planning approval. In order to implement the permission prior to the expiry date, May 2020, it was imperative that the pre-commencement planning conditions were discharged to enable site works to commence. Wardell Armstrong has recently successfully discharged the pre-commencement planning conditions which has enabled the planning permission to now be implemented within the statutory timeframe.

The proposed scheme will secure the continued supply of brickearth to Wienerberger’s brick manufacturing facility in Sittingbourne, Kent and ensure the retention of up to 50 local jobs. The brickworks supplies local housebuilders with Kent’s traditional Yellow Stock Bricks which are used to maintain the character of the buildings in the area. The proposal will also contribute to Kent County Council’s requirement to provide a 25-year landbank supply of brickearth for the County, a requirement of National Planning Policy.

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