The latest Minutes

CL162. Appleton & Spaunton Common Protection Association

Date of Meeting: 13th April 7:15pm, Appleton-le-Moors Village Hall


Jonathan Allison (Chair), Andie Cattle, Janet Richardson, Derek Bedford, Alison Elsome
, Dave Rawlings, Madge Allison, Richard Hardisty, Janet Isherwood, Sylvia Bernard, Meg Abdy, Andrew Price, Paul Elsome, John Lamey, Jim Welburn, Jim Hall, Maggy Tebb, Janet Hayton, Roy Milestone, Chris Ingleby, Ann Procopé, Diana Feaster, Peter Clisby, Catherine Gledhill, Judith McDonald

Mr George Winn Darley was also present at the meeting from 7:45pm but was kindly asked to leave by the Chair as he is not a member of the Association or a resident in the parishes of Appleton &
Spaunton (as per the Association Constitution). Mr Winn Darley extended his
invitation to the members to join him at his own meeting on Tuesday 18th April
before leaving at 8pm


Geoff Sherwin, Maureen Lamey

1.     The Chair Jonathan Allison opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees

2.     The Chair then gave a brief summary of the agenda and added an additional agenda item - The Proposal by the Community Woodland Group

3.     The minutes of the meeting on 19th October 2016 were adopted as correct.

4.     Court Leet & Graziers Position on Land Swap - Jim Welburn, as Chairman
of the Court Leet, reported that from the grazier's point of view the proposed
land swap was the best deal he thought could be negotiated with the landowner.
The proposed land swap maps were screen projected by Jim Hall using the Village
Hall projector, and were extracted from the Estate Web site for Spaunton Common
Proposals. The proposal is to swap the area at the southern end of the common with
access to the A170 which the Estate wishes to develop, for some 8 acres of land
to the north and to the west of the Spaunton Bridleway. There would be a gain
for 515 square metres: the new land would be useable as grazing as opposed to
the existing common area on which the landscape scheme has not been completed.

Mr Welburn agreed to do a site visit for members of the Association, if requested, later in the season.

5.     Removal of Aggregate Heaps and the effect on the landscape scheme - Janet Hayton reported that
Cemex had confirmed that they were looking for somewhere to move the aggregate
but didn't want to move it further than 25miles. Cemex are also still selling
the aggregate. She raised the following questions:-      

Who gave Cemex permission not to move the aggregate? 

Why did Cemex not want to move the aggregate more than 25 miles from the quarry?

Why the delays from Cemex on moving the aggregate?

The aggregate heaps have prevented restoration of the quarry. So the question has to
be asked if these aggregate heaps benefit only the Estate.

6.     Correspondence with the National Park concerning completion of the landscape scheme - The Chair made the point that the North Yorkshire Moors National Park has 2 hats -

                        1. As Planning Authority responsible for making planning decisions in the normal way in accordance with their policies and the purposes for which National Parks were created.

                        2. As protector and guardian of Common Land, since common land is an important part of the heritage of the National Park,and contributes to the social as well as physical character of local communities and their traditions. However development on common land in order to protect it fully requires the consent of the Secretary of State: this fall back position regarding development on
common land does not abnegate the responsibilities of the National Park when it comes tocommon

The Chair referred to correspondence that had taken place recently with the National Park over their  decision to allow the estate to make a presentation to their members concerning a major
development on the common prior to a planning application where the development proposal was in conflict with National   Park policy as well as National Policy.

In answer to a question from Richard Hardisty, the Chair confirmed that all the
correspondence was available to members to read.

A discussion followed on the failure of the National Park to ensure that the
conditions on the Planning consent were executed in full, or to take
enforcement proceedings to achieve the completion of the agreed landscape
scheme for Spaunton Quarry. The latter was now an urgent matter according to
the Chair and he quoted part of a letter from Mark Hill  (Planning Officer, National Parks) to Ms Janet
Hayton dated 1st March

"Planning legislation allows breaches of planning beyond ten years to be immune from   enforcement
action so it seems inevitable that enforcement action will have to commence shortly well before the 13th December deadline”.

Action: The Chair to write to Mr Wilson the Chief Executive of the National Park requesting urgent answers to the following questions:-

Why did the National Parks give approval to Mr Winn Darley on 15th June 2009 for 5 log cabins to be built on Common Land without apparently consulting Common rights Holders?

Why have the North Yorkshire Moors National Park not enforced the restoration which had to be completed by the 14th December 2007?

When is the National Park going to start enforcement proceedings in order to safeguard their planning condition and ability to obtain the approved landscape scheme, or an amended landscape scheme?


7.     Mr Winn Darley's latest proposals tabled in National Park Committee on 16th March - Report
by Janet Hayton and Dave Rawlings who both attended the meeting at the National
Parks offices in Helmsley when Chris Carr (architect) gave a presentation on behalf
of Mr Winn Darley.

Janet and Davereported that the Park Officers stated that as the proposal did not fit their
policy they would no recommend approval of the proposals. However the policy
can be changed by the members, and then if the land swap was approved by the
Secretary of State, the decision on any planning application would fall to the
National Park alone. Officers had pointed out that the proposal did have
several benefits: it would provide tourist accommodation, employment for local
people, and potentially an attractive built environment.

Mr Winn Darley announced in the meeting that he would be taking the issue of the Land
Swap to the Secretary of State.

Janet also reported that Mr Winn Darley had stated in his plans that the quarry site was a "Brownfield site" but it is in fact classified as "Mineral Extraction".

8.     Community Project - Dave Rawlings outlined a community project to make bio-char from the community woodland. This proposal would be to set up a small business processing and
bagging charcoal using existing sheds in the quarry. The proposal has been put
forward to Mr Winn Darley who is supportive and enthusiastic about the project.

9.     Discussion on
Proposals & Views of the Association

In a response to a question from Paul Elsome as to what the Association might envisage
as appropriate development of the area of land where the landscape scheme has not yet been implemented, The Chair pointed out that this had not been the subject of discussion previously; however perhaps now that the Estate's intentions were clear, it was time to give expression to this. His own views went along the following lines and are seen at this stage as a personal view:

Revision and implementation of the Nym landscape scheme for the missing part of that scheme,
guaranteed by an enforcement notice affecting the Estate and Cemex.

Retention of the whole of the southern part of the site as common land as linking historically
to the south side of the A170, and preserving the ancient boundaries with the
beck and parish.

Rendering this area of the common more actively useable by the public for informal recreation
and as a natural resource.

Retain and consolidate the connectivity of the landscape for the purposes of a wider
conservation objective with the neighbouring landscape resources: this takes advantage
of the great opportunities in this part of the National Park.

To aim for an
extension of the grazing or grazeable area.

Longer term to look to the return of areas lost to the common in the last war which have been
in the quarry usage: this area is basically not now available as grazing due to
the gradient and tree planting.

To ensure that any uses approved of a commercial nature are compatible with the objectives for
common land set out in the 2006 Act, and the proceeds accrue to be spent on the
welfare of the common and its attendant communities.

In order to achieve the desired general direction, the Chair envisages that Revision, Implementation and Completion of the restoration of the quarry needs to happen to preserve this
Ancient Boundary (which is a relic from the Medieval world). This would also
retain the quarry as a vital and valuable site for Nature Conservation. The
Southern part of the quarry should also be made more useable for open access
for walkers, horses, mountain bikes.

10.   Concluding Discussion

Discussion then centred around the Estate's ambitious development proposals as set out in
the Gazette & Herald, which was described as a concept and not a planning

The Chair called for a vote on whether to accept the land swap of leave the boundaries of
the common as they are. Richard Hardisty and Janet Hayton proposed and seconded
that the boundaries should stay as they are, which was carried by 19 votes to
one on a show of hands.

It was then agreed that members would attend the meeting hosted by the Estate on the
18th March, to be addressed by the architect Mr Chris Carr, when questions
could be put to Mr Winn Darley: this was not the case at the National Park
Meeting where members of the public were not permitted to ask questions.

The Estate scheme would be on the agenda, for discussion at the next meeting of the
Association, with the benefit of the experience of Mr Carr and Mr Winn Darley's
exposition of the development proposals.


Meeting closed at 8:25pm

Next meeting to be notified by the Committee

Alison Elsome - 28th April 2017