The Dane End Lagoon and the SLADE Appeal
As experts in planning law, Salvatore Amico and his team work on a variety of cases for a wide range of clients. Residents of the tiny village of Dane End are particularly grateful for the skilful way that Salvatore fought their case and prevented a huge agricultural lagoon being built on their doorstep.
The initial application by Indegro Ltd was for a slurry lagoon that would have contained up to 10,000 cubic metres of biofertiliser made from silage, silage effluent and livestock excreta. The local residents felt passionately that this development shouldn’t be allowed to proceed, fearing that it would be unsightly, polluting, and give rise to a considerable increase in HGV traffic on local roads.
The application was recommended for approval by East Herts District Council’s planning officers despite only four of the more than 1,000 responses received by the Council being in favour of the application. However, local councillors agreed unanimously to turn down the proposal when the application was considered before the Development Control Committee.
Despite unprecedented public concern, 2,000 objections, three petitions and the unanimous vote by the local planning committee to refuse permission, Indegro Ltd lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.
The appeal process
The local community formed a pressure group called Stop Lagoon at Dane End, or SLADE for short and hired Salvatore and his team to represent them.
Planning applications of this type often create a strong emotional response amongst local residents, as was the case in this instance. However, the Planning Inspectorate’s remit is solely to take account of the planning law aspects of the case, and not the level of local discontent with any proposed development. This means that to get an appeal dismissed, a strong case must be assembled that relies exclusively on admissible planning points.
Salvatore represented SLADE at the hearing and did the advocacy. He highlighted the planning issues at the heart of the proposal, which in this case were public safety and traffic management. The traffic proposals put forward by the applicant would have led to conflict with other road users, and would have had a major impact on the rural nature of the road, giving rise to major safety and environmental issues. On this basis, the appeal was dismissed.