Council win appeal after stopping Doncaster quarry being used as a motorbike and quad race track

A Doncaster man has lost an appeal after he allowed motorbikes and quads to ride around an abandoned quarry without permission.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 15 August, 2019, 15:54
Council photos showing motorbikes and a JCB at the quarry

Nadeem Shah was served an enforcement notice by Doncaster Council after planning officers said he had not submitted a change of use application from a countryside/disused quarry to a motocross and outdoor activity site near Blaxton.

Council bosses said meetings were arranged over social media and a JCB digger was used to alter the ground to form off-road race tracks which also resulted in ‘woodland areas being damaged’.

It was reported that over ‘100 riders’ were attending at a weekend, when the site was in full operation.

Officers also said there was evidence of development and formation of fishing ‘piers or pegs and noted residential caravans, hot food sales and HGV containers.

Mr Shah was given 28 days to remove all evidence of motorsport activity, caravans, HGV containers and to stop any further alteration of the land.

He lodged an appeal but the Government inspectorate ruled in the council’s favour who said the operational development ‘went well beyond’ that which would have been permitted by the council order.

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Scott Forbes, environmental protection manager within the planning department’s enforcement team, said: "This has been a protracted case resulting in a lengthy planning investigation.

“Historic evidence suggests that advertisement of events had been taking place on social media with bookings taken via social media.

“A JCB was used to form tracks and areas for off-road activities through the recorded sites of protected species -including great crested newts and reptiles and wooded landscape. This resulted is a large amount of the woodland areas being damaged.

“The great crested newt records are recent and suggest that there is a large population.

“As it is a criminal offence to kill or injure a newt or destroy its habitat, no earth movements, tree removal or construction activities should take place on the site until ecological surveys have informed the scope of necessary protection measures, and a license has been obtained from Natural England.

“There is also the potential that nightjar forage on the site. The impacts on these species need to be avoided so that the interests of Thorne and Hatfield Moors Special Protection Area are not compromised.”