The third defendant, UK Coal Mining Ltd, was the owner of a defunct industrial site in the area of the second defendant local planning authority. In 2005, it made a planning application for the retention and reuse of certain buildings on that site, in particular four structures, namely an amenity block, a workshop, stores, and a covered stockyard; landscaping; infrastructure; and rail sidings. The application was subsequently called in by the first Secretary of State, under s 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, specifically on the ground that it might ‘conflict with national policies on important matters’. The claimant contended that the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission was flawed on three grounds. First, that she had completely ignored, or alternatively, that she had failed to consider properly, the claimant’s evidence that it would not be financially viable to convert the structures in question; secondly, that there was no evidence of any demand for the use of the buildings, notwithstanding the fact that it had been accepted that their availability was widely known by property consultants in the area; and thirdly, that Condition 7 was manifestly deficient, in that it had failed to comply with the Secretary of State’s own policy on the imposition of conditions, and to have addressed the claimant’s legitimate planning concerns.
Held: Application dismissed. The Inspector’s report and the Secretary of State’s decision were unimpeachable.