An appeal over a proposal to site an asphalt production plant in an existing quarry in Yorkshire has been rejected by planning bosses, whose inspector said it would harm neighbouring racehorse training businesses and constitute a real economic threat to the local economy.
The plant was proposed in a quarry that lay close to an important centre for the training of racehorses, which had been associated with the industry for at least three centuries.
Evidence indicated that this and related activities contributed some £21 million to the local economy, involved about 200 skilled people employed by trainers at local yards and gave employment to a host of ancillary occupations and businesses.
Concern had also been expressed by racehorse trainers, veterinary surgeons and the British Horseracing Authority that particulate emissions from the asphalt plant could adversely affect the respiratory health of racehorses in the surrounding training stables and on the gallops.
However, Inspector David Cullingford felt that the levels of concentration would be so low that the emissions from the plant would be unlikely to affect the health of racehorses.
But he agreed that although the evidence did not demonstrate an unequivocal link between the likely emissions from the asphalt plant and the respiratory health of racehorses, the presence of the plant could well influence owners about where to stable their racehorses.
Cullingford said the plant would result in visible emissions from the quarry site close to the town and a roughly 30 per cent increase in heavy goods traffic, which would have a noticeable impact on the character of the area. He felt it was hard to see how the economic benefits of the scheme, or the limited additional employment likely to arise, would outweigh the adverse economic effects of the proposal that could emanate from the harmful perception it would be likely to convey to racehorse owners in choosing to stable their horses at the neigbouring training centre.
For this and other reasons, the proposal was rejected.
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