Breaking News —
A couple who spent 20 years restoring a Grade II listed six-bedroom manor house have been embroiled in an urban planning dispute over plans to build a quarry next to their dream home.
Barbara and Simon Campbell bought the abandoned 16th-century property at auction for £ 270,000, the equivalent of $ 334,000, in 1999.
They spent the next two decades lovingly renovating the Sudbrook, Grantham, Lincs home to restore it to its former glory.
However, after raising their two daughters Megan and Rosie, both 23, and their son Alasdair, 21, in the luxurious home, the Campbells have discovered that the council chiefs are ready to approve urban planning. He plans to create a giant quarry less than 100 meters from his land.
The Campbells bought the abandoned property in 1999 and have restored it to its former glory. (SWNS)
The quarry, which will mine a million tons of sand, could get approval thanks to an urban planning permit dating back to 1954, which they knew nothing about when they purchased the historic property.
Now Barbara, 54, and Simon, 57, are desperately trying to stop the development of the work, but they say their concerns have been dismissed as the “rail” council made the decision.
They fear that the 60-year permit that allowed the development of the quarry could dramatically affect the value of their carefully restored property.
Barbara and Simon Campbell bought the 16th century property for £ 270,000. (SWNS)
Campbell’s Grade II home (foreground), where urban planning permission has been granted to open a quarry (in the background). (SWNS)
Barbara Campbell said: “For the past 15 years everything has been very hard, this property was a labor of love and it has basically become our family home.
“Then we found out that the field right next to it had an inactive planning permit for a quarry, we couldn’t believe it.
“The entire site has been covered by two original urban planning concessions, one dating from 1954 and the other from 1967, of which we knew nothing.
“The information that this was a quarry must have been available when we purchased the property.
“We cannot back down or question what was agreed and legitimized at that time. The injustice of all this and the lack of transparency are the things that really irritate us.
“If in 1999, when we purchased this property, we had known that risk existed, we could have made an informed decision about whether to invest in our dream home or not.”
The Lincolnshire County Council together with the Irish company Tamar Selby Group Ltd have the power to open the quarry under the Ancient Mineral Permit Review (ROMP) legislation.
The Campbells say they never knew of their ROMP status.
Campbell added: “Technically, it cannot be rejected. Right now, the concession is not being discussed or if the quarry can be opened, but the planning standards with which it will work are being negotiated.
The area near Campbell’s house where the urban planning permit for the quarry has been granted. (SWNS)
“Because the permit has already been granted, if the council rejects it for any reason or tries to stop it, the operator can claim compensation.
“We find it absolutely incredible that you can buy a home and not realize that you have permission to open a quarry.
“I don’t know how much our house costs now, but it will cost much less if it has a quarry next to it.
“When it comes to typical quarry sizes, this one is small, but its impact is huge. It’s hard to imagine that this could be feasible. “
The couple say they don’t know how much their home, which dates from 1590, is worth, but that other properties in the nearby area are worth an average of more than £ 350,000, about $ 430,000.
The coronavirus blockade delayed a public consultation, but on April 30 residents received a 30-day notice to file their final appeals.
Neil McBride, chief planning officer for the Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The quarry at Rookery Lane has had an urban planning permit since the 1950s.
“We have and will continue to collaborate with residents, local road teams, the public health and environmental agency, among others, to find the most acceptable and sophisticated urban planning conditions for the site to reopen, so that the impact on neighboring properties, residents and the environment is minimal.
“We are currently in a consultation period, and although this has a time frame, we will receive comments until the application is submitted to our urban planning committee in the fall.”