Starting at 9.30 the Inquiry concentrated on the evidence presented by Andrew Crutchley who is Catesby’s heritage spokesperson. Visitors who were not aware of the background to these appeals would not have realised that they related to planning applications for 400 and 195 houses because that was rarely mentioned. Instead those that did attend would have learned a great deal about the historical evolution of Kedleston Hall, the Conservation Area and the Registered Park and Garden.
Rupert Warren QC took an hour to take Mr Crutchley through the main points of his evidence which contradicted that of Mel Morris, Christopher Gallagher and Stephen Levrant on crucial points. Mr Crutchley, for example, does not consider that the appeal sites lie within the setting of the Hall or that the Hall and Garden should be considered as being inseparable for the purpose of interpreting planning guidance and listed building legislation.
As is normal in an Inquiry, the first barrister to cross examine Mr Crutchley was Jonathan Mitchell on behalf of AVBC. That cross examination took over three hours in part due to the number of issues that needed to be discussed but also because Mr Crutchley appeared reluctant to give straightforward yes or no responses to the many questions put to him.
Jack Smyth, KV’s barrister for heritage matters, finally got to cross examine Mr Crutchley after 3pm. It was important for him not to go over ground already covered by Mr Mitchell but in approximately an hour he was able to highlight some factual errors in Mr Crutchley’s proof and to get him to agree that no part of the application proposals gave rise to heritage benefits.
Next week on Tuesday at 10.00 there will be the last opportunity for local residents who wish to say something to the Inspector, Mr Gray, to do so. Several have already registered to speak but there is time for more to do so on the day.
Following that Keith Fenwick will present his evidence on the benefits of the scheme. He will then be cross examined by Jonathan Mitchell for the Council and Nina Pindham for KV.
Wednesday morning is likely to be given over to a site visit with the Inspector accompanied by representatives of the three main parties. In the afternoon the Inquiry is likely to return to Alfreton for a discussion about conditions and the 106 Obligations.
Thursday is likely to be the last day of the Inquiry and it will be the day when the three barristers make their closing speeches. It has not been decided yet when the session will start but KV will post the details on this web site as soon as the time is known.