Environmental agency objects to further mining at quarry
THE Environment Agency has objected to plans to continue mineral extraction.
An Renewal of Mineral Procurement (ROMP) application has been lodged with Cheshire East Council to continue quarrying at Croker Farm, Sutton.
Planning permission for quarrying silica stone, used in road construction, was granted in at the site in 1952 and has to renewed sporadically under the Environment Act 1995.
In a document sent to Cheshire East council, the Brooks Echological group, commissioned by the Mineral Planning Group to carry out an appraisal said: “The site for the most part comprises low value land and quarrying has the potential eventually to lead to net positive effects.”
The appraisal added there were two ponds within the boundaries of the site, one of which was dry and the other showed no signs of being inhabited by the endangered Great Crested Newt after tests were conducted.
However the Environment Agency has objected to the application.
In their objection the agency said the application did not adequately define the depth and method of quarrying.
They also said the survey of local water features was insufficient.
In a letter to Cheshire East Council an Environment Agency Planning Adviser said: “There is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the conditions would not have an unacceptable impact on local water resources and nature conservation, or that such impacts would be adequately mitigated.
“Without clear definition of existing groundwaterlevels, geological structure etc, the impact and scale of this development remains highly ambiguous and potentially very significant.”
The Agency further objected to the fact the depth limitation wasn’t specified.
The plan to restore the quarry was also ambiguous.
The report continued: “Because there is no information as to what the restoration will actually be we are unable to ascertain if the restoration would not have an unacceptable impact on nature conservation.”
The Canal and River trust had no comment to make about the application.
No one from The Mineral Planning Group, who lodged the ROMP application, was available to comment as the Macclesfield Express went to press.
A decision is expected by October 1.
●● Croker Farm Quarry, Sutton