Gi­ant quarry’s con­di­tions to be re­viewed

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - NEWS - By ED­DIE BISKNELL ed­[email protected]­

A GI­ANT quarry op­er­a­tion will be re­viewed by the county coun­cil due to con­cerns that its op­er­a­tor may miss a tar­get to re­store and leave the site.

In a rare move, Der­byshire County Coun­cil will re­view the plan­ning con­di­tions at­tached to Dene Quarry, near Mid­dle­ton Top, which cov­ers an area equiv­a­lent to more than 80 foot­ball pitches (68.7 hectares).

The site, off The Hill, cur­rently run by con­struc­tion gi­ant Tar­mac, has been worked for lime­stone and other min­er­als since 1950.

The most re­cent plan­ning per­mis­sion at­tached to the site was granted by the county coun­cil in 2005 and al­lowed the firm to quarry north­ern and south­ern ex­ten­sions.

All min­eral op­er­a­tions must have ceased by 2026, at which point, the site is to be va­cated. How­ever, plan­ning of­fi­cers say that “a num­ber of op­er­a­tional in­con­sis­ten­cies have arisen” and must be ad­dressed.

A re­port states: “At the cur­rent time, it is es­ti­mated that there are ap­prox­i­mately eight mil­lion tonnes of per­mit­ted re­serves re­main­ing to be worked.

“Based on cur­rent rates of work­ing, it is ques­tion­able whether this can be achieved be­fore the end of 2026. Re­cent site in­spec­tions have high­lighted that parts of the site are not be­ing worked in ac­cor­dance with terms of the di­rec­tion­al­ity of the work­ing.

“Tak­ing into ac­count the sen­si­tive lo­ca­tion of the quarry, it is im­por­tant for these is­sues to be ad­dressed through a con­di­tions re­view.”

The coun­cil will fur­ther as­sess con­di­tions prevent­ing or aimed at mit­i­gat­ing the im­pacts of noise, dust and blast schemes. The au­thor­ity could tighten some of these con­di­tions or add ex­tra re­stric­tions for the firm to abide by – or face los­ing its per­mis­sion to mine the land.

It could also ex­tend per­mis­sion at the site to give Tar­mac time to com­plete its work.

At a meet­ing of the coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee on Mon­day, coun­cil of­fi­cers said that man­age­ment of the site had slowed due to the im­pact of the re­ces­sion, mean­ing that work had been tem­po­rar­ily stripped back.

All min­ing sites, in­clud­ing ex­ten­sions to sites granted af­ter the ini­tial min­er­als plan­ning per­mis­sion, may be sub­ject to pe­ri­odic re­views of con­di­tions to which their plan­ning per­mis­sions are sub­ject.

This is to en­sure that quar­ries are sub­ject to up-to-date en­vi­ron­men­tal con­trols.

Re­views can­not take place un­til at least 15 years af­ter per­mis­sion is granted.

County coun­cil­lor for the area, Cllr Irene Rat­cliffe, Labour, said that res­i­dents have sev­eral key con­cerns about quar­ry­ing, but stated that con­cerns were not typ­i­cally di­rected at Dene Quarry.

She said lo­cals were wor­ried about the re­bound­ing of noise from blast­ing and quar­ry­ing equip­ment across the val­ley in the Bon­sall area as well as the noise and safety is­sues caused by HGVS on the Via Gel­lia Road.

Res­i­dents in Crom­ford, she said, raised ob­jec­tions about un­cov­ered HGVS leav­ing the site, caus­ing dust to spread.

On top of this, some res­i­dents also had mis­giv­ings about HGVS with un­washed wheels leav­ing dirt through­out the sur­round­ing routes.

They also want to keep traf­fic flow­ing through­out the area, and not have it bogged down by the HGVS.

She re­it­er­ated that these were not typ­i­cally di­rected at Dene Quarry.

Cllr Rat­cliffe said us­age of a mo­bile crusher in­stead of a fixed crusher had caused an in­crease in noise.

John Brad­shaw, Es­tates Man­ager at Tar­mac, said: “We recog­nise that all min­eral plan­ning per­mis­sions of over 15 years are sub­ject to a re­view process and are com­mit­ted to work­ing in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with coun­cil of­fi­cers to en­sure that the con­trols as­so­ci­ated with our 2005 plan­ning ap­proval are up to date.

“Should the out­come of the coun­cil’s re­view mean that we need to ex­tend the end date of our op­er­a­tions at Dene Quarry we would, of course, en­gage ex­ten­sively with local res­i­dents.”

Dene Quarry

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