Tuesday, May 30, 2017

News: Plans to reopen Rotherham quarry

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A mothballed limestone quarry in Rotherham could be brought back into use as the construction industry picks up.

Operators, Tarmac (previously Lafarge), have not used Harrycroft Quarry, which is in a Green Belt site between South Anston and Lindrick, for a number of years. It had previously operated with phased extraction and restoration (with imported inert materials) since original planning permission was granted in 1960.

Following a pause in work on site due to the recession, an application was submitted in 2006 for the submission of a revised scheme for the restoration of the site should mineral extraction/waste infill cease for a period in excess of twelve months. A further amendment was made in plans submitted in 2010 to extend the operations.

Harrycroft still has permitted reserves of 2.55 million tonnes of limestone. It has been identified as a historic source of building material for prestige buildings and is a likely source of architectural and dimension stone for heritage restoration projects.

In 1840, the Palace of Westminster was built with a sand-coloured limestone from the nearby Anston Quarry.

Now plans are set to go before the planning board at Rotherham Council that would extend the time periods for extraction and restoration from December 31 2018 to 2031 for extraction, and to 2033 for restoration.

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A planning report states: "For the last five years since the 2010 permission was granted, limited extraction and sales have taken place at Harrycroft due to the economic recession reducing demand for construction materials. The company had to tailor its output to match those lower levels of demand. However there has now been a gradual increase in demand in the region which means that the already permitted mineral is now needed to assist in meeting product orders."

The applicants state limestone production levels will remain at up to 300,000 tonnes a year, and inert infill material will continue to be used in the progressive restoration of the quarry floor. Nearly 700,000 cubic metres of material is required to achieve the final restoration scheme. Recycling operations on site would continue within the 25,000 tonnes per annum limit.

Traffic generation from the site operations are expected to average eight haulage vehicle movements per hour, up to a maximum of 13 movements per hour.

Following public consultation, the operators have agreed to restricted working hours that include no blast working on Saturdays, and for a new route for a Public Right of Way.

The site is close to Anston Stones Wood and Lindrick Golf Course, and a number of impact assessments have been submitted with the application, relating to noise, environmental and traffic impacts. The planning board are being recommended to approve the plans, subject to a number of conditions.

A petition against the plans and 11 letters of objection, including one form Anston Parish Council, have been received by the Council.

A report to the planning board concludes: "The principle of the quarrying on this site has previously been accepted and the application to vary conditions and extend the mineral extraction until December 2031 is acceptable. The proposal retains a comprehensive restoration following the end of mineral extraction, which will have potential ecological gains. Furthermore it is preferable to have the minerals quarried from the site and then the site restored, rather than sterilising the minerals which are there."

Tarmac website

Images: Trent and Peak Archaeology


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