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Monday, 15 September 2014

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Work poised to restart at Cumbrian quarry

Work is poised to restart at a quarry closed as the global financial crisis took hold.

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of minerals remain in the Faugh No.1 Quarry at Heads Nook, near Brampton.

Its owners suspended work there five years ago because of the economic downturn.

But, with an uplift in industries including construction, the potential of the north Cumbrian quarry is again being explored.

Hanson Quarry Products’ licence to extract sand and gravel runs out in June.

The firm has applied to Cumbria County Council to have that licence extended for another 10 years, a move which is recommended for approval when councillors meet this week.

In a report, environment and community services director Jim Savege states: “There are 242,000 tonnes of reserves remaining.”

Hanson is also looking to amend its restoration plan.

While the bulk of the 15-hectare site would be restored to pasture, the firm also wants to retain some of the conservation features that have evolved on the site during the quarry’s lifetime, and to have two wet marshland areas, rather than just one as is stated on its existing planning permission.

There have, however, been objections to the proposals to extend the quarry’s life.

One claimed that there were already concerns about dust, noise and lorries after the reopening of the Faugh No.2 quarry.

The objector added: “Another 10 years of blight is totally unacceptable. Since Hanson abandoned the quarry, the quality of the life in the village has become normal again, but the reintroduction of 15 HGVs a day is totally unacceptable considering more houses have been built in the village and more small children live here now.”

County council officials believe, however, that conditions linked to lorry movements and the routes they can take will deal with concerns.

Mr Savege’s report concludes:“The proposed extension for Faugh No.1 would enable the recovery of the remaining sand and gravel and the provision of a steady supply of minerals with benefits for the economy.

“The proposed development would have no unacceptable adverse impacts on the environment or community and, with the conditions recommended, any adverse impacts would be appropriately mitigated.”

Carlisle City Council, highways officials and Natural England have no objections to the scheme. The development panel will consider the application when it meets on Wednesday.

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