Preston quarry near River Ribble delayed due to environmental issues

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The decision to grant clearance for a massive sand and gravel pit near the Ribble River is unlikely to be made for six months, as the company behind the plans updates its assessment of their impact environmental potential.

Documents presented at a Lancashire County Council Development Review Committee meeting revealed that the proposed project – on a 90 hectare site at Lower Hall Farm near Preston New Road in Samlesbury – will now be the subject of further consultation.

Members learned that “a number of issues” were raised in response to the content of an environmental statement provided when an application for the project was first submitted by Harleyford Aggregates in March. Additional information is being prepared to support the original document.

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However, the claimant’s agent said the firm was still awaiting clarification on some of the points raised by those consulted, resulting in a delay in getting the claim ready to be determined.

The Environment Agency opposed the proposal as it stood and asked for more details on how the environment would be affected by the plans – although the organization stressed it did not ‘did not oppose the “principle” of the extraction of sand and gravel on the site.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which operates the nearby Brockholes Nature Reserve across the river – an attraction which itself was created on the site of a former quarry – has also registered its opposition to the project in its form proposed.

He called the request “premature,” denouncing what he called a lack of consultation with the trust – and called a plan “non-substantial” on how nature could recover in place once the work is done. extraction completed. A gradual restoration is proposed to restore the area to a humid and wooded space, to which there would be no public access.

The quarry is expected to be operational for 20 years, removing three million tonnes of material during that time – and resulting in 50 heavy truck movements per day. A new junction would be created on the A59 to join an access road to be constructed for the site, crossing farmland and Potter Lane.

The proposal for the green belt land – which currently includes eight agricultural fields on a bend in the river – has also drawn opposition from locals, with a Stop The Quarry at Samlesbury petition generating more than 500 signatures so far.

County Hall planning officers recommended that Development Review Committee members visit the site before considering the application, due to the difficulty of visualizing such an important project “on paper” only.

The committee unanimously approved the visit and Senior Planning Officer Jonathan Haine told them that a new consultation period on the updated environmental statement would mean they would likely be asked to process the request by ” March or April ”next year.

John Cowley, of the plaintiff’s agent, Mineral and Resource Planning Associates Ltd, told LancsLive after the meeting that Harleyford Aggregates expected the committee to make a site visit “to ensure that members can understand correctly the scope and scope of the work before coming. to a decision ”.

He added: “The county council is required by law to consult with many organizations and interests on an application. The County Council has asked Harleyford to respond to these comments or consultation questions. Members are advised that Harleyford is undertaking such work.

“We are responding to comments [and] questions. However, a number of comments have only recently been received – and in fact, we are still awaiting information from those consulted on some points raised – and responding to them fully and appropriately will result in further delay in determining. demand. “

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