Sheepcotes Agricultural Reservoir – Resolved to Grant!

On behalf of A W and G W Day Limited and Tarset Farms, PDE submitted a planning application to Essex County Council for the construction of an agricultural reservoir on land at Sheepcotes Farm, Little Waltham, Essex. The application facilitates; the extraction, processing and exportation of sand, gravel and soils; the erection and use of an on-site processing plant with ancillary facilities as well as improvements to the highway and access.

Essex County Council’s Development and Regulation Committee resolved to grant permission on the 25 January 2019. This is great news for the applicants as it is well known that the East of England is one of the driest regions in the country. The reservoir will underpin the future of the surrounding farmland by enabling water to be stored in winter for use during periods of high water demand in spring and summer. This will allow a wider range and higher quality of crops to be grown as well as increasing the resilience of surrounding farmland in the face of uncertainty presented by climate change.

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Resolution to Grant for a Concrete Batching Plant

PDE recently submitted a planning application on behalf of Breedon Southern Limited to North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC). The application sought to allow the erection and use of a concrete batching plant and associated infrastructure on land at Rush Green Motors, Langley, Hertfordshire.

Breedon previously operated a concrete batching plant a short distance from Rush Green Motors at Langley Sidings, London Road, Stevenage. However this plant was forced to close in 2016 and in the years since, Breedon have been unable to provide concrete products to their previous customers within the area, leaving a significant gap in local concrete supply.

Following consideration by NHDC’s Planning Control Committee on the 16 January 2019 the application was resolved to grant permission. The next step is for the application to be passed to the Secretary of State for a final determination. Should the Secretary of State agree with the decision made by NHDC’s Planning Control Committee, permission will be granted subject to conditions.

The new concrete batching plant at Rush Green Motors will enable Breedon to pick up supply with their previous customer base and alleviate the strain left within the local construction market following the closure of their old plant in 2016. In addition the new plant will support growing demand for concrete products within the local area over the coming decades.

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Wetherden – Relocation of Recycling Operations

At the request of our client, Aggmax Transport Limited, a Section 73 application was submitted to Suffolk County Council for the purpose of relocating their already permitted recycling operations at Lawn Farm Quarry. The application was required as the footprint for the processing area where recycling operations were envisaged to take place had to be unexpectedly reduced. This resulted in insufficient room for the recycling operations to function safely; therefore recycling operations had been effectively mothballed.

In order to reduce the impact of the recycling operations on the environment and the local amenity a number bunds were reconfigured in order to encompass the new recycling area. The proposed new area was chosen and designed to ensure that Aggmax can safely and efficiently begin their recycling operations.

On 17 December 2018 planning permission was granted for the relocation of recycling operations. This will enable Aggmax to begin pushing waste up the waste hierarchy by reducing reliance on landfill as well as providing recycled aggregates to the local construction market, a sustainable alternative to the use of primary aggregate products.

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Stone Pit I – Environmental Permit Variation Issued!

On behalf of the Operator Land Logical Ltd, we are delighted to announce that the Environment Agency (EA) has issued a variation to a bespoke waste recovery permit. The waste activity comprises the deposit of inert wastes on land to correct problems associated with differential settlement at Stone Pit I historic landfill site which is located in Dartford, Kent.

The application was made to allow for the recovery of an additional 222,500 m3 of waste to restore the northern part of the Site. This will allow for optimal extraction of landfill gas to generate electricity.

Prior to submission of the permit variation application, a pre-application meeting was held with the local EA officers and an updated Waste Recovery Plan was submitted to and approved by the EA.

The pre-existing landfill gas management infrastructure has been upgraded to current standards which enabled a number of improvement conditions to be removed from the permit.

An application was submitted for a minor technical variation and the EA have issued a full consolidated permit.

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New Bespoke Non-Hazardous Landfill Permit Issued!

The Environment Agency (EA) has issued a new installation permit to SRC Aggregates Ltd for a landfill site at Martell’s Quarry.

The site will be used for the disposal of up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of inert and non hazardous wastes in three separate cells.

PDE produced the application and liaised closely with the Environment Agency throughout the determination process. PDE also arranged for the installation of monitoring boreholes and undertook monthly landfill gas and groundwater monitoring to inform the application.

The EA took eight months to determine the application, however, only one Schedule 5 Notice was issued.

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Public Exhibition!

On Tuesday 27 November, PDE held a public exhibition at Rayleigh Town Museum on behalf of SRC to showcase a restoration project for land at Dollymans Farm, Essex. The exhibition featured presentations from SRC and the Mineral Products Association (MPA) which aimed to promote the positive contribution of inert landfill in the restoration of old quarry sites such as the former borrow pit at Dollymans Farm, from which material was extracted for use within the construction of the nearby A130.

Local councillors from the surrounding Parish and District Councils were invited to the event which was also open to members of the public with an interest in the development. Representatives from PDE and the Managing Director of SRC were on hand throughout the day to answer questions from the local councillors and members of the public with regard to the proposed restoration.

The exhibition featured a video comprising drone footage of the Site illustrating how it will be transformed from its current state as an unnatural hollow within the landscape, to a fully restored state which is in keeping with the local surroundings and enhances the setting of two World War 1 memorials.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the event and Rayleigh Town Museum for providing an excellent venue!

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Permission Granted at Lawn Farm Quarry

On behalf of our client Aggmax, PDE recently submitted a planning application for the installation and operation of a concrete batching plant, ancillary facilities and access at Lawn Farm Quarry, Wetherden. Following representation by PDE at Suffolk County Council’s Development and Regulation Committee and subsequent deliberation by the committee members, the decision was made to grant permission on the 16 October 2018.

This is fantastic news for Aggmax as it will enable the use of aggregates extracted from the quarry as part of the concrete batching process. This will provide a more sustainable use of material by removing the need for aggregates to be transported off Site for use within the manufacture of concrete elsewhere. With good links to the A14, the new concrete batching plant is perfectly situated to support Aggmax’s existing client base throughout Suffolk and Norfolk.

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Approval of a Planning Application

PDE recently submitted an application to Essex County Council on behalf of SRC for the variation of conditions to alter existing hours of operation at Highwood Quarry, Great Dunmow. The application sought to allow HGVs to leave the Site one hour earlier than permitted by existing planning permission.

Following deliberation by Essex County Council’s Development and Regulation Committee the decision was taken on the 26 October 2018 to grant permission for the temporary extension of operating hours to allow the movement of HGVs from the Site between the hours of 06:00 and 07:00. This will enable SRC to complete their London deliveries early in the morning, enabling greater time during the day to focus on local deliveries.

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New Abstraction License Issued!

The Environment Agency has issued a new abstraction licence to Land Logical Thorney Limited for their quarry at Pasture House Farm in Peterborough.

Prior to January 2018, quarry dewatering was exempt from licensing and it was only necessary to obtain a licence for water used on site (e.g. washing, dust suppression etc). From January 2018 you need a licence for dewatering and all existing licence holders need to apply for a new licence by 31 December 2019.

The new licence application was submitted in February 2018, however the abstraction licence was not issued until September 2018. The application was fairly straightforward and supported by a full Hydrological and Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA).

The local EA Area Team suggested that prior to the full application being submitted, a pre-application submission was made so that any potential issues could be identified at an early stage. A pre-application submission was made and no issues were raised.

The extended determination period was entirely the result of EA staff being totally unprepared for these new applications and their lack of understanding of process and industry. Also, a neighbouring abstraction licence should have been flagged up at the pre-application stage, allowing time for consultation to take place with the adjacent operator.

There is an adjacent quarry who hold an abstraction licence. The existing abstraction licence was considered in the HRA, and it concluded that the new abstraction would be extremely unlikely to derogate their supply. In the unlikely event that their supply was derogated the application committed to directing abstracted water towards their supply.

Three months into the determination period the EA asked the neighbouring operator to sign a consent to derogate form, which would waiver their rights to the water resource. They did not sign the form, but following extended negotiations and a site meeting, it was agreed that the two Operators could work together and share monitoring data to mitigate the risks.

The EA then required that the two operators sign a shared agreement to share data before the abstraction licence could be issued, even though sharing data would be a condition of the new licence. It is understood that this approach is not taken on other licences issued by the EA. The EA would not advise on the wording of the agreement and it was up to the applicant for the new licence to second guess their requirements.

As an alternative, the EA advised that we could avoid a signed agreement by setting a hands off level in perimeter boreholes. A limit was proposed and agreed with the EA’s groundwater team but the EA’s permitting team decided they still needed the signed agreement. This process added further delays to the determination process.

The wording of an agreement was finally agreed and signed by both parties. The draft licence then had to go through a new three stage review process within the EA.

Ultimately, the licence was issued but the situation can lead to rival Operators or neighbours holding new applications to ransom if the EA refuse to issue licences without the written approval of every other Operator within a distance criteria.

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Barton Mills Chalk Quarry – Environmental Permit Issued

The Environment Agency has recently issued a new bespoke environmental permit to SRC for a Site at Barton Mills, Bury St Edmunds.

The application was prepared by PDE to support the continued operations at the Site by SRC which will enable the gradual restoration of the Site back to a natural landform through the use of a waste recycling facility and inert landfill.

The total volume of waste to be imported to Site will be around 100,000 tonnes per annum. Of the total amount imported, it is expected that 30% shall be recycled and sold back into the market as a variety of products and the remaining materials shall be finally disposed of at the Site in the course of its restoration.

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