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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Bluelands Quarry Waste Recovery Plan Approved

The Environment Agency has approved an updated Waste Recovery Plan (WRP) for Bluelands Quarry in Thurrock, Purfleet which is operated by S Walsh and Sons Ltd.

The WRP has been successfully updated by PDE to enable an additional 240,488m3 of wastes to be imported to Site and complete the development in accordance with Planning Permission. The planning permission requires that the final Site levels are built up above the 1 in 1000 year flood level, which would facilitate reclassification of the Site from Flood Zone 3 (high probability) to Flood Zone 1 (lowest probability).

This will enable S Walsh and Son to restore the Site to the highest environmental standard and in accordance with the approved scheme which has been developed to ensure optimal restoration and use of the Site.

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Progression of a New Quarry at Pasture House Farm

In October 2016 an application submitted by PDE to Peterborough City Council was approved for land at Pasture House Farm, Thorney. The application was prepared on behalf of Land Logical Limited and enabled the extraction, processing, sale and distribution of sand and gravel as well as the erection and use of a concrete batching plant and the establishment of an inert waste recycling facility.

Since approval, the Quarry is well into the initial stages of development, with a number of works being carried out. These include the construction of new bunds to provide noise and visual screening for nearby residents and users of the A47.

In addition, a programme of major road improvement works is due to start to widen the eastbound carriageway of the A47, facilitating improved access to the Site via Willow Hall Lane. Improvements will also be made to Willow Hall Lane, increasing the width of the junction with the A47 and the road up to the Site entrance. These road improvements will result in significant improvements to the flow of traffic along the A47, benefiting existing road users as well as effectively mitigating against potential impacts from additional HGV movements related to the new Quarry.

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Validation of a Planning Application

On behalf of our client SRC, PDE recently submitted a planning application to Essex County Council for the final disposal of inert residues to establish an appropriate and sustainable final landform with associated improvements to the landscape, cultural heritage, surface water management and biodiversity at Dollymans Farm, Wickford.

Historically the Site was utilised as a borrow pit for the construction of the nearby A130 and the current landform is of very poor quality, presenting significant difficulties for farming as a consequence of its steep sided nature and propensity to waterlogging in winter. Should permission be granted, SRC will be able to restore the Site back to a natural state, positively enhancing the setting of two World War I memorials located to the east and south of the Site.

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Variation of Conditions at Martell’s Quarry

On the 8th August 2018 permission was granted by Essex County Council on behalf of our client SRC, for the variation of conditions attached to existing planning permission at Martell’s Quarry, Ardleigh. The effect of the existing condition meant that SRC would have been unable to continue with the extraction of mineral and subsequent landfilling until the owner of the adjoining land had completed landfilling on their site.

The removal of the relevant condition is a huge success for SRC and facilitates the continuation of mineral working and the restoration of the wider Quarry.

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Permission Granted to Retain a Water Management Pipeline at Martell’s Quarry

On behalf of our client, SRC, PDE submitted a planning application for the retention of a water management pipeline at Martell’s Quarry, Ardleigh. The application was made to Essex County Council and permission was granted subject to conditions to retain the pipeline on the 4th September 2018.

The pipeline will enable SRC to replace the existing infrastructure which is now beyond economic repair. The new pipeline will connect two water bodies to the permitted extraction area enabling the dewatering of the extraction area to support the wider operations of the Quarry.

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Validation of a Planning Application

On behalf of our client, Aggmax, PDE submitted a planning application for the installation and operation of a concrete batching plant, ancillary facilities and associated access at Lawn Farm Quarry Wetherden. The application was made to Suffolk County Council and we would like to congratulate our client Aggmax on receiving confirmation of the validation on the 25th June 2018.

Should the application be successful the site should be able to produce in the order of 30,000m3 of concrete based products per annum. This will greatly support both domestic and commercial uses throughout Suffolk for years to come.

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Thorney Mill Sidings – Resolution to Grant

PDE recently submitted a planning application to Buckinghamshire County Council on behalf of our client Breedon Southern Limited for the importation, storage and onward distribution of rail borne aggregates together with the erection and use of a concrete batching plant at Thorney Mill Sidings, Buckinghamshire.

Following consideration by Buckinghamshire County Council the matter was resolved to grant in July following decision by the Buckinghamshire County Council Development Control Committee.

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