Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Stop the press - a sand and gravel quarry is to be restored to farmland

Rare as it seems, it can happen - a planning application for a sand and gravel quarry to be restored back to farmland. But why are we writing about it here?

The sand and gravel quarry had been left to become an area of "dereliction" - "the void is in an unrestored status overgrown with weeds". "During the extraction period at Chanceinn Quarry no restoration or reclamation works were carried out. With the purchase of the farm a number of improvement works have been carried out with the view to improving the return from the land."

So the quarry operator profited from the resource, and the landscape was left having paid the price. What will it take to restore now? "Waste soil would be delivered to the site by local haulage contractors operating on nearby groundwork projects", up to 20 lorry movements a day for the next five years. The impact of a quarry on local people does not end when the last bucket of sand is removed.

However, when it comes to Aggregate Industries and modern planning consents, surely there's no worry that it would leave any of its sites derelict? No, AI can be trusted to find something altogether more profitable to do with a hole in the ground - although Hillhead Quarry, at least until locals exposed its illegal bagging operation recently, had given the impression of dereliction ever since operations were mothballed there in 2008.