Friday, 19 July 2013

How it should be done

Aggregate Industries et al. take note. Some of the content here might cause readers to double-take. We had to read it twice, and check the date. Rest assured the story is real, and a model of how developers can work with the community when restoring an old quarry to some practical and acceptable use. For background, Coles Quarry - a limestone quarry that opened in 1867 and ceased production in 1999 owing to "inherent environmental problems" - is located in Backwell, just south of Bristol. Here are a few lines from an article that appeared yesterday in the Weston Mercury:
The owner of Coles Quarry in Backwell has submitted the first phase of a planning application to turn the site into a business park, school car park and recreation ground.
Villagers will be able to determine what happens to the rest of the land and the owners are appealing for residents to send in their ideas.
“Phase three is what to do with the quarry itself. Whether that’s rolling grasslands or a recreation ground, it will be down to the village to decide.”
“We are very pleased with the support we’ve had from the village. We are doing our best to work with the community.”
Once the plans have been completed, 89 acres of woodland on the site will be given to Backwell Environment Trust for use as a nature reserve.
The development could create up to 250 new jobs in the area as well as much-needed facilities for the school and villagers.
And from an earlier article:
Existing dilapidated buildings, which used to be the bagging works but have more recently become a target for vandals, will be replaced by business units for village firms.
“It is quite exciting because we are taking an old quarry and doing something useful and creative with it, which will then be given to the people of Backwell.”
There are some additional photos at Angus Meek Architects. You have to pinch yourself.