Thursday, 16 April 2015

And what of Thorn Tree Plantation?

In 1999, Aggregate Industries was served with modification orders to stop quarrying at Blackhill. AI was later paid millions in compensation. Despite this, in 2002 AI won permission to quarry Thorn Tree Plantation, an adjacent area at Blackhill. AI worked this site until 2009.

In 2000, in documents approved for court purposes, AI's Divisional Estates Manager (Southern) put the company's chances of securing permission at Thorn Tree at 50:50, and said "if planning permission was turned down on that area it was doubtful in view of the small size of the site that an appeal would be considered". But DCC granted AI permission anyway, as DCC invariably does, and AI is still there today - now looking to stay until 2021, and no doubt beyond.

More than 5 years after quarrying ceased, this is what the site looks like today. How well does it sit in this important landscape? How is restoration progressing? People can make up their own mind.