Monday, 8 September 2008

Minerals Quarrying & Recycling Magazine

Latest News

Hanson loses Hope in Flintshire

Issue date: September 3rd, 2008

Councillors in Flintshire have thwarted Hanson’s application to modify conditions on its existing permission to quarry sand and gravel from Fagl Lane quarry in Hope, leaving the Heidelberg-owned company to assess its way forward.

Non-operational for three years and now up for sale, the quarry is at the centre of a definitions tug of war with Flintshire County Council over whether the site was closed for good in 2004 or whether it was simply mothballed.

The council says a letter sent by Hanson when it closed the quarry states the operation had ceased and so the quarry firm should get on with restoration – a condition in the permission says if work stops for a year then restoration has to begin.

Hanson, which is not seeking to work the site, maintains the operation has simply been mothballed and seeks to modify the conditions for work to potentially begin again. However, the planning committee yesterday rejected the application.

A planning official for Flintshire Council told MQR today: “It was the view of the committee that the site had been abandoned and so needed to be restored. Although there was a balance between those for and against.

“We need to make provision for sand and gravel and as quarries go this is the least problematic site around. But there was a feeling that patience had been tested on this matter. Hanson has no intention of working the site.”

Hanson can now appeal the decision, take the financial hit of starting to restore the site while they find a buyer or simply take the view that a change in permission is not needed because the site has simply been mothballed, the planner said.

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