Flintshire quarry expansion plans backed despite concerns over road safety and houses cracking
Plans to increase the size of a limestone quarry in Flintshire have been approved despite concerns over road safety and claims blasting is causing cracks in neighbours’ homes.
Building materials giant Tarmac previously entered an application to extract more than 31 million tonnes of limestone from Hendre Quarry, near the village of Rhydymwyn.
The 55.9 hectare quarry has been in operation since the early 20th century and the proposals outline an extension of 6.7 hectares to the east of the site.
The company said it would extend the working life of the quarry by 35 years and protect 17-full time jobs.
Councillors were recommended to grant permission for the scheme ahead of a planning committee meeting on Wednesday (July 21, 2021).
It came despite residents claiming the blasting method used to extract limestone was causing damage to their properties.
Road safety issues were also highlighted along the A541 due to the number of lorries accessing the site.
Outlining the problems, Cilcain councillor Owen Thomas said: “I’m not against this application in principle but there are considerations which need to be taken.
“This is on a dangerous road and the quarry extension will add to it.
“I think there should be consideration where the community or even the council can get some help towards this.
“Even by the admission of the quarry and the county council, some blasts have been 50 per cent over the top.
“These alone will lead to a number of cracks in properties.”
The meeting was told the quarry had supplied materials for a number of major developments in north Wales and the north west of England.
They include Chester Zoo, Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium and the Mersey Gateway Crossing.
A representative for Tarmac said the proposals represented “an important strategic development” which would support the region’s construction industry.
However, Cllr Richard Jones said there were road safety issues which needed to be addressed.
He said: “I travel this road daily, and I can tell you that there is a lot of traffic on there at the moment from Tarmac. This will only increase that amount of traffic.
“I can also confirm the difficulty in crossing that road between where the people live to the Rhydymwyn Service Station on the right hand side.
“I would say that is a direct connection between the necessity of a pedestrian crossing at some point along there and the application before us.”
Cllr Jones asked whether a condition could be added requiring the company to pay for a crossing to be installed.
But he was told by officials that the plans would not lead to an increase in traffic and therefore such a requirement would not be justified.
Senior planning officer Daniel McVey said: “The proposals will not increase the number of daily vehicle movements at the site – it will increase the lifetime of the development.
“There’s no intention to increase the output from the quarry, just that it is going to continue beyond the existing timeline for the quarry.”
In relation to blasting, he added: “Every time a blast is over the limit, Tarmac work to get it back down to the acceptable level.
“The proposal would take the development away from these close properties and would not be getting as close to the nearest residential property to the east as it is currently.”
The plans were unanimously approved at the end of the meeting subject to conditions to control blast vibrations and other issues.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
[Feature Image: Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.]
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