Calderdale quarry restoration could take up to eight years longer to complete

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Restoration of a minerals quarry in Calderdale will take up to eight years longer to complete – providing a planning application which includes a phasing plan is approved.

Objectors worried about increased lorry movements – more than a third extra per week – at Clock Face Quarry at Saddleworth Road, Barkisland, believe the extra activity will blight their lives.

But planning officers are recommending the application to amend the countours of the land for the finished scheme, submitted by Mr S. Harrison, be approved with conditions as the advantages of a fully restored quarry site in their view outweigh the shorter term issues.

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Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee will consider the application when it meets on Tuesday, September 7 (2pm).

Clock Face Quarry in BarkislandClock Face Quarry in Barkisland
Clock Face Quarry in Barkisland

According to the application, the proposal would extend restoration operations until 2030 – an existing legal agreement says they should be finished by March, 2022 – and the final contours of the site would be amended with around 828,000 cubic metres of material being used to infill.

Mr Harrison said it was hoped the work would be completed sooner than 2030.

Finally, the land would be restored to grassland and woodland and public footpaths reinstated, with a programme of aftercare, councillors have been told.

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But 55 letters of objection have been received by the council to the application, including concerns over whether the final shape of the land will be in keeping with the landscape, the number of vehicles using the site, and noise, dust, mud and highway damage which could result.

Ward councillor Coun Steven Leigh (Con, Ryburn) said the majority of the objections were regarding the very large increased in traffic movements that would pass through Barkisland if the application was approved.

“The refilling of the quarry over the past 20 years has far exceeded what the landscape and levels of the land were prior to the start of quarrying operations some years ago.

“I understand that cthe applicants have previously had extensions approved, but the quarry is now full, and the residents are saying ‘enough is enough’.

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“Thye landscaping scheme approved should now be implemented and the quarry be put back to woodland and farmland,” he said.

Planning officers believe conditions can be put in place to mitigate issues and say the proposal has been designed to raise the final restoration contours across the site so it will ultimately provide adequate surface water drainage.

Proposals would increase the number of weekly vehicle movements from the current 413 in and 413 out to 650 in and 650 out.

But the applicant says weekend working is rare and highways officers say they do not object to the extra movements as they would be temporary and data shows the majority of vehicles do not use a route requiring going through Barkisland.

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