Category Archives: Quarry

Two new quarries proposed in Thorney

Quarry 1

Two new quarries in Thorney are in the early stages of planning.

This is in addition to the three working quarries within the parish right now.

At this stage, the two new quarries are listed on Peterborough City Council’s Mineral and Waste planning documents and the council is now in the process of assessing the plans.

One of the new sites is at Little Towers Fen which is north of Bukehorn Road. This is a massive quarry with a site area of 230ha reaching almost to Crowland and running alongside the Crowland Road. The proposed opening date is 2030, by which time the reserves in other quarries in the area will have been exhausted.

The second site is at Haynes Farm to the south of the A47 and just beyond Pasture House farm Quarry, which opened for extraction this week and which has caused major disruption on the A47 as the junction with Willow Hall Lane has been altered. Only the part of this quarry east of the Cat’s Water is in Thorney Parish, the remainder is in Eye. The proposed opening date for this quarry is 2028.

It’s not currently clear where access would be, although Little Towers Fen would have to be reached either via Bukehorn Road or Crowland Road; while Haynes Farm quarry access would logically be from the A47.

The city council has asked for comments on these two additional quarries by July 10. Thorney Parish Council will discuss them at their next meeting on July 8 and members of the public are welcome to attend this meeting. They can otherwise make any comments they may have direct to the city council. These should be addressed to Chris Stanek at chris.stanek@peterborough.gov.uk.

Quarrying at Gores Farm, to the west of the Whittlesey Road and once the site of a proposed wind-farm, has been given the green light by the city council, but another proposed quarry at Middle West Farm, to the north of the A47 opposite the existing Pode Hole Farm Quarry was turned down. Thorney Parish Council had expressed concern about lorry traffic on the A47 in relation to this proposal.

The city council has sufficient quarries to meet demand up to 2036 and had not asked for additional sites to be put forward. It has a statutory duty to consider the merits of both Haynes Farm and Little Towers Fen, however.

We are against quarries – says Parish Council

excavating-machine

An editorial comment in the Thorney Post came under fire at Monday’s Parish Council meeting.

The editorial, asking why there wasn’t a public outcry over the number of quarries being developed between the village and Peterborough, was criticised by Russ Bevington, who said the Parish Council has consistently objected to plans.

“We don’t want extra lorries in the village, we don’t want the congestion, but there is very little we can do,” he said.

“The Parish Council has objected on traffic grounds, but the Highways Agency will never say the A47 can’t cope, no matter how many extra lorries use the road.”

Other councillors asked if there was any benefit to the village from the quarries. They were told there’s a £1 per tonne tax which goes to a national fund and communities affected by quarrying can apply for grants. Thorney had applied in the past but had not been successful.

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The Parish Council has said no to a skateboard park in the village.

Recently re-elected city councillor Steve Allen said four people had raised this with him when he was canvassing and he wondered if one might be built on public space at the new Park Farm housing development at the eastern end of the village.

Margaret Long said a skate park had figured quite low down the list when surveys were done to see what type of play equipment was wanted in the park.

Russ Bevington said planning rules would not allow a skate park to be built within 100 metres of homes, so finding somewhere suitable would be difficult.

Ray Wood said if one was built there would be no end of complaints.

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The village’s fight against dog mess continues …

The Parish Council has obtained stencils which will allow them to paint warning signs on pavements where fouling is a particular problem. A bin for dog poo is to be installed on the green space at the corner of Chestnut Drive and Berberis Close.

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Police are to conduct speed checks along Whittlesey Road in response to complaints about speeding in the extended 30mph limit.

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John Bartlett has been re-elected chair of Thorney Parish Council. Margaret Long was re-elected as vice-chair.

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The war memorial at the Bedford Hall is suffering from the effects of weathering and its lettering needs to be re-filled.

Ray Wood brought the issue to the attention of Thorney Parish Council, who said the memorial was the property of the Royal British Legion.

Sheila Reeve, who is a member of the legion, said she would raise it at their next meeting and Mr Wood said the council should be prepared to help with cost of repairs.

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Bollards along The Causeway will not be removed.

Peterborough City Council has suggested their removal to declutter the road following its downgrade from trunk road status.

But the parish council wants them retained. There was concern that cars would be parked on the verge and that gipsies may also move in.

Members did agree the bollards were very dirty and said they should be washed.

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A quote of just under £3,000 has been obtained for making new replica level-crossing gates for Kingsline Close.

Two further quotes are due this month and the council will then apply for grants from the wind-farm community fund.

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Rotten village signs will cost around £250 each to be recast in metal.

Andy Bunyan reported figures to the parish council meeting on Monday. The signs would then have to be painted.

The current signs were erected in 1980 paid for by private donations and cost £1,500 for the four.

There had been a suggestion at a previous meeting that the four signs should be replaced by just one, sited on the grass verge at the crossroads.

Russ Bevington said he thought removing a sign from the far end of the village and erecting one at the crossroads would exacerbate the “us and them” feeling among some villagers.

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A heritage-style streetlight for Abbey Place will cost the village £4,500, it was reported.

The light was missed when the City Council installed the new streetlights in the “heritage part” of the village as it was inaccurately listed as being in Wisbech Road.

Ray Wood said no-one seemed to have noticed and he didn’t think the parish council should pay any more.

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Barbed wire has been strung across a stile on a public footpath linking Whittlesey Road with Toneham. The wire was put up when cows were turned out into the field. It has been reported to the City Council.

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Allotment holders should contribute to the cost of an access road, it was agreed by the Parish Council.

The current road was been churned up over winter, making it inaccessible for all but 4x4s.

The parish wants to lay heavy-duty mesh which will prevent the ground being churned up and allow grass to grow through, but the cost might be £6,000.

Andy Bunyan said he thought the City Council should pay as it was their land. Steve Allen suggested the best way forward was to put rents up so that the allotment holders made a contribution, helping pay for the access road over a number of years. He thought the City and Parish Councils could also contribute.

An accurate quote is being sought.

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Costs are being obtained to buy privet hedge plants to cover ugly railings at the crossroads.

Free hawthorn hedge plants are available, but Thorney Parish Council wants evergreen privet to hide the railings and match the hedges at the house opposite and the Rose & Crown.

Concern over traffic at quarry

excavating-machine

Two-hundred lorries per day will be used to bring in waste to fill a gravel quarry in Thorney.

Pode Hole quarry is now fully worked, but more gravel has been extracted than planned and soil set aside to fill in the earthworks is not sufficient.

The owners have applied to Peterborough City Council for permission to infill with waste (not household refuse) and return the land eventually to agricultural use.

The plan involves a six-year project, working from 7am to 6pm on weekdays and on Saturday mornings, where 19 lorries an hour will deliver waste to the site.

Thorney Parish Council considered proposals at its meeting on Monday and said it had major concerns about additional lorries and road safety on the A47.

Russ Bevington said that work would start soon on widening the entrance to Willowhall Road for the Pasture House Farm quarry and if that coincided with this work, then there could be traffic chaos.

The Parish Council will write to the city council expressing these concerns and also suggesting a lower speed limit along this section of the A47 for the duration of the work and that trucks delivering waste do not use roads through the village.

The Parish Council is also keen to see the cycle lane extended to reach Eye, so that people can safely cycle into Peterborough.

Land on the opposite side of the A47 to Pode Hole and Pasture House quarries has also been put forward for a new quarry, extending as far as Bukehorn Road. Planning permission has not yet been sought, but there was a suggestion that if this did go ahead, access would be from Bukehorn Road.

Dorothy Halfhide said she was strongly against that idea. She thought Bukehorn Road was totally unsuitable, it had dangerous junctions at either end and would be a safety risk.

Quarry plans are flawed, says Parish Council

Pasture House Farm

Thorney Parish Council has come down against plans to develop a new sand and gravel quarry at Pasture House Farm.

The proposed quarry is adjacent to the A47 and would border Willowhall Lane. This is the full text of the Parish Council response to Peterborough City Council:

 

PASTURE FARM HOUSE, THE CAUSEWAY, THORNEY, PETERBOROUGH, PE6 0QL EXTRACTION OF MINERALS

Planning Application Reference: 15/01839/MMFUL

THORNEY PARISH COUNCIL COMMENTS – December 2015

1. We are not opposed to this site becoming a quarry although we regret the loss of agricultural land and the important rural setting this provides on the A47 approach to the village.

2. We are, however, completely opposed to two aspects of the proposals:

a) Access to the site being from Willow Hall Lane

b) The location of the Batching and Processing Plant

3. We fail to understand why access to the site is from Willow Hall Lane rather than utilising the existing entrance at Pasture House Farm.

The Pasture House Farm access point would extend the distance between the existing Pode Hole Quarry exit/entrance to the east, and we feel this should be a consideration in respect of road safety.

Using Pasture House Farm as the access point would avoid the widening of Willow Hall Lane, which, we understand is necessary to meet the requirements for heavy goods vehicles. This widening is on the western side of the road where there exists a very beautiful copse of mature trees. Widening the road will ravage and brutalise this copse, and we believe the wilful and unnecessary felling of trees is totally unacceptable when there is an obvious alternative that would not affect the landscape or mature trees and vegetation.

We cannot imagine that the City Council Officers responsible for tree preservation and landscape will be able to give this aspect of this application their approval.

We also note that there is no indication of quarry traffic control at the Willow Hall Lane/A47 junction. Will lorries be permitted to turn both left and right at this junction or will they be restricted to making a left hand turn only as do the Pode Hole Quarry vehicles? If it is a left hand turn only for quarry vehicles how will this affect other traffic using this junction – will they still be permitted to turn left or right?

What, regardless of where the access to the site is, will be the limitations on the number of vehicles entering the village?

We assume the limitations imposed on Pode Hole will be shared with Pasture House Farm by which we mean there will be no increase in the existing number of vehicles entering the village?

We are informed that alternative access points have been discussed with Highways but they are insisting on Willow Hall Lane being utilised for this purpose. We would be grateful if we can be informed by the City Council of Highways reasons for this and their rejection of alternatives.

4. Locating the access off Willow Hall Lane seems to generate the location of the Batching and Processing Plant being placed in a position where it will be visible from the A47. The implication that a ‘screening bund’ will overcome their being visible seems unlikely to us and we would like to see visuals that give accurate views of this. We feel that such visuals should be an integral part of an application such as this.

We believe the Batching and Processing Plant will be a visual blot on the landscape and will unacceptably change a rural agricultural setting to an industrial one.

We are of the opinion that this plant should be located immediately behind the farm house and related farm buildings. In this location it will read as an integrated part of the existing collection of buildings rather than just being stuck somewhere out in a field. It will also be well hidden from the A47 and would work well with site access at this alternative location. Furthermore it would be in a location central to the whole site which could seem to be an efficient place to locate it.

We assume that the sound test information in respect of the impact this plant may have on residences in the vicinity will be a critical item in respect of assessing this application. We are concerned that noise levels may be unacceptable.

5. We believe interventions of this kind into a rural landscape should be of the most subtle, sensitive and least intrusive design and these proposals exhibit precisely the opposite of that. They are intrusive, they have little or no respect for the existing copse and they are insensitive over the siting of the batching plant. We trust that the Planning Department will request a more appropriate solution to these aspects of the proposals before giving them their full consideration.

Unless the Access Point and Plant locations are reconsidered we confirm that Thorney Parish Council are totally opposed to these proposals which they consider to be extremely ill-considered and inappropriate in respect of a rural landscape and in their disregard for the established landscape feature of the copse.

6. We request that this Planning Application be put before the Planning Committee and that a member of Thorney Parish Council is granted permission to speak at this meeting

Notes:

a) These proposals do not include any visuals as to how the modifications to Willow Hall Lane or the Batching Plant and Processing Plant will look. We are left with having to judge this from plans alone and this in itself would seem to be sufficient reason for rejecting this application or for calling for more information.

b) We trust archaeological matters, wildlife and environmental issues related to this site will be critical items in reviewing this application.

c) As it is beyond the expertise of Thorney Parish Council to assess whether or not this quarry is actually needed they would be grateful for the view of City Council on this. The adjacent quarry appears to be fully operable with approval to expand so we are uncertain why a further quarry is needed at this time.

d) In discussion with the Agent for this application when he spoke to the Parish Council earlier this year it was put to him that there should be a community benefit arising from this application should it be successful. In particular we referenced the continuation of the Cycle Path from Thorney to Eye. This exists in part from the village going west but needs to continue along the frontage of the application site. We believe, in keeping with policies on safe cycle routes and community benefits that provision of this Cycle Path extension should be made a condition of any approval of this application.

e) In recent discussions (December 2015) with the Agent for this site he suggested that new trees could be planted on the western side of the Willow Hall Lane copse to compensate for the loss of trees on its eastern side. This does not form part of the existing application but we would be grateful if either the application is modified to incorporate this or that it is made a condition of any approvals given to this application.

 

Major new quarry planned on edge of village

Pasture House Farm

A major new sand and gravel quarry covering almost 60 hectares may be developed at Pasture House Farm, Thorney.

An application for planning permission for the quarry is about to be submitted to Peterborough City Council.

The site is south of the A47 and east of Willow Hall Lane and so sits at the other side of Willow Hall Lane to the existing quarry at Pode Hole Farm.

The plans show a new access road onto Willow Hall Lane and also allow for the screening of the site using embankments and planting. The A47 would be widened to allow a right-turn lane to be built for trucks entering Willow Hall Lane and Willow Hall Lane would also be widened as far as the quarry access.

As sand and gravel is extracted in stages, the land will be used as a dump and eventually restored to its current level so it can revert to agricultural use.

Planning documents released by the developers talk of the plan being to “permanently deposit inert waste residues into the land in accordance with modern waste management practices.”

The plans include a processing plant, concrete manufacturing centre and a recycling facility.

The life of the quarry is projected to be 20 years, with 170,000 tonnes of sand and gravel extracted each year, and a further five years needed to restore the land once quarrying is complete.

Included within the site is a Roman farmstead with associated field enclosure systems and droveways visible on aerial photographs. Roman pottery has been found in the general area. There is also evidence of a mediaeval kiln and a 16th century windmill. The old Cat’s Water River runs along the site’s western boundary.

A detailed document drawn up by the developers and including location plans can be seen here and you can see a higher-resolution image of the site plan here.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said: “This project is huge and potentially quite disruptive and will need to be studied by Thorney and Eye Parish Councils respectively.”