A public exhibition is taking place next week following the announcement of plans to extend the working life of Longhoughton Quarry.
Hosted by Northumberland Estates, it will take place next Thursday at the Longhoughton Sports & Community Centre, Westfield Park, between 3pm and 7pm and all members of the community are welcome to attend.
The Estates is seeking to extend the life-span of the quarry to 2028 with an extension eastwards into the existing lake to enable a continued supply of limestone and whinstone to the local construction industry.
The quarry would continue to be operated by Alnwick-based civil engineering firm KW Purvis and the proposals would maintain existing working practices, with no additional traffic to and from the site and no extra working hours required.
Already screened from view on all sides, the visual impact of the extension would be minimal to the outside observer.
The proposals also include the construction of a new pond, which would be landscaped to encourage wildlife, and public access would be encouraged via a circular walk, linking into existing footpaths and to Longhoughton. When finally worked out, the quarry will be landscaped and restored as an amenity lake, with additional public access.
Barry Spall, of Northumberland Estates, said: “In reality, the proposals would just see extraction works moved from the west end of the quarry to the east.
“Environmental and amenity impacts will be kept to a minimum and in the long term, a unique public amenity will be created.
“The extension of the life of the quarry will support the local construction industry through provision of locally-sourced materials of a type vital to important projects such as the potential dualling of the A1, which would otherwise be sourced from outside of the area.”
David Purvis, of KW Purvis, added: “This project is very important to us in supporting local jobs, with the quarry operations providing work for between 20 and 25 employees at present.
“We already have strict traffic management controls in place at the site and on the local roads, and these would remain the same under the new proposal.”
He added: “Longhoughton Quarry has been worked for over 100 years yet many people don’t even know of its existence. With no requirement for any changes in working practices we would look to keep it that way.”