Go-ahead for quarry bid despite road fears

The entrance to Longhoughton Quarry.
The entrance to Longhoughton Quarry.

A scheme at Longhoughton Quarry – controversial due to residents’ fears about the impact on the road network – has been given the nod.

However, in unanimously approving the plans last Tuesday night, members of the county council’s strategic planning committee imposed additional conditions to try to tackle the community’s concerns.

The proposal, by Northumberland Estates, relates to the relocation of an existing recycled aggregate processing facility on the site, owned by the Estates and operated by DW Purvis, for the lifetime of the neighbouring quarry – until December 31, 2025.

The permission allows for a maximum of 40 lorry movements in and 40 out per day to the site, way above the current six in and six out allowed. However, planning officer Joe Nugent explained that a limit of 30,000 tonnes a year remains in place, meaning that the 80 lorry movements a day would not be able to be maintained for long.

At a well-attended public meeting in Longhoughton last October, concerns included the increased HGV movements and the unsuitability of the road network, whose condition is deteriorating rapidly, for these types of vehicles.

These issues were reiterated last week by resident Dr Robert Dickinson and ward councillor Wendy Pattison, who both spoke at the meeting.

They were taken on board as Coun Trevor Thorne moved approving the scheme, but with the addition of conditions to create a preferred route for lorries to reach the site and for a financial contribution towards road maintenance.