Plans for quarry expansion

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Plans to expand a north Northumberland quarry are to go on show to the public next month to offer a chance to give feedback.

Cragmill Quarry, a 17-hectare site near Belford, has been in operation since the 1930s.

Now, less than six years’ permitted mineral extraction remains so owner CEMEX wants to expand the site.

In addition, the proposal for a rail siding depot at Easington Farm would allow for mineral to be transported by rail as well as road.

The company is holding a pre-application consultation event at the Blue Bell Hotel on Wednesday, March 13, between 2pm and 8pm, to gauge community opinion.

A leaflet that will be available at the meeting explains more about the proposals:

‘At Cragmill Quarry, 200,000 tonnes of processed aggregates are produced each year, involving an average of 30 lorries leaving the site per day.

‘Within the site a low-level mobile crushing and screening plant is located close to the working face on the quarry floor.

‘Blasting at the site takes place approximately every three weeks and will continue to be closely monitored to comply with noise and vibration limits.

‘The hours of operation proposed are unchanged and are 6am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 6am to 1pm on Saturdays.

‘A separate application will be submitted alongside the quarry extension application for a rail siding depot half-a-mile from the site.

‘If approved, the rail siding will allow sustanable transport of premium grade products to a wider market.’

Information is also given on how the quarry will be restored once the six years is up.

‘It is intended that Cragmill Quarry will largely be restored to a water body with varying degrees of sloped lake margins, reed beds, scree slopes and tree planting.

‘A good, local example of CEMEX restoration can be seen at Branton Lakes near Powburn, a former sand and gravel quarry where we have worked closely with Northumberland Wildflife Trust.’