Green light for Longhoughton Quarry extension hailed as boost Northumberland
The green light has been given to extend a north Northumberland quarry, which supports road-building projects across the North East.
Northumberland Estates’ application for a new extraction area at Longhoughton Quarry was unanimously approved at a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.
The permission will see an additional 1.6 million tonnes of whinstone and 125,000 tonnes of limestone quarried and extends the life of the site to December 2029, with final restoration by December 2030.
The planning officer’s report explained that the current planning permission extends until 2025, ‘however, due to a buoyant market for products from the quarry, the current reserves are likely to be exhausted by 2020.’
The proposal would return extraction to the previously-worked area known as the Fishing Lake on the eastern side of the site entrance, with the lake to be drained and then restored.
Objector Dr Robert Dickinson raised concerns about the use of the narrow section of the C79 between the Littlehoughton and Craster junctions by quarry traffic as well as questioning when the restoration for the current extraction site will take place.
The meeting heard that there is a condition on the approval to provide a route management plan to ensure HGVs only use the designated route along the C80, while a condition on the current permission means that the existing extraction site must be restored once the quarrying stops.
David Purvis, of quarry operator KW Purvis, emphasised the economic benefits of the proposal, saying that he was ‘proud that the quarry is a significant employer and its retention will maintain good-quality jobs in this part of rural Northumberland’.
Coun Allan Hepple, who moved approval, said: “I’m pleased that it’s a quarry in Northumberland that will help with infrastructure in Northumberland and the wider North East.”
The permission is subject to a section 106 legal agreement to secure biodiversity mitigation measures and works to widen the site access, while the operator will pay a one-off contribution of £40,000 for the extraordinary maintenance of the C80 between Denwick and the site entrance.
In keeping with the current permission, the site will continue to operate between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays. Blasting would be restricted to between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
The existing permitted number of lorry movements will also apply: 60 in and 60 out Monday to Friday, 38 in 38 out on a Saturday, with a maximum average of 40 in and 40 out when measured over a five-and-a-half-day period over three months, ie, it cannot operate to the maximums at all times.