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Council set to fight extension plans for controversial limestone quarry

20 May 2024 2 minute read
Denbigh Quarry. Image via Google

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

Local politicians are set to challenge controversial plans for the extension of a limestone quarry.

Breedon Southern Ltd has applied for planning permission to extend Denbigh Quarry, also known as Graig Quarry, on Graig Road on its western side.

The extension would have released an additional 4.4 million tonnes of saleable minerals, extending the life of the quarry for another 25 years.

The quarry currently has permission to extract reserve until 31 August 2028, which was granted on 3 October 2022.

But 284 residents objected to a planning application to extend the life of the quarry for 25 years.

The application was considered at Denbighshire’s planning committee meeting last December, but councillors could not outright refuse the plans because the Welsh Government stepped in with a holding order so they can assess the application.

Government ministers

Instead the planning committee indicated they opposed the plans, despite the council’s planning officers recommending at the time that the council should back the proposals. The final decision is likely to be made by government ministers.

But Denbighshire’s planning committee will nominate two councillors at Wednesday’s meeting to represent the council’s case at the forthcoming planning appeal.

Speaking at the previous meeting, Cllr Mair Jones said she opposed the plans.

Legitimate objections

“284 people have made their legitimate objections crystal clear,” she said.

“Breedon wants to extend the operations by 25 years. The report states that the nearest residential property is over 250 metres from the proposed extended quarry boundary, outside the recommended 200-metre-buffer zone. There are 24 properties within the 200-metre buffer now. Some properties will be 90 metres from the new boundary.”

She added: “A bill going through Westminster now is proposing a distance of 1,000 metres from homes, due to the toxic effect of mining. A loss of four hectares of the best and most versatile agricultural land in a climate emergency with decreasing food security is a travesty.”

The quarry company says the application would boost Denbigh’s economy, save 100 jobs, and reduce the business’ carbon footprint, negating the need for lorries to transport limestone from England.

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