Beverley quarry firm IML blasts plans for 90 new homes near its site

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 7 Apr 2017

A quarry firm which blasts rock for chalk is objecting to plans to build houses near its Beverley site.

Ninety homes are proposed for a site north of Poplars Way, near the Queensgate quarry operated by Imerys Minerals Ltd (IML).

IML has told East Riding Council it “strongly objects" to the planning application from Central Land Holdings Ltd.

It has warned blasting operations have not been assessed by the applicant to ensure there would be no potential impact on future residents.

Imerys Minerals Ltd has a quarry and calcium carbonate works on the edge of Beverley.

Gary Staddon, planning and estates manager at IML, has told the council the housing developer is fully aware of the quarry.

He says in a letter to council planners: “The applicant has chosen to assess both noise and air quality issues in support of its application but has shrewdly and selectively ignored any assessment of potential impacts arising from blasting techniques which include the use of explosives to fragment in situ rock for processing purposes."

The Queensgate Quarry, which produces chalk-based products for a variety of industries, has been in operation for more than 60 years.

Mr Staddon has told the council: “IML's operations at Queensgate, Beverley, benefit from an old minerals planning permission, dated 16th July 1993, which does not have any specific conditional restrictions on blasting techniques, times, frequency or upper limits.

“As and when blasting techniques are required to release harder rock deposits, IML will implement these rights, as it has in the past."

QUARRYING: Imerys Minerals Ltd has been in operation for more than 60 years at Beverley.

When Poplars Way was built, Mr Staddon says it was agreed with Barrett Homes Ltd that blasting would not take place within 150m of the western extent of the development.

This was subject to a compensation settlement to IML for the restriction of its operational rights.

Mr Staddon has told the council Central Land Holdings did not want to listen to IML's case that a further agreement, similar to that with Barrett Homes, may be required to enable additional residential development alongside the quarry.

He says: “IML is concerned that this premature application will impact upon its consented quarrying operations, especially when extraction is entering into a phase where blasting is likely to be implemented to fragment underlying hard chalk deposits."

East Riding ward Councillor David Elvidge says: “Imerys is obviously an employment asset for the town.

“I don't see how houses can be built any closer than they already are to the quarry without affecting their business.

“There is controlled blasting within a certain area. Residents would need to be fully informed of what is on their doorstep."

The planning application has already sparked a 100-plus name protest petition from nearby residents who are against further housing in the area.

There are also concerns there would be no space to expand Queensgate Cemetery if housing development went ahead.

Planning consultants Barton Willmore, agents for applicants Central Land Holdings Ltd, were contacted for a comment but did not respond.

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