Controversial Beverley housing decision on hold after quarry concerns
PLEASED: Carrie Smith and other residents from the area at Beverley County Hall.
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 Jul 2017
A decision on controversial Beverley housing plans is on hold, until concerns about quarry blasting are looked into by East Riding Council.
Up to 90 homes are proposed for land off Poplars Way, despite fears over quarry operations and future cemetery space.
The site is adjacent to the town’s Queensgate Cemetery and close to Queensgate Quarry, operated by Imerys Minerals Ltd.
Nearby residents fear new housing would prevent cemetery expansion and lead to traffic problems.
Councillors agreed they would delay a decision for more information, including a report on the potential impact of quarry blasting, noise and dust. They will also make a site visit.
Imerys Minerals Ltd had warned the council’s planning committee there could be complaints over blasting at the quarry, which has been in operation for more than 60 years.
Garry Staddon, planning and estates manager for Imerys, told councillors: “At Queensgate, Imerys benefits from a longstanding minerals planning permission which has limited restrictions in terms of blasting and its mineral processing operations."
He claimed there were “significant shortfalls” in environmental assessments by the applicant – in particular regarding quarry blasting.
Imerys Mineral Ltd on the edge of Beverley.
A 150m-wide exclusion zone does not cover the area west of the proposed housing site, he told the committee.
Mr Staddon suggested a planning condition would be required to protect quarry operations if housing was to be built.
Councillors were told the mineral worked at Queensgate is of national and international importance, supplying industrial minerals to 95 companies producing paper and construction products.
Mr Staddon said: “Imerys hopes to realise the permitted and remaining 50 years or so of high purity chalk reserves, which in turn directly benefits the local authority for example, in terms of the payment of annual non-domestic rates bills, which is currently £80,000 per annum.”
Barton Willmore, planning agents for applicants Central Land Holdings Ltd, said council planners confirmed the quarry was “operating without issue in close proximity to existing residential properties”.
The development would not bring residential property any closer to the quarry than exists at present, they said.
Gareth Wilson, partner at Barton Willmore, said: “The quarry has noted concerns regarding the amenity of future occupiers.
“However, the application has been accompanied by a noise assessment and we have worked closely with the public protection officer to demonstrate that no harm would result to future occupiers.
“The public protection officer has also confirmed that any blasting at the quarry would be highly unlikely to result in a statutory noise nuisance.”
Mr Wilson said the quarry operator has a 2004 legal agreement with Barratt Homes, the developer of Poplars Way, stating no blasting should take place unless agreed.
He reminded the committee the land is allocated for housing.
Cllr David Elvidge outside Imerys Minerals Ltd, Beverley (Image: Simon Renilson)
Ward Councillor David Elvidge said the Local Plan recommends the site should be developed towards the end of the Local Plan period, which is 2029.
He said: “There are currently several other sites with planning permission in Beverley which will meet the current demand for housing in the area.”
Cllr Elvidge said proposed homes would “severely add to the traffic congestion” in the area.
Planning committee chairman Councillor Phyllis Pollard said consideration would be deferred for further consideration of the points raised by Imerys in respect of noise, dust and blasting and the proximity of the quarry to the proposed housing.
“If necessary, the officers should seek independent advice,” she said.
Beverley residents who attended the meeting were pleased councillors had asked for more information, after planning officers had recommended approval.
Objector Carrie Smith and residents outside County Hall, Beverley (Image: Jerome Ellerby)
Resident Carrie Smith said afterwards: “As a residents’ group we were surprised but pleased.
“The council has listened to some of our concerns and taken this into consideration.
“They realised they probably do need to do more investigation, we do believe the site is unsuitable.”
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