Shropshire Star

Quarry allowed to expand despite 'shaking properties' claim

A regionally important roadstone quarry near Telford is set to expand, despite concerns from residents over “shaking properties”.


Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Applicants Breedon Group had applied to extend the workings of Leaton Quarry, near Wellington, so that an additional 21.3 megatonnes of reserves could be extracted over 26 years.

A section of Leaton Lane to the north of the site will be permanently closed in order to take in the expansion, and an existing public right of way will also be diverted to a new line around the eastern edge of the extended workings.

The quarry has been in operation since the 1940s, and employs around 100 people to produce and transport around 750,000 tonnes of material each year – however the application will also see the upper limit extended to double that amount.

The application had been called in at the request of former Wrockwardine councillor Jacqui Seymour, who said the quarry extension would exacerbate issues around the existing workings, such as “shaking of properties” when blasting occurs.

“This quarry already has a major impact on the village of Wrockwardine, which is deemed to be a Conservation Area, and will continue to do so for many years to come under the current permissions. This extension will exacerbate and intensify issues which are already problematic,” she wrote.

The proposal attracted 74 objections from the public, and six expressions of support, with neighbours expressing concern about the noise generated by blasting operations and the resulting dust affecting their properties.

However, a planning meeting held in Telford on Wednesday evening was told that the site is of regional importance, providing around 25 per cent of all aggregate sales for road and housing construction projects in the West Midlands area.

A report by Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning officers referenced national planning frameworks, which set out that “great weight” should be given to the economic benefits of quarry operations over other material planning considerations.

The meeting also heard that it would not be feasible to access reserves from the northern end of the site if the extension was undertaken at a later date due to the “complex and variable” geology of deposits.

Wrockwardine Parish Council had objected to the scheme, saying it would have “considerable negative impact” on the village of Wrockwardine and the surrounding area, and said the closure of Leaton Lane would contribute to highways concerns in the area.

A response from Telford & Wrekin’s heritage team said that aspects of the scheme would harm the setting of Leaton Grange and the Wrockwardine Conservation Area, but that the harm would be “less than substantial” and suggested it could be mitigated.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s highways team said turning areas would be put in to Leaton Lane before the stopping up point to allow council refuse lorries to continue to access properties on the road, with extra passing places set to be added to Burcot Lane to accommodate extra traffic.

Around £500,000 of resurfacing work also proposed between the quarry and junction 7 of the M54, which is used as the primary access for quarry traffic, to be paid for by the developer.

The scheme was approved by a majority vote of the planning committee, with one vote against and one abstention.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.