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The Hanson Ripon Quarry extracts some of its material from the River Ure.
The Hanson Ripon Quarry extracts some of its material from the River Ure.

Four-year delay no issue for UK operator

Delays often draw the wrath of quarry operators but a four-year wait for approval failed to perturb a UK company that completed proposed works before officially being granted the green light.

In a case that is as much fortuitous as it is absurd, a Hanson-operated quarry in North Yorkshire forged ahead with quarrying and rehabilitating its Ripon Quarry before a request for an extension could be tabled before councillors for approval. 

The northern England quarry has operated commercially since at least the Second World War, extracting sand and gravel from the River Ure and nearby land.

In 2015, Hanson applied to the North Yorkshire County Council’s planning committee to extend its operations but a staff shortage meant there was minimal progress on its application in the intervening years.

Officers reportedly said that by continuing with the work, it was fortunate Hanson had done ‘what would have been considered acceptable’

A year later, in 2016, the proposal faced community objections about noise levels, traffic congestion and the impact on the water table, leaving a question mark over the proposal.

Nevertheless, at a recent meeting, the planning committee was told in the four years since the application was submitted, the remaining reserves within the application site had been extracted, and rehabilitation completed.

According to The Northern Echo, councillors then unanimously approved the application without debating any issues or questioning why it had taken so long to come before the committee.

Officers reportedly said that by continuing with the work, it was fortunate Hanson had done “what would have been considered acceptable”.

After the meeting, it was revealed the four-year delay was due to a staffing shortage in the council’s planning department, something that had been experienced in other local authorities around the United Kingdom.

Apparently there were numerous other outstanding applications that had faced similar problems in North Yorkshire, including others that had been delayed even longer. However, with recent increases in staff in the department, they were now trying to tackle the backlog.

 

More reading:
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From limestone site to pristine parklands
Bruce Harvey: Quarry repurposing and regeneration
Boral to net millions in real estate deal
Former quarry expected to fetch record price
Historic site to become 'walkable' suburb
First lot of land sales at old Lilydale Quarry
 











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Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 3:19am
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