Agenda item

Planning Application : NWB/20CM015 - Hartshill Quarry, Nuneaton Road, Nuneaton


Matthew Williams (Senior Planning Officer) provided a summary of the application alongside planning application NWB/20CM016 (agenda item 4). Both sought permission for mineral processing equipment, plant, and infrastructure at Hartshill Quarry, Nuneaton. He advised that NWB/20CM015 was a retrospective application; NWB/20CM016 proposed development of an aggregates washing plant and ancillary machinery. The applicant, Mr Kashan Aslam of Crown Aggregates, was present at the meeting.


Matthew Williams stated that:


·       The report provided details of another planning application for residential development proposed at land south of the site. This application was yet to be determined by North Warwickshire Borough Council.

·       A third application at Hartshill Quarry, not presented to the Committee at the meeting, sought an amendment to the phasing and working of the overall site to enable reworking of material.

·       Hartshill Quarry is a hard rock quarry with extraction by blasting and use of excavators. Mineral extraction has taken place at the site for over a century.

·       From the mid-1990s, the Quarry was not in operation. Following its sale in the mid-2010s, operations were re-established.


Matthew Williams advised that statutory consultees had not raised any objections ‘in principle’ to planning application NWB/20CM015. However, the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) had sought a condition for dust control. The EHO had expressed an interest in receipt of additional data relating to traffic flows and the impact of traffic on air quality monitoring and management. Matthew Williams advised that most traffic related to the existing permitted use of the site; many of the vehicles accessing the site were third-party hauliers which the applicant had no control over. Therefore, it may not be appropriate to introduce a condition for this consideration.


Matthew Williams advised that the Canal and River Trust had considered the proposal and made a request for information relating to the construction and management of the proposed attenuation pond.


Matthew Williams advised that Highways officers had acknowledged the limitations of the site access. However, it was recognised that Hartshill Quarry was an historic site; little could be done to improve the access. Highways officers had acknowledged that it was not proposed to intensify operations on site. There was no objection subject to conditions to ensure that vehicles would be clean and covered.


Matthew Williams advised that no objection had been raised by WCC Ecology. However, conditions specifying provision of a Landscape and Environmental Management Plan (LEMP) and Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) were requested.


Matthew Williams noted that the WCC Planning Policy response accepted that the proposal was generally in accordance with policy and could be supported. However, observations had been made in respect of production levels at the site. Production output figures had not been provided since the Quarry reopened. As a result, it was not possible to assess whether the application would lead to increased production. Matthew Williams advised that it was regrettable that the applicant had failed to engage with the Policy Team, but this was not a reason to refuse permission.


Matthew Williams provided a summary of representations that had been received. Local residents had not contributed comments. However, a representation had been made by Tarmac Trading, the owner of the land south of the Quarry where residential development was proposed. Tarmac Trading’s observations related principally to the third application which sought a variation to the conditions of the Quarry’s existing planning permission. It was requested that the Council take account of the proposed residential development when determining the application. Matthew Williams advised that there was no ‘in principle’ objection to either of applications presented to the Committee at the meeting which could be determined separately from the third application.


Matthew Williams advised that, a day before the meeting, a late representation had been received from Hanson, a company also involved in mineral extraction. Hanson had previously owned the site of Hartshill Quarry as part of Midlands Quarry Products. Hanson asserted that it was the owner of the minerals within the Quarry. It contended that the applicant had not served the correct notice as required by the relevant legislation. Hanson requested that the applications be withdrawn.


Matthew Williams advised the Committee that the applications presented for determination were not concerned with the winning and working of minerals; they were for plant and equipment associated with the processing of minerals. He advised that clarification had been sought from Hanson, requesting plans and additional information. There had not been time to undertake a detailed assessment of Hanson’s representation. The Committee was advised that consideration of the planning applications should proceed; however, there was an option to delay issuing of decision notices for a reasonable period, allowing Hanson to expand on the points raised.


Matthew Williams provided an overview of policy considerations, stating that the current planning consent for Hartshill Quarry allowed the site to be in operation until 2042. The plant and equipment that the applicant sought to regularise were consistent with standard arrangements at similar sites elsewhere. In general terms, the site conformed with policy.


Matthew Williams advised that visual impact was minimal, the site was relatively well screened by topography and vegetation. A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment had been submitted which concluded that the application had negligible adverse visual impact.


In conclusion, Matthew Williams stated that NWB/20CM015 was a retrospective application for recently installed plant, equipment, and infrastructure, some of which was essential for the operation of the site. It was a location which had previously been used for the operation of plant and equipment. Wheel washing equipment limited the impact the site had on the public highway. The washing plant and other facilities added value to the product produced by the Quarry. It was considered to be an application that could be supported.


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