Planning Application to Extend Montcliffe until 2022

Armstrong’s have submitted a new planning application, 86368/11 , effectively to extend the extraction at Montcliffe Quarry until 2020, with a further two years for restoration.

The officers report for the previous application, in 2005,  makes interesting reading : OFFICERS REPORT (2006)   It was passed by committee, the officer commenting ,

The Applicant has given assurances that the Council will not be approached with further delays and it is recommended that the proposed extension of time be approved on this basis.”


“The Applicant has stated that there is currently 950,000 tonnes of un-worked minerals in the quarry.

 A concern expressed by Horwich Town Council and local residents is that a further extension of time may be required by the Applicant in 2011 and this would result in continued delay to the restoration of the quarry. The Applicant has responded to confirm that the reserve left in the quarry has been analysed relative to the anticipated level of sales from the site and is confident that the additional time period requested will be satisfactory.”

Some five years of extraction later, and now there is approximately 1.4 million tonnes !!

Traffic remains a major concern, the quarries have been largely dormant the last few years. 240 movements a day were permitted by the Pilkington Quarry extension – currently in the Judicial Review process, which was approved on the basis that Montcliffe Quarry was ceasing extraction. (It is understood  the previous operators considered  extraction was no longer commercially viable.) This application requests a further 80 movements a day. That is more than one HGV every two minutes at the junction of Georges Lane and Chorley Road. On a Saturday it is an HGV every minute due to reduced times and there is nothing to stop every single HGV  passing through Horwich Town Centre.

Just over 100 HGVs a day currently use Chorley road, so the number of HGVs will effectively increase c 400% (Even if only Montcliffe is considered the increase is above the 30% threshold required to trigger a full transport impact assesment).

Montcliffe Quarry is currently on a long term lease before the freehold is returned to Bolton Council, towards the end of this century.  Bolton Council (and therefore the community) benefit from a proportion of income from all minerals extracted from Montcliffe Quarry.


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