Quarry Update

Local residents groups often get excited with one quarry. In Horwich we now have three -although most people may not realise until they are all operating – or the 1,000,000 tonne per year recycling centre becomes a reality.

Only  few months after permission was granted for a third quarry (Pilkington 2)  (on the basis that Montcliffe was closing), an application to extend extraction at Montcliffe is being considered by Horwich Town Council. THURSDAY 22nd September, 7.15pm at St John’s Methodist Church on Victoria Road, Horwich.

On the same day , the Protective costs order  (PCO) hearing at  Manchester Civil Justice Court (time tbc) . The aim is to improve the terms of the PCO that was awarded,  when the second Judicial review was approved to continue, by a judge.

At the present time the judicial review is scheduled to proceed at  Manchester Civil Justice Courts, October the 3rd & 4th, although  legal representatives will be seeking to delay this, during PCO hearing above.

RAGE have identified an urgent call for additional funds, to ensure that the current legal fight comes to a fair conclusion. We may not be able to stop the developments in entirety but at least RAGE are committed to ensuring that residents of Horwich. Heaton and Lostock are protected by their legal rights.

You can contribute via Paypal at: 

 

Pause for Thought

“It’s a bit like MPs’ expenses. The people in power knew things weren’t right. But they didn’t do enough quickly enough.” David Cameron 08/07/11

Democracy in action ?

Quarry Update

Approaching 150 people turned up last night for the latest RAGE meeting – approximately 1/3 of these were attending a meeting regarding the quarries for the first time.

The audience were taken through several key aspects of the latest Montcliffe application –

The arguments were much the same as for Pilkington Quarry and some of the supporting evidence originated from the appeal, for which BHEAG had Rule 6 status :-

eg1 Rather than being a shortage of crushed rick, there is approximately 33 years supply in the North West landbank.

eg2 Rather than a c 10% increase on HGV traffic vs the 2010 Chorley Old Road survey, we calculate the uplift of c 70% when Montcliffe is operational (c 300% when Pilkingon 2 is included)

Will Georges Lane and the Junction with Chorley Road be able to withstand this volume of HGVs ?

A full copy of the presentation is available Here .

The full traffic survey can be found Here

The meeting was also told of the latest position regarding the Judicial Review on Pilkington 2- Judge Justice Charles ruled that there were arguable grounds for a Judicial Review, taking the litigation to the next stage.

A copy of the court order can be found Here

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.

 

New Quarry Application Imminent

As the current planning permission for Montcliffe is due to expire, a new planning application is expected imminently.

In order to update the communityRAGE have scheduled a meeting at Horwich RMI, Wednesday 29 June 2011, 7pm for a 7.30 pm start.  http://www.rivingtonrage.org/

The previous operators of Montcliffe were given permission to extend extraction until 2011, on the agreement that they would not ask for a further extension.  Very clear ?

Permission for a third quarry – “Pilkington extension” was granted on the basis that Montcliffe would be restored by 2012 . The Pilkington Extension was granted even though Manchester Council has stated that such an extension would never be permitted. Very clear ?

You can be forgiven for being confused. The existing Pilkington Quarry, in 1999 and 2002 was given permission to extract until 2007, providing restoration was completed within 12 months after this. The two permissions to extend the extraction period until 2042 were recently quashed. Very clear ?

Despite the restoration plan being rejected by elected councillors in 2009, Bolton Council officers argue a restoration scheme has been approved which will be completed in 2042 – ie 21 years rather than the agreed 1 year and despite the quary being potentially contaminated.  Slightly confused ?

One of the reasons the restoration plan, combined with the extension was rejected by Planning Committee, was the increase in the number of HGVs. Incredibly the re-submitted plan, which was approved and is currently subject to Judicial Review, allows for even more HGvs than the rejected proposal. More confused ?

Historically the local Horwich Liberal Democrat council have always been against further development in the area – understanding many of the issues. It will be interesting to see how the newly elected Labour Ward councillors for the area respond

 

Judicial Review bundle lodged with the Court.

On 6 April 2011, the claim form, statement of facts and grounds and bundle of evidence as lodged with the Court and served on the Council and Armstrongs, with respect to the planning consent for the Pilkington Quarry Extension. 84065/10.

Bolton Council and Armstrongs now have 21 days to file an acknowledgment of service and summary grounds of defence.

The bundle can be found here http://db.tt/XAFD3Bj

If you havent yet been able to make a donation and would like to help, contributions can be made to

Rivington Against Greenbelt Exploitation

sort 77 02 10
ac 24740960
 
 
You can contribute via Paypal at: 
.

Its a big white fence

Residents close to Montcliffe have been complaining about a big white fence around the quarry for some time.

The enlarged  fence  jumps out from the hill and can be clearly be seen as a big white scar accross the hill from Blackrod.

The good news is that GCN Ltd (David Armstrong) has agreed to paint it green.

The four groups have written  a letter to Bolton Council, challenging the fact that the council  believe it is lawful and they cannot do anything about it.

 An update regarding the  next stage of the Judicial review re the Pilkington Extension will be available in the next few days.

Montcliffe Screening Opinion

MPG have asked for a screening opinion reagrding extending extraction at Montcliffe for a futher 9 years, rather than transforming it into a Country Park, this year,  as Horwich residents were originally promised.

http://www.planning.bolton.gov.uk/Documents/93201_1.pdf

The four local action groups and RAGE, have written to Bolton Council objecting to the limitations of the Environmental Statement (including the fact there are NO restrictions on HGV movements) and reminding the Council that the previous extension of time was only awarded on the basis that no further requests delaying the restoration would be made.

montcliffe1a

Meanwhile the recent fundrasing camapign, to fight the Judicial Review on the Pilkington Quarry Extension  has currently raised in excess of £3,000 and donations continue to flow.

If you havent yet been able to make a donation.

Contributions can be made to

Rivington Against Greenbelt Exploitation

sort 77 02 10
ac 24740960
 
 
You can contribute via Paypal at: 
A copy of the petition may be downloaded here:  Quarry-Petition

1,000,000 tonne per year recycling centre in Horwich ?

Approaching 250 people packed the RAGE meeting last night.

Recent documents have been identified detailing proposals for a 1,000,000 tonne per year recycling centre in Montcliffe Quarry, requiring 400 HGV movements per day.

The document further details 4,500,000 tonnes of infill waste opportunity in Pilkington Quarry – and the extension, together with further recycling.

Proposal

The GMGU (GM waste development plan) concludes  6.34  ” that these sites have been included within the calculations for future waste management requirements”   adding ” A final decision on the inclusion of these sites will be made during the development of the next stage of the Waste Plan”

It is expected that this “next stage” will be in the public  towards the end of Aril 2011.

 

Previously the GMGU had indicated it would not consider Pilkington because extraction was not complete and therefore not ready for infill restoration. This changed earlier this year when MPG wrote to Bolton Council confirming that extraction had ceased permanently (almost).

Legal representatives continue work on the Judicial Review concerning the extension to pilkington Quarry – granted earlier this year.

Meanwhile GCN Ltd (registered at Armstrong’s Chorley new Road site)  are asking for a 9 year extension to quarrying activities at Montcliffe    even though it was due to be transformed into a country park at the end of this year. http://www.planning.bolton.gov.uk/Documents/93201_1.pdf

It appears that Bolton Council have the quarry on long term lease and will become the freeholders of Montcliffe towards 2090, and executive have been tasked with maintaining an income stream from the asset.

  • Greater Manchester Council stated in the 1980 s they would never let the Pilkington extension go ahead because of the adverse visual impact.
  • Residents were told that Pilkington Quarry would be restored and  returned to nature by 2009
  • Residents were told that Montcliffe would be transformed into a country Park by 2012

Broken promises ?

The Rage presentation can be found here PRESENTATION

RAGE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT NOW !!

 

The Council have decided to defend the Judicial Review.

  •   May be they think we will not be able to raise the money.
  • May be they want to tell the planning committee they have lost the JR on a  technicality – which it is not
Quashing this consent is critically important in protecting Horwich and the surrounding area, and potentially stopping a 1,000,000 tonne per year recycling centre  (massively bigger than the Armstrong site on Chorley New Road) on our doorstep.

 Our legal costs in fighting the permissions has been in the region of£20,000  so far, funded by a small group of people, with four legal challenges. We have won  the first three (one application went to appeal but was withdrawn, two permissions have been quashed.)  Bolton Council have agreed to refund the legal costs but the money is not yet in the bank. Simply – we have a cash flow problem.

 

We need to raise £4,500 in the next week, in order to continue pursuing the Judicial Review, which has very strict timescale constraints.

 If everyone reading this contributes £20, we will raise sufficient funds. If we do not raise the money we all loose.

Contributions can be made to

Rivington Against Greenbelt Exploitation

sort 77 02 10
ac 24740960
 
 
You can contribute via Paypal at: 
.
Alternatively you can write a cheque, payable to Rage and send to:
5/6 Montcliffe Cottages, Georges Lane, Horwich, BL6 6RS

The next public meeting is   March 22nd @7.30pm at the Horwich RMI Club, Ramsbottom Rd,  as thousands of leaflets are distributed around Horwich ( if you can help contact RAGE at  ragequarry@gmail.com )

 Download your window poster here (green or white paper)  Now in PDF format  GREEN   WHITE
For more information on the background, click quarry summary

Council to defend Judicial review but extraction has finished (almost) at Pilkington Quarry

520690 – Response to letter before claim

520827 – Restoration Scheme

Due to legal reasons we do not wish to offer further commentary at this time.

A large fence has been erected on the skyline around Montcliffe Quarry – would someone who wants to blend in the community realy do this !

The great plan to turn Rivington into a mountain of waste continues.

Thanks to information provided following the last public meeting, we will be able to present the full facts.

 

This is not just about the Plan to Replace Winter Hill With a Mountain of Rubbish, this is about Horwich, Blackrod, Heaton and Lostock.

The next public meeting is   March 22nd @7.30pm at the Horwich RMI Club, Ramsbottom Rd,  as thousands of leaflets are distributed around Horwich ( if you can help contact RAGE at  ragequarry@gmail.com )

We will be asking for your help.

Please bring along friends, family or colleagues who may be interested.

Download your window poster here (green or white paper)  Now in PDF format  GREEN   WHITE

Judicial Review Protocol – letter before claim

The following letter has been sent to Bolton Council, asking them to agree that the consent for  the extension to Pilkington Quarry was unlawful and that they quash the consent. Multiple gounds for its unlawfulness have been detailed.

A response has been requested within fourteen days.

Bolton Council LBA (84065) 24.2.11

The two Pilkington Quarry consents challenged via the Judicial Review process  last year have now been quashed.

RAGE – change of date, change of venue

Due to overwhelming public interest & concern the next meeting will be on March 22nd @7.30pm at the Horwich RMI Club, Ramsbottom Rd, Horwich

RAGE – IMPORTANT MEETING

Since the last public meeting of  RAGE(Rivington Against Greenbelt Exploitation) numerous people have come forward to provide information.

The result – the dots have been joined. We have been able to answer the various questions raised at the last meeting. The affect to Winter Hill and Horwich more damaging than you could ever imagine :-  

  • Plans exist to convert Montcliffe & Pilkington quarries  into a huge waste recycling & landfill operation in our precious Greenbelt Moors.

 

The residents of Horwich were promised :-

 Pilkington Quarry would be restored by 2008 – a broken promise

The extension to Pilkington Quarry would never be permitted – a broken promise

Montcliffe Quarry would be made a country park by 2012 – a promise in the breaking.

The residents of Horwich believed that:-

 Bolton Council and the Planning Committee would make an Objective appraisal of any planning application – legal letters, failed appeals, quashed consents paint a different picture.

What do YOU think?

  • Why is Bolton Council passing planning applications without following lawful process?
  • £million is being spend on retaining walls on Chorley Old Road. Is this preparation for hundreds of extra HGVs to the quarries and Horwich?
  • Why do important planning documents held by Bolton Council that could help stop this development go missing?
  • Why are serious environmental concerns being ignored?
  • Are the council so desperate for income they willing to spoil this beautiful area for ever?
  • Are the Planning  Committee being mislead ?

Thanks to information provided following the last public meeting, we will be able to present the full facts.

People close to the issues have been shocked !

This is not just about the Plan to Replace Winter Hill With a Mountain of Rubbish, this is about Horwich, Blackrod, Heaton and Lostock.

The next public meeting is   March 22nd @7.30pm at the Horwich RMI Club, Ramsbottom Rd,  as thousands of leaflets are distributed around Horwich ( if you can help contact RAGE at  ragequarry@gmail.com )

We will be asking for your help.

Please bring along friends, family or colleagues who may be interested.

Download your window poster here (green or white paper)  Now in PDF format  GREEN   WHITE

Closure for Greater Manchester Recycling Centres

sourced from  http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/250/250/City-news-in-250-words-Friday-4-February_16914.asp

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) is considering closing six of its 25 recycling centres in a bid to cut £1m from its budget. Two of the sites facing closure include Leicester Road in Salford and Black Horse Street in Blackrod.

Those hoping to use Rivington – if it changes to a massive recycling centre may be disappointed – there will be that many lorries coming down George’s Lane, and Chorley Road , that it may not be safe – the sad truth is we don’t know because the required Traffic Impact Assessment has been ignored, during the application to extend the quarry.

The possible advantage of Rivington as a massive recycle centre is that you could take the family around the entrance to the west Pennine Moors after – for a walk round the refuse centre / landfill / restoration works (or maybe you cant because all the public footpaths will be gone- or diverted miles away) – and reminisce what might have been if local people and Bolton Councillors had fully considered the proposal – RAGE:- Rivington Against Greenbelt Exploitation

Safe recycling ! ?