Enough brownfield ‘for 1 million homes’

England has enough suitable “brownfield” land to build almost a million new homes, campaigners have said.

More than 400,000 homes could be built on previously developed land which already has outline or detailed planning permission, according to information from local authorities compiled by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

And over 550,000 more could be accommodated on vacant or derelict land that does not have planning permission, the research by CPRE said.

Almost half (44%) of the vacant space is located in the South East, East of England and London. In the capital, where there is huge pressure for housing, 146,000 homes could be built on brownfield land, a report by the organisation said.

In total the report identifies enough brownfield land for 976,000 homes, providing the country with a four-year supply of new housing even if no other land is used.

CPRE said the figure was an underestimate as it does not include underused land such as car parks which could be used for housing.

Some brownfield sites have been identified as important wildlife hotspots for creatures such as rare beetles, but CPRE said new research suggests just 8% of brownfield land is important habitat, leaving plenty for development.

But the campaign group is concerned that new national planning rules do not prioritise brownfield development, which means Green Belt and greenfield land is being built on instead.

Barriers to developing brownfield land include the costs of and providing local infrastructure, difficulties for small and medium-sized builders trying to get into the market, the availability of cheaper greenfield sites and the lack of accurate data on brownfield land, the report said.

Barriers to developing brownfield land include the costs of and providing local infrastructure, difficulties for small and medium-sized builders trying to get into the market, the availability of cheaper greenfield sites and the lack of accurate data on brownfield land, the report said.

CPRE is calling for the reintroduction of a clear and consistent “brownfield first” policy, and other measures to boost use of previously developed land.

These could include giving the Homes and Communities Agency greater powers and resources to develop large and difficult sites, a proactive approach to identifying brownfield land and incentives for smaller building firms to develop smaller sites.

Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at CPRE, said: “This research demonstrates the huge existing capacity for housing on brownfield land.

“At a time when there is great pressure on our green spaces, utilising this land through a brownfield first policy would protect our countryside and regenerate urban areas.

“We want this new, authoritative evidence to lead to a sustained focus on suitable brownfield land.

“We can and must do more to get these sites redeveloped, whether it be reviving the National Land Use Database or implementing strong local plans to deal with multiple landowners on difficult sites.”

source  http://money.aol.co.uk/2014/11/24/enough-brownfield-for-1-million-homes/



Montcliffe Extension Approved

The application to extend quarrying at Montcliffe for another eight years has been approved – as expected.
The overall impact of the three quarries has been limited by a unilateral agreement, negotiated by several local groups – in particular limiting overall HGV movements.

BHEAG believe that the original permissions and restoration were given on the basis that no material would be imported for restoration. It is believed the current wording may allow the importation of over one million tonnes of construction and demolition waste.

Cllr Richard Silvester spoke against the plans on behalf of Horwich residents and pointed out that a number of residents and Horwich Town Council had not withdrawn their opposition to the plans

Special PlanningMeeting Montcliffe

The meeting wil take place todayat 2pm

The officers report – reccomending approval can be found HERE

Montcliffe Committee date

The current Montcliffe application is due to be considered on 16th February 2012. The public are invited to attend the meeting at 2pm at the town hall.

Groups Withdraw Montcliffe Objection

“As per the terms of the consent order dated 14 December 2011, I write to withdraw the objections made to the application (No. 86368/11) for the grant of permission in relation to Montcliffe Quarry, on my behalf and on behalf of BHEAG and RAGE (incorporating Arcon Village Residents’ Group, Montcliffe Residents’ Association and Horwich Moor Residents’ Association).”

Letter x


Marcus Simmons , spokesman for RAGE, and Martin Millmore of The Mineral Planning Group on behalf of Armstrongs Aggregates Limited have jointly issued the following statement.

We are pleased to report that the Judicial Review has been resolved via a legally binding agreement. The agreement will reduce the proposed HGV numbers for Montcliffe and Pilkington Quarries by 25% and there is a commitment on behalf of Armstrongs Aggregates to route HGVs away from the centre of Horwich during school drop off and pick up times. Armstrongs Aggregates have also agreed to provide to Bolton Council monitoring data regarding noise, dust and traffic levels, which Bolton will publish.

Armstrongs Aggregates and Bolton Council have also agreed to form an ongoing liaison group with residents, to enable residents to voice their concerns with the aim of ensuring that potential future disputes can be avoided. We see the agreement today as a positive step towards a new relationship between residents, the Council and Armstrongs Aggregates.

A Council spokesman added: “We are pleased that an agreement has been reached and the Council’s Planning Committee will be considering the Montcliffe planning application in due course.

Judicial Review Dates – 14-16 December 2011update

 An update will be available shortly.

Montcliffe Quarry – TV coverage


The decision was deferred

Moncliffe – What is going on ??

Following the issue of the officer’s report, and the action groups’ subsequent letter (see below)  Two consultee responses have appeared on the Bolton Planning website – which would appear to support some of the concerns raised in our letter.

It is unclear, how, in posession of these documents (one dated October) the officer is able to conclude that there is an adequate EIA and recommend approval with the condition proposed.

The documents can be found here.



Here is our interpretation the the transports satement  – with photographs .


Montcliffe – Response to Officer’s report

The following letter has been sent to the planning officer , concerning his report, published in the last few days.

86368-11OR x

Vernon Kay – Tweeting with RAGE

Vernon Kay is encouraging people, via Twitter, to join the RAGE protest outside Montcliffe Quarry, on Thursday 24 November 2011.

One of the main concerns of the objectors will be the record number of HGVs which will be put on the roads around Horwich – with nothing stopping every single one going through the town centre of Horwich.

Other concerns include the fact that plans exist to turn the quarry into a one million tonne per year recycling centre.

The application is part of a large number of applications, at three contiguous sites, in rapid succession. So far four applications for the quarries have been considered –

  • One went to appeal – but was withdrawn by Armstrongs after the planning inspector asked for additional information.
  • Two have been approved, but subsequently quashed in the Judicial Review Process
  • One is currently in the Judicial Review Process and will be considered 14, and 15 December 2011.

The extension for Montcliffe will be considered Thursday 24 November, at 1pm, atBolton Town Hall

Thanks Vernon


Donations are still urgently required to fund the current Judicial Review. Please donate here

Montcliffe – officer recommends approval

Well what did you expect ? 

  This is Bolton – promises are meant to be broken !

Lets just hope elected members have a different view.

360 HGV trips per day     440 HGV trips per day about to hit Horwich – can it cope – who knows ?



A special planning meeting has been scheduled on Thursday, 24th November, 2011 at 1.00pm in Committee Room A, First Floor, Bolton Town Hall.  This meeting will review the Montcliffe extension planning application only.

Earlier the same day there is a visit to the Montcliffe Quarry site by the planning committee scheduled for 10.15am.

Please donate towards the current Judicial Review 


Important Quarry Dates










The Judicial Review date has now been set for 14-16 December in Manchester Courts – more details will be available closer to the time. Statements need to be submitted by 14 November 2011. Public support would be greatly appreciated.

We understand the current planning application for Montcliffe will be considered on Thursday 24th November , at Bolton Town Hall. This will be a site visit scheduled for 10.15 am the same day.

These dates have now become some of the most important in the Horwich calendar – if you are able to attend – it would be very much appreciated. If you are unable to attend perhaps consider a £5 fine by pressing the donate button below

Objection to Montcliffe extension

RAGE and the four local actions groups, inluding BHEAG have submitted a massive objection to the latest Montcliffe application – the objection can be found  Objection to Montcliffe Extension xx

The second judicial review is scheduled for December. Donations are still welcomed (and needed)

Quarry – RAGE suffers massive attacks – but pulls through

A busy week, as the new application to extend the life of Montcliffe Quarry was considered by Horwich Town Council, who voted to recommend refusal of the application – which is currently operating without active planning permission.

The document from the GMGU regarding the applicatioon’s  was reportedly only posted on Bolton’s website on Wednesday and has been subsequently unavailable for viewing due to an error in the council website.

We have been informed thatt  the updates on the RAGE website have been simultaneously  hampered by a massive cyber attack, originating from ten servers in Germany, and resulting in 45,000 hits in a relatively short space of time. Investigations are ongoing.

Last week also saw the courts consider the protective costs order, for the current Judicial review. The protective costs order limited the amount either side could claim against the other, depending on who won the case. The terms have been changed to be fairer and allow the case to continue. The date of the judicial review has also been delayed until 14-16 December 2011

RAGE are embarking on a massive fund raising campaign .

You can contribute via Paypal at: 


Why all the fuss – there have been quarries in Horwich for over a century.

Here something to consider. When permission was granted in 1950 for extraction in 18 acres of Pilkington Quarry – it was estimated that it would take three hundred years to quarry.

Advances in technology means that most of this stone, was in fact extracted in a matter of a few years, in recent history. There is now an application to extend the life of Montcliffe and a  recent permission for a third quarry. These are going to be extracted at a faster rate than previously. The number of HGV is likely to be considerably more than has previously affected the area – and nobody has considered what the affects will be – or how the affects can be mitigated.

Added to that a long term plan to remove further footpaths and introduce a million tonne a year recycling centre, the concern is more than a quarry – it is the cumulative impact of three quaries