Waste Incineration Plant Planning Request, in Blackrod

Just five years after planning application was granted for a massive wood burning CHP, on the A6 bypass – which would only be suitable for burning (virgin) wood – a request has been made for a change of use into a waste incineration plant, without any assesment of the environmental impacts.


Several letters of concern have been submitted.


97204      97204 BS


Nightingale Farm (update)

The government position on today’s decision –  it “will lead to parking misery”

The planning permission for access was approved today – with conditions the development was limited to 14 houses and no higher than two stories.

Cllr Cunliff commented to the effect that it would be good to prevent further retail development in our town center.
Paragraph 3, of OA1 – requiring the center of Blackrod to meet local needs was not even mentioned by the planning officer or Councillors.
The lack of parking was raised and councilors were told – that the guidelines identified maximum number of parking spaces, contrary to the government website which states ….

“The imposition of maximum parking standards under the last Administration lead to blocked and congested streets and pavement parking. Arbitrarily restricting new off-street parking spaces does not reduce car use, it just leads to parking misery. It is for this reason that the Government abolished national maximum parking standards in 2011!”


An excellent objection speech from an effected resident, quoted Wigan council who set these “maximum” levels as the minimum standard which should be acceptable.

BBC TV and radio investigation – wood recycling

The BBC investigates the wood recycling industry in the North West and asks if the Government is protecting communities from potentially dangerous dust emissions.

Radio Manchester from 6am tomorrow and Inside Out at 7.30pm.





Armstrong’s – Fined

Armstrong’s  has been fined thousands of pounds for unlawfully storing large amounts of flammable waste wood.

The full story can be found here.

80m TURBINE: LAND TO THE EAST OF WALKER FOLD ROAD, BOLTON, BL1 7PU – Bottom of th’ Moor and more “Restoration”

They keep getting bigger

This one is 79.6m to the tip ( hub height 55,.6m) Planning application 88335/12
No further information is available on line at this time.

It is however understood that the turbine is very close to livery stables.

Horwich Parkway……… .24.8m ……….. in situ
matchmoor ……….. 34.2m …………. refused – appealed
Douglas Valley ……….. 45 m ………… refused – appealed
Chadwick ……….. 3 x 66m …………. refused (appeal and re-submission expected)
Birches Farm…………. 66m ………….. being considered 19 July 2012 (public invited) – bigger turbine application expected
Walker Fold ……….. 79.6m ………….. application received

With the exception of Horwich Parkway (Which we believe fails to meet statutory guidlines due to proximity to the rail line) all these turbines are within 500m of residential property.


The application which would see materials being tipped onto this site of Biological Importance. It could also mean even more lorries going up and down Church Street past the school with this waste material.

The Council’s Greenspace officer and an officer from the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit have already written in to recommend refusal.

Link to application is here

Montcliffe Quarry – TV coverage


The decision was deferred

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 


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




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