Agenda item

14/01716/MMFUL - Land at Leicester Road, Wansford, Peterborough


The planning application was for limestone extraction and restoration on land at Leicester Road, Wansford, Peterborough.


The main considerations set out in the reports were:

·         Suitability of the proposal (mineral extraction and infilling with inert material)

·         Noise and dust

·         Landscape and visual impact

·         Biodiversity and Geodiversity

·         Flood risk

·         Archaeology

·         Traffic and Highways

·         Other Issues


It was officer’s recommendation that planning permission be granted subject to conditions set out in the report.


The Senior Officer Minerals and Waste provided an overview of the application and raised the following key points:

·         The application added to the eastern series of quarries, with access off A47. The closest residences were Sibberton Lodge and Old Pump House.

·         The proposed extraction of limestone would take place over a five year period and would operate between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday and 7am to 1pm, Saturday.

·         It was expected that the development would attract a maximum of 156 vehicle movements a day.

·         It was intended that the land would be restored to agricultural purposes and that the conditions were to be imposed in relation to the environmental impact of the proposal.

·         Conditions were proposed in order to limit and manage the level of noise and dust resulting from the scheme.


Councillor Holdich, Ward Councillor, and Councillor Richard Clarke, Wansford Parish Council, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         Quarry work had recently been undertaken in the area to the west of the application site. This work had resulted in a number of complaints regarding dust and noise.

·         It was believed that a hydraulic drill would be required to carry out the proposed work.

·         It was suggested that the calculations put forward by the applicant in relation to noise and dust were not factual.

·         Questions were raised as to why work was not scheduled to commence until 2021.

·         The noise levels given in the report were claimed to be unreliable. The noise predicted at the Old Pump House was 46db, equivalent to a library setting, which was not believed to be realistic.

·         Previous quarries at Thornhaugh had registered noise levels of 64 or 65db.

·         It was suggested that noise mitigation measures would only take effect after a year, as it would take this long to dig down far enough to dampen the works noise.

·         Limestone, once extracted, would dry and carry on the wind. It was believed that this would reach residential areas.

·         The number of objections were low, it was suggested, because residents were confident that the Parish Council would sufficiently represent the concerns of the village.


Liam Toland, Agent, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         The officer report was commended to the Committee as a reflection of the careful consideration taken in the application.

·         The principle of mineral extraction had been established on the site.

·         An independent review had been undertaken to assess the noise levels and this was accepted by Council officers. It was considered that this noise assessment was robust and reflective of the proposed works.

·         The Applicant’s had worked with the Council in order to minimise the effect the quarry would have on residents.

·         It was advised that Limestone, although it does dry, would not carry over 100 metres. As such, nearby residences would not be effected.

·         The Applicant had not experienced any problems with other quarries along the A47 and it was expected that any problems could be resolved with appropriate conditions.

·         Noise mitigation measures were standard practice and believed to be acceptable.

·         The application was due to start in 2021 in order to allow work at a different quarry and infilling of the adjacent land to finish, to avoid any cumulative impact.


Councillor Harrington and Councillor Stokes left the Committee meeting.


The Committee expressed concern at the contradictory statements referred to by the public speakers, however considered that the officer report should be relied upon to inform their decision.


The Senior Officer Minerals and Waste advised that he was entirely confident in his report and the expertise he had drawn upon. The Environment and Pollution Control Officer had been consulted and raised no concerns to the proposal. As such, it was believed that the targets set out in the report were attainable, and were similar to comparable sites. It was explained that the noise mitigation measures would be put in place and be effective from the start, however they would become more effective as the extraction progressed. This had been taken into consideration when setting appropriate noise levels.


A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that permission be granted, as per officer recommendation. The motion was carried six voting in favour, one voting against.


RESOLVED: (6 voted in favour, 1 voted against) that planning permission is GRANTED subject to the conditions set out in the report.


Reasons for the decision


The NPPF states that there was a presumption in favour of sustainable development - in terms of decision taking this meant approving development proposals that accorded with the development plan without delay. The principle of development was in accordance with policy SSP W2 of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Site Specific Proposals DPD (SSP DPD) which allocated the site for inert landfill; and the proposed extraction lay within the Minerals Consultation Area (CS27) associated with the previous permission for limestone extraction at Thornhaugh II quarry.


An Environmental Statement accompanied the application which, alongside the submitted further information was considered comprehensive and met the requirements set out in the Town and Country Planning Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2011. Detailed topic areas had been assessed/considered:- With regard to noise and dust, the proposal was in compliance with policies CS24 and CS34. The landscape and visual impacts of the proposal were in compliance with policies CS25, CS33 and CS34 of the Core Strategy. Ecology, Hydrogeology and Physical characteristics (including soils) had been carefully considered (no objections raised by Natural England or the Environment Agency subject to conditions) and were in compliance with policies CS22, CS25, CS35 CS38 and CS39 of the Core Strategy. Heritage and Archaeology had been assessed and were in compliance with policy CS36. Other matters had been assessed including Traffic and Highways, Flood risk, quarry design and climate change and were considered acceptable and in compliance with development plan policy. Cumulative impact of this development with that of the neighbouring site, Eyebury landfill, had also been taken into account. Comments of consultees had been taken into account and suitable conditions would be attached which address any issues raised. The representations had also been also taken into account but given that the site was allocated for inert landfill, previously benefitted from permission for limestone extraction, and in all other respects the proposal was acceptable, there was no reason not to approve the application in line with Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act.



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